27th Street: Value Add, Rocks Aren't Bad

So, I've been doing this house flipping thing for 10 years. But, your mind doesn't know that. Your mind just thinks, "Hey! I can't move away from Cincinnati. What about my business!? What about my people!?" But then one winter you are FED UP. You're moving to Phoenix. So we did.

I've already talked about that. But, let me tell you about the first house I tackled. It was the perfect house for my first desert flip. Not too big, not too small. It didn't need an addition like so many homes here "need". No pool. Not much in the way of desert landscape. The budget wouldn't allow for it. 

So, that leaves the fun stuff. Mid-century modern has a greater presence than where I'm from and I was excited to infuse some into this boring, drab ranch. Behold the exterior before:

A typical person might think, "Ew that's dirty." The investor thinks, "Value add!" Turn that carport into a garage! Boom. 

This is one of the easiest things to do to a home and gain lots of brownie points. The only problem was the two bedroom windows in the carport. The front bedroom was easy. Just take it out, there is another. This was actually better for that bedroom because now there was one wall without a door or window obstruction. Helpful when you want to have a bed somewhere! The back bedroom, however, had only one window and it was in the carport. Thanks to my contractor, Pace's quick thinking, we decided to make the new garage more shallow on the right side and move the window further down the wall. The new window is in the back of the house behind the garage now. A car still fits the shallower space, it's just not as deep as the other side of the garage. And, because of this jog in the wall, we were able to put a door to the back from the inside the garage which can be seen in the next photo.

In the back behind the garage where the new window now sits, there is still roof overhead. This gave us an opportunity to have a secluded covered patio. If you are looking in the before picture through the carport, the new patio sits where the old fence once lived. Check out the new space.

Also in the back was about a billion square feet of dirt. 

I would have loved to turn this into a desert oasis, but the monies said NO. So, we did what we could to make it a clean blank slate. I know, I know. It's a lot of rocks. "We" do that here. You get rocks or you get pretty interior. Take it or leave it.

Continuing on around the house to the back door, was a serious lack in entertainment area unless you consider the beat up grill and more dirt. So, some dollars went toward a simple patio with a simple pergola. Honestly, there were no funds for this. This was a "splurge" in the sense that it was not "necessary", but I knew it was important to have something break up all the rocks. The pergola was a modern take on the traditional sense of one. I borrowed this idea from a home I saw around town.

My original idea was to have fabric woven in between the slats of the pergola and big bulbed lights strung criss cross across the dealio. The truth is I ran out of time, money and energy. This isn't like your home where you can tinker around with a room for months before you get it just right. As soon as the paint dries and the cleaning crew is gone, it's a mad dash to move in half a house full of furniture and decor. I didn't even wait for them to be done cleaning really. I barged in and unloaded my things. Everything has to be ready with in a day or two in order to get the photographer their time. To source fabric, pay for it and then have to remember a staple gun AND STAPLES. Guh. NTY. So, new owners...do that to that pergola. It will be great.

Swinging back around to the front, I loved making this house bold, like nothing else on the street.

The colors were jarring to me at first with the dark walls and the bright trim, but once the grass had grown in and the front door was painted, all was well. A lesson in patience. Big picture, people.

There you have it. A rundown ranch home transformed into a mid-century-ish sparkly new ranch home. I hope this post helps to understand the thought process behind how a house gets flipped and the many decisions that are made behind the scenes! It's not easy to make some judgement calls but we do our best to make a great new home for the new homeowner.

Details:

  • Exterior wall colorSW Urbane Bronze
  • Front door color: Dunn Edwards Skipping Stones
  • Trim color: Behr Ultra White
  • Door Hardware: Kwikset Milan in Black 
  • Potted Container and cactus: Home Depot terracotta painted gray
  • House numbers: Home Depot
  • Pendant Light: Wayfair discontinued