Home Makeovers And The Power of Staging

Hi everybody! The past few weeks have been jam packed because there have been multiple projects and areas to assess, wedding planning and half marathon training, so I have about 5 different topics to cover; all buzzing around my brain. However, this post is for all you property flippers and interior lovers! I want to share the power of staging and the remarkable difference it has made.

Over the past few months I have been overseeing a flip project I sourced in my area. It has undergone a huge transformation and later on today I am meeting several agents to get it appraised. This bit always makes me excited and anxious, both in equal measures!

The Project

The house is in a great location, surrounded by good schools and community. Set off the road, in a quiet location, it really will make a perfect family home.

When it was purchased, the d├ęcor was dated, (loved, but old fashioned). I could barely fit through the gap to get into the kitchen and the bathroom had the toilet separately next door, therefore the whole house needed to go back to basics, ready to start again.

See The Opportunity

This type of property is where the opportunities lie. Not everyone can see past the swirls to what it could be. A lot of people will not want to take on that scale of project, or completely over cost it in their minds and put themselves off.

We are trying to create win/win scenarios. We purchase the property and allow the vendors to move on and we add value to make it a new home ready for the next phase of memories. It is a process, that when done well and ethically, creates a natural cycle. It doesn’t always go to plan or smoothly, but nothing comes easy in business and you learn quickly!

The Transformation

This is the bit that drives me. I absolutely love houses and seeing the whole transformation. I can see it finished before I even get started. So here are some of the pictures to share the process.

The Layout Changes

I decided to brick up the back door, so that the kitchen could form a ‘U’ shape. This would allow the original entrance to be blocked and the wall between the back room and the kitchen to be removed. It opened up the back of the house and there is still a rear exit through the patio doors to the garden. Wowser!!! Massive transformation. Our build team at Bailey Refurbishments, always work with me and listen to ideas, then use their know how to make it a reality. We had to make sure we worked with building control and we also added in a new WC under the stairs. Every decision was made with a family buyer in mind, therefore you need to assess what will be needed in your planning stages.

The Staging

As I have said before, I am a huge believer in the power of staging. This is the bit where I go nuts and act like a kid in a sweet shop, so I am hugely grateful to Paras and Andrew Miller for all their help, vision and time with the staging set up. The consultation really helped us all get on the same page for the vision of the house, and boy did they work their magic!! It has transformed the house into what can be described as a show home. Ready for the ‘wow factor’ walk in moment. I always appreciate the opportunity to learn and this has been a fab process to be involved with.

Stunning pieces, beautiful arrangements and staging, I could happily move in myself!

The Garden

Hands up and confession. I totally underestimated and under budgeted for the garden. This resulted in me and team Owen-Smith, (not long until I am an official member) having to do it all ourselves. Pruning, mowing, digging, edging, scraping moss, jet washing and clearing. Lets just say, I did not have to go to the gym and I had no ideas the levels of involvement. But I do now, so word to the wise, do not underestimate the garden!! It was worth the work and complimented the staging.

The Agents

So after a lot of work and planning, the real results are in the appraisals. I started this blog this morning and I have finished it this evening. So now I can fill you in. As I said before, I met with different agents in the area today and their feedback has been amazing! Their valuations have come in where we hoped and some in excess and all agreed the standard was very high.

Don’t take shortcuts, quality speaks for itself.

Thanks team for another fab project!


The Importance of the Right Strategy

All the business greats will tell you about having the right strategy to grow your business. But what level of detail do you go into in yours?

We have been banging our heads for the past few months, looking at a strategy, in what we can now see, in a very broad term. We have had the strategy of HMO’s in an area of strong demand and growth. On paper, it should have worked. Viewing after viewing, wider area selections and tests and I just couldn’t get the numbers to stack.

My mindset was, this clearly works for everyone else, so it’s my maths and ability to find them that is to fault. This just escalated into negative self talk and wavering faith.

Strategy Alignment

Does your strategy align with your goals or are you fitting square pegs into round holes?

We knew what cash flow we wanted and we knew what ROI would work for us, but we were operating in an area where this is the rarity not the repeatable model we needed to reach goals. I wrote previously about chasing the shiny penny, you can read it here if this sounds like something you have done/are doing too. http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/beware-the-shiny-penny/

Searching for the perfect deals will cost you some great ones. Equally your version of a great deal may not be mine. We have different financial situations, needs, goals and business models. For us, we were looking in the wrong place for our strategy.

Taking responsibility will help move you forward

If you start banging your head against a metaphorical brick wall and things are not working, take stock and assess why. So many times, we invest so much time into something, that ‘giving up’ on it seems like the wrong move. There is a difference between giving up because its hard or you are not seeing the results as quickly as you wanted, (self sabotaging against your goals) and taking stock and re-directing your efforts in a new direction that aligns with them and will push you forward.

Square pegs, round holes

It can be so tempting to buy anything, or compromise your figures because of frustration and patience to wait for the right deal. You can hammer a square peg through the gap with enough manipulation, but it will be damaged on the other side. I have come to realise that my maths wasn’t wrong, I wasn’t looking at properties that could produce our model. They could easily be HMO’s, but for someone who had a different financial situation. Have we lost time? It can feel that way, but have we learned lessons and a market place, yes.

Overcoming Frustration

I have to keep reminding myself, that I am in this for the long game and want to build security for us and our family, not to buy ‘for show’. I won’t settle for anything, so it’s back to it. There is always opportunity, you just have to work to make it a reality.

Go for no!