Born to Flip: A Home Renovation

· by wendy · ohio

As you may have noticed, we haven’t been roaming the planet lately. The biggest reason being that we’ll be welcoming a daughter in the next month. You can do that anywhere, though, and we did consider it. The fact that we haven’t spent the Holidays with family in 2 years was also a good reason to be home. The third factor, money. How do you think we can afford to visit such adventurous and far off places? We’re not rich, you know.

You may have gathered somewhere in our posts that Dusty is a computer geek and can work on the road. I also have a job, believe it or not. I flip houses. This is very tough to do when you’re galavanting across continents. So, when I’m home I take advantage of the time in one spot to get a home or two under my belt. Here is my most recent of which I am very proud.

The Lowdown

Located in the Cincinnati suburb of Norwood on one of the popular “Presidential streets”, this house already had “good bones”. There were no foundational issues and the roof, mechanicals and windows were all in working order. As you’ll see from the photos, however, it was ugly as all get out.


The front of the house was in decent condition, just ugly and overgrown. The door was obviously painted yellow, to set it apart from the more neutral colors in the neighborhood. This is me being daring by straying from my typical neutral color scheme! The front landscaping was torn out, railings were added and the trim and porch swing received a coat of paint.

More obvious changes took place in the rear of the house with a total revamping of the deck and garage. The deck received new boards, while the garage got a complete makeover. A new roof was added as well as new doors, siding and a fresh coat of paint.


The biggest makeover in the house was probably the kitchen. Everything from floor to ceiling had to go and was donated to Cincinnati Reuse Center. The new kitchen was outfitted with new faux travertine floors, maple cabinets, quartz countertops, floating shelves, stainless steel appliances, fixtures and hardware. I’ve been wanting to design a kitchen with floating shelves for ages and I’m glad I finally did. I love them!


There were two bathrooms in the home already, although, neither one were what one would consider a full bath. The main bath had a tub but no shower head. We tore the whole room down to the studs and started over with the exception of saving the built in storage not pictured. With new floor and shower tile, a soaking tub, shower faucet, marble top vanity, toilet and fixtures, this bathroom is sparkly and clean.

The second bath was a basement nightmare….creepy and crawly like something from a prison movie. The utility tub as a vanity wasn’t cutting it. We added new flooring, toilet, vanity, fixtures, drywall and, what every bathroom needs, a door!

Living and Dining Rooms

Another huge transformation happened right when you walk in the door. Old paneling, crumbly plaster walls and ceiling tiles were replaced with fresh drywall. The carpet was torn up to reveal some beautiful hardwood floors with an inlay border. There was some patching needed, but luckily, we could use some wood from underneath the new built in window seat to fill where needed.

First Floor Bedrooms

The bedroom walls, ceiling and carpet also got the heave-ho. New drywall, paint and refinished hardwood floors make these bedrooms a much more livable space. The original solid wood doors were salvaged and rehung on the newly expanded closets.

The Attic

The attic serves as a paneling wonderland. While paneling isn’t my favorite material, you can save some mula by painting over it in less used spaces. A little paneling won’t hurt anyone! A neutral beige color and new carpet make this third bedroom and study much more cozy.

In The End

Everyone wants to know how much it all cost and how much will I profit. Sorry, charlie. I cannot reveal. Until the house sells, that number is still up in the air. What I can tell you is that it was over budget (par for the course) and is currently on the market for $139,900. The house hit the MLS yesterday evening, so I hope to drum up some interest, soon.

See the listing.

I loved this flip. Nothing scary came up and I was able to throw in some different design aspects than I usually do. While I always would have liked to do more, like a nice laundry room in the basement, a flipper has to keep a good balance between decking the place out and respecting the pocket book. It’s a constant battle. In addition to flipping, I also do design work for other house flippers. Lately, those design jobs have resulted in quick sales. Hopefully, that extra practice will translate into a quick sale of my own project! I’ll update here later with the results, if I can fit it in with having a baby and all. Wish me luck!

What do you think, honestly? Give me the good and the bad. Constructive criticism is always welcomed. Feel free to offer your critique to better serve me on future projects!

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