Flip #2 · Uncategorized

How I Spent $350 To Add $18,000 To My Home’s List Price

I have a little secret. It’s actually my FAVORITE secret of house flipping.

So what is it? I spent $350 and added $18,000 to the sales price of a flip.

I know, I know…sounds too good to be true.

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When I bought Flip 2, it had an attached sunroom, but the sunroom wasn’t heated or cooled.

Before I get into why it’s significant that it wasn’t heated or cooled, we have to go back. I’ve mentioned this before, and I preach it every single day as a Realtor: To determine the list price of your house, you price is PER square foot.

Example: If the going price per square foot is $90/sq ft and your home is 2,000 sq. ft, then a reasonable list price is $180,000 (90 x 2,000= 180,000). Obviously the more square footage you have, the higher the list price. [Disclaimer: Yes, upgrades can enhance your list price but it starts by enhancing the price per square foot].

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So, back to my sunroom at Flip 2. It was 240 square feet that was not heated or cooled. So why is the heated & cooled part important? Because if the room/space is NOT heated & cooled, you CAN’T include it in your square footage. So when I bought Flip 2, it was 2,044 square feet of heated & cooled space PLUS 240 square feet of unheated/non-cooled square footage.

Like I mentioned earlier, the higher the square footage, the higher the list price. Usually the only way to get more square footage is by adding on or enclosing a garage (I NEVER, EVER RECOMMEND ENCLOSING A GARAGE). But what if I said you could add square footage without adding on or enclosing a garage?

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So how’d I do it? I hired a contractor to add duct work and vents into the sunroom. You only have to add one, but you can add more than that if you wish. He essentially “attaches” to the existing duct work in the attic that heats and cools the rest of the house and then routes the new duct work into the ceiling in the desired space, the sunroom in my case.

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When I bought Flip 2, it was 2,044 square feet. When I sold it, I sold 2,284 square feet. The parts and labor to add the duct work was $350. At the time, our market’s average square foot price was $75. Since then, our market has been booming and prices have jumped, but, two years ago, I was working with $75 sq/ft. So for my $350 investment, I added $18,000 to my list price [75 x 240= 18,000].

When I marketed the home, I was now able to market a larger home with a sunroom that could be enjoyed through all 4 seasons. Prior to adding the duct work, that room was not usable in the window and pretty unbearable in the peak of summer.

I had plans to do this same trick to Mac’s sunroom, but unfortunately, the replacement cost of the windows (since they were odd size) was astronomical. So even though I could have added substantially more to the list price, I would’ve spent all that and then some on the windows. So, instead, it’ll remain just a screened-in porch.

To see how I updated Flip 2’s sunroom with a $50 floor, DIY butcher block counter top, & curtains check out my previous posts!

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7 thoughts on “How I Spent $350 To Add $18,000 To My Home’s List Price

  1. While I like this Idea alot, I caution sellers and Realtors (im one too) each municipality has or does not have rules as does each MLS as to what can and cannot be used as living sq ft. I could not do what you said without the square footage being assessed as such, and to be assessed as living space, a permit would need to be pulled, and inspected by code enforcement it would also need to meet minimum insulating standards. not following these things could put you in a position of misrepresentation, and opens you to a possible lawsuit. As I said, I LOVE the idea, Just be sure you can, and how this needs to be done in your jurisdiction.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I always enjoy chatting with you. Structural changes require pulling permits, and I think enclosing a garage to include as sq. ft. requires permits here (although I’ve never fully checked on that). Any change to square footage must have some sort of verification– like showing the work and paper trail for the duct work addition. If it’s making an attic or basement additional square footage, there are city codes and permits required if electrical, plumbing, etc work is done. Since this room was already enclosed, had insulated windows and was just lacking duct work (as is the case with 95% of sunrooms here), then a simple duct work expansion is the IDEAL way to increase sq footage. But even if permits had to be pulled in other areas, it would still be extremely beneficially financially…but I couldn’t imagine anyone requiring pulling permits for duct work expansion- but I know some places are crazy. For our MLS & city, as well as our RE commission, if you can verify the change in square footage, then it’s allowed!

      1. I’m sure you project was above board, I just think to the shows talking about things being permitted. As far as required permits, in our counties busiest city, (8000 people) any work costing more than $200 material and labor requires a permit, this is getting more common. But in the country, unless you modify structure no permit is required, so it is a wide range.

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