If you’re working on a fixer-upper, the budget starts to grow when you consider the renovations you’ll need to make. According to most experts, you should add 20 percent to your estimate for the final cost. If you overestimate, you get a surprise windfall — but if you underestimate, you get stuck with unexpected bills.
Structural improvements — like plumbing, electrical, insulation, pest control, and HVAC — are typically the least sexy but most important improvements a flipper can make. New hardwood floors and coat of paint may get buyers in the door, but a termite problem can kill a deal quickly. If your technical skills are lacking here, you’ll have to figure in the cost of labor, too. Most real-estate agents advise fixing up the kitchen and bathrooms for the best return on your investment. In addition to the structural changes, this can include new cabinetry, counters, hardware, sinks, backsplashes, appliances, floors and lighting. Kitchen upgrades can be expensive, but they make a big impression like granite countertops and wine storage, for example. You could also decide to go green, which can add value to the house when the improvements are marketed as money-savers. Obviously, you’ll keep costs down if the house is in good structural shape and just needs updated paint and carpets — but things can quickly get pricey, especially if you’re using contractors and outside labor. Again in Arizona make sure to utilize an Arizona Hard Money Mortgage to help get the funds to pay contractors and outside labor.