People are always asking me a) how bad these flips were when we bought them and b) what it costs to do certain types of updates and repairs.  So here it is. My hope is that sharing this will be helpful to those of you who are budgeting for a flip or just wanting to update your home.

I can say this: this project was a lot of fun…but a lot of hard work with a couple unpleasant suprises. Although the house had a lot of potential, it also had structural issues that had to be rectified before we could begin working on the (not insignificant) aesthetic updates it needed. NOTE: Since we did the design and most of the work ourselves, we didn’t have to pay for labor for a lot of the updates. Before/After photos follow the break down of costs.

Structural improvements:

*Foundation leveled: $8900.00

*PVC drain lines inside and out; re-plumbing bathrooms/kitchen: $10,270.00

*New sub and main panels; electrical mast; outlets grounded throughout; GFCI’s added to kitchen and bathrooms: $5950.00

* City of Austin Permits: $510.89

*New furnace: $1000.00

*Trash removal: $343.71

*Miscellaneous construction supplies and tools, including paint and other items not otherwise listed: $10,111.20

Aesthetic updates:

*Custom kitchen cabinets by Troo Kitchens: $7703.89

*Stainless steel appliances (gas range and dishwasher): $1668.39

*New windows and backdoor: $8252.00

*Landscaping (including stone pathway and patio): $462.16

*Bathroom vanities and light fixtures (Ikea): $972.24

*Re-texturing of walls and ceilings (‘taping and floating): $2100.00

*Quartz countertops (kitchen): $2445.00

*Carpeting in guest bedrooms: $1063.42

*Tiles (backsplash kitchen and master bath. NOTE: Guest bath tiles fall under ‘miscellaneous’ costs): $950.16

*Wood floors (living areas and master bedroom): $ 4009.92

*Glass panels for master bath: *419.39


*Staging: $1400

Total for repairs (not including carrying costs [i.e. taxes and utilities]): $66,689.21 

Purchase price: $203,000

Sales price: $409,000

***Note: not factored into costs are real estate commissions and title fees.





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One of the biggest challenges was deciding how to open up the kitchen. That book shelf functioned as a wall behind which was a small room.

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Removing the wall allowed us to have a large formal dining area that opened up into the living room.

A closeup of the dining area, which comfortably fits a large table that seats six.

A closeup of the dining area, which comfortably fits a large table that seats six.


This is an argument for hiring a professional photographer if ever there was one (and that’s why I always do). It is, however, amazing what a fresh coat of pain, some new flooring, staging and good lighting can do. Taking down the pergola out back also helped to brighten things up.

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The old kitchen was closed off and cavernous.

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The new kitchen is open and features two breakfast bars.

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As you can see, we removed most of the wall separating the kitchen from the living area. Removing it entirely would have meant needing to add in a beam, which would have raised our costs significantly, so we decided to embrace it and make it a focal point in the kitchen.


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Patrick Lavery, formerly of UB Kitchens, helped us maximize the storage by designing the custom cabinetry. The man is a genius.


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The master bath contained one of those free standing, pre-formed showers (not featured in the before photo). We axed that and built our own. The glass makes a relatively small shower seem roomier.

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A view of the master shower.


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These tiles are one of the less expensive options available at our local big box home improvement store. Arranging them in rows and using darker grout gives them an ultramodern edge.



Guest bathroom. Both bathrooms were gutted down to the studs.

Guest bathroom. As you can see, both bathrooms were gutted down to the studs. The vanity is from Ikea. It’s hard to beat their bathroom vanities price-wise, especially when working with smaller spaces.



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The old pergola was a death trap and simply not salvageable. The deck was also severely rotted out, so not salvageable. We axed the pergola and built a new deck.



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