Don’t Flush Away Your Money: Bathroom Upgrades with a Great ROI for Your Fix-and-Flip

When you’re working on a remodel of a residential property, it’s important to manage and allocate your funds correctly so you don’t go over budget. When you’re working on a fix-and-flip project, this becomes even more important. Squandering your budget on fixes that won’t give you a great ROI or draw the interest of a potential buyer is a serious misstep that can cause your project to falter. Real estate investors should always think long and hard about where they direct their funds in order to flip their property successfully.

Bathrooms frequently offer a particular challenge to people doing a remodel. They pack multiple functions necessary to a household into a small space, but that space still packs a big punch when it comes to getting a good ROI on your remodel. It may not be as sought-after by potential buyers as a kitchen remodel, but a redone bathroom will still be a profitable investment. That’s why it’s important to give bathrooms their due when completing a fix-and-flip project.

An Impressive ROI 

On the West Coast, the average midrange bathroom remodel costs just under $20,000. Despite the lofty price tag, that sort of work offers an 85% return on investment—one of the better investments you can make in a remodel. It’s certainly one of the key areas potential buyers scrutinize when viewing a home. 

You can easily throw loads of money at a bathroom remodel, but it’s important that you consider whether or not it’s necessary to your particular project. High-end homes on television and in magazines boast luxuries like heated tile floors and multi-rainhead sauna extravaganza showers. If you’re dusting off an older house, however, and trying to polish it back into selling shape, chances are you’re not looking to go overly high-end. But having an inviting, well-designed bathroom is still incredibly important, and you can achieve that with some key adjustments and upgrades. Here are a few places in the bathroom where you can focus your remodeling budget to get excellent bang for your buck.

Shower Heads

As with any project involving purchasing and remodeling a home, time and money are at a premium. Put your money and your efforts where most of the action will be happening in the bathroom. One of the best places to do that is the shower.

Like so many other home appliances, the shower head has greatly benefited from the green movement. The buyers of today’s market aren’t simpletons—most buyers have done their research and know how to spot a quality product. High-tech upgrades like multiple shower heads or a rain shower head offer an enticing allure. On the other hand, such improvements can be pricey on both the front and back end. For example, an energy efficient showerhead will pay off for buyers over time, reducing their monthly water bill—a selling point not lost on the energy conscious Millennial.

Each option offers its own advantages:

  • Rain Shower Head: These produce a wide, soft fall of water, perfect for a relaxing shower. Many mid-range models run $150-200, but they add a hint of luxury that many buyers seek.
  • Energy Conserving Shower Head: These low flow shower heads will cut your shower water usage roughly in half, effectively reducing your energy bill by a nice percentage. This is a big pull for the eco-conscious buyer.

The exact math is complicated, but one estimate is a savings of $23.80 per year per person. The number alone may seem small, but take into account the fact that the average California household has 2.9 people and the savings start to add up. The initial investment is minimal, with many of these shower heads running about $20-30.

Vanity and Sink 

The sink sees a great deal of use in the bathroom and it’s often the centerpiece to the vanity area. Replacing an outdated or poor quality sink will create a shining focal point for your bathroom remodel. 

Consumer reports state that the typical porcelain sink can be damaged more easily than some alternatives. Enameled steel holds up best against dents, stains, and normal wear and tear. However, some buyers will seek the traditional look of porcelain, so it’s important to consider your target market. 

Some options to consider include:

  • Pedestal Sink – If your space is limited, pedestal sinks open up the room, making them great for a smaller half-bath.
  • Vanity Sink – For the traditional space, this option offers plenty of extra storage. 
  • Vessel Sink – A vessel sink offers a chic, modern look, with the bowl resting on top of the vanity, rather than being inset.

If you’re looking to toss the existing, outdated vanity top, look at laminate or ceramic tile for cheaper options. Both run about half the price of granite or quartz, and laminate is relatively easy to install. If you want to give the bathroom a custom look, but on a budget, use ceramic tiling – just know that the project requires more effort to place and correctly grout the tiles.

Consider the comparative prices:

  • Granite – $100+ per square foot
  • Quartz – $100+ per square foot
  • Ceramic Tile: $20-75 per square foot
  • Laminate: $20-50 per square foot

Bathroom Surfaces

If your budget is especially limited, creating a more appealing bathroom doesn’t require that you upgrade all the big ticket items like the shower and sink. A remodel on a budget can mean getting the most for your money by refinishing the color and style of various surfaces and fixtures. 

If you’re short on ideas, there are a number of websites where you can find creative and thrifty ways of bringing together your bathroom’s look. Pinterest is one of the most popular, and it’s sure to inspire you into making the most of your remodel. Domino also provides a number of galleries for visual inspiration.

Here are some surfaces to consider in your bathroom when you’re seeking an upgrade:

  • Flooring
    • Radiant Heating – This is surprising affordable and a nice bonus for home buyers—the average cost is around $600 for a typical bathroom install.
    • Tile – Stone, porcelain, and ceramic are all great options Whatever you choose, be sure to go over the basics of tile flooring installation. The surface under the tile should be properly rigid, to reduce the chance of tiles cracking over time. 
  • Walls
    • If your bathroom has a shower, you’ll probably want to stay away from wallpaper. It’s hip and it’s in, but a sturdy, mildew-resistant paint is a much safer alternative.
    • Coordinating the color palette for a bathroom will be the finishing touch to create a unified feel. Don’t underestimate the power of neutral colors. An understated, but clean and new look will go a long way with home buyers.

A Hard Money Loan Can Finance Your Remodel

Remodeling a home can be a great project to create income. Don’t let the wait time to receive a traditional loan slow you down from grabbing that steal-of-a-deal property and getting started on your remodel. Real estate is a time-tested form of investing and we make it as easy as possible for you to make your fix-and-flip projects happen. 

If you’re looking to save time and money on your fix-to-sell remodel, consider a Fix and Flip Loan from Socotra Capital. Traditional bank loans for remodels can be riddled with stipulations on what, where, and how you can accomplish your project goals. An equity-based hard money loan from Socotra offers a faster and easier turnaround to provide you with the flexibility you need when completing a remodel.

Socotra Capital is California’s premier equity-based lender to small and large real estate investors alike. Traditional banks go by credit and can cost investors opportunities that require immediate cash. Socotra makes quick decisions based on the quality of the project, rather than depending on a lengthy credit approval. This quick cash makes many projects possible that would be impossible without such specialized lending.

Your real estate assets are your best investments for the future. At Socotra Capital, we’re proud to be the premier direct hard money lender for California real estate. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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