Flip: My Least Favorite F-word

Yes, I buy houses with the intent of selling them for a profit. Yes, I renovate those houses into homes before they go back on the market. But, don’t call me a flipper.

I do not flip houses. I renovate, refurbish, and restore.

“But wait,” you say. “If the intention is to sell, don’t these words all really mean the same thing?”

No, they don’t. The difference is in one critical element: home design.

Houses are flipped. Homes are designed.

The design of a home matters, and takes care and time to create. A home design should reflect the homeowner’s personal style if designing for a client, honor the history of the home, and, in cases of a dilapidated historic home barely erect on its foundation, return that home to its former glory.

The term flip is closely associated with the bottom line rather than design choices. For a flip, the question is, “What choices can be made that will yield the most profit?” rather than what choices will turn this house into a beautiful showplace.

Classic flip choices are made with mass appeal in mind rather than designing for a specific client or specific architectural style, and materials used lean toward those on DIY & HGTV reality shows. Yes, I’m pretty sure “Flip or Flop” host Christina has made a devil’s deal with a black, white, and gray materials supplier. Not every house wants to be black, white, and gray!

There’s so much more to home design than patching things up. Consider two tenets I live and work by:

  1. Profit may be sacrificed for design.

For the houses I purchase to renovate and sell, I try to unearth and preserve the history of the house while modernizing and elevating the comfort and esthetics. Sometimes, this comes at a price to my wallet.

In the case of 107 Parker Street, last renovated in the 1920s, I chose a patterned Encaustic style tile for one bathroom rather than more cost-efficient laminate or standard tile. When I couldn’t find the correct size vintage, interior doors, I had doors shipped from Pennsylvania. (The new old doors look original to the house!) And, when I tore down a wall to open the kitchen, I salvaged a section of the wooden wall, stripped it of decades of paint and neglect, and repurposed it in a wall in the master bath. The blues and greens revealed in the stripped wood grain created quite the wow factor.

Preserve and restore are primary goals for every project I undertake.

  1. I don’t do Band Aids.

Consider Band Aids for a moment – the literal, stuck-to-your-skin kind. At first the bandage does a beautiful job of keeping a wound clean from bacteria. But, give it a couple of days and what you will find are grayed and frayed edges, or worse, you find the nasty bugger floating in a pool.

The same is true for home Band Aids. The cheap and easy fix may work for a little while, but given time, the true nature of the problem as well as prolonged damage will be revealed.

Rather than Band Aids, I choose to fix a problem right and once, and I refuse to put my name on a product that is less than safe and honest. Mobile has two degrees of separation after all. Ten years from now, I plan to still be renovating and creating designs you’ll desire!

A beautiful home that you can be proud of is my aim. Functional, modern, classic, and yours: a home perfectly designed for you.

Let’s get started: Contact me here. Together, we will find, renovate, or create the home of your design dreams.

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