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Flipping Small Spaces: Our Condo Rehab

Home » Blog » Learn » Flipping Houses » Flipping Small Spaces: Our Condo Rehab

Hey Flipping Junkies! Melissa again, here with another rehab article. This property is a little different from what we typically do. Condos are so small, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about flipping small spaces.

But first don’t forget to join the FlippingJunkie Group on FaceBook to become a part of our fast-growing community of active investors. And if you want to master lead generation like me and Danny have, click here to visit our custom websites for real estate investors!

Flipping Small Spaces Is Tough

Some of the bigger reasons why we don’t normally flip small spaces like a condo is because you don’t get as much of a return. The numbers on this property aren’t bad, though:

  • Bought for: $36,000
  • Repair costs: $9,700
  • Total expenses: $45,700
  • Listing price: $89,900
  • Gross profit: $44,200

Really, those aren’t bad numbers for a small, just under 900 square foot condo. The thing is, these condos tend to sell quickly and for a good price. That was definitely something that we took into consideration when we decided we were going to flip this small space.

However, flipping small spaces isn’t always quick or easy. A lot of times you’ll end up battling with the building owner if you’re working on a condo, townhouse, or apartment. Because these structures exist in units, it’s easier for the building owners to have them all look and function the same. Since we bought this space, though, we flipped it!

Flipping the Living Room

flipping small spaces living rooms

There were two great things about this condo’s living room:

  1. The hardwood floors were already there and in great shape
  2. The shelving unit was already there

It’s things like that, that make flipping small spaces so much easier. Since the shelf inserts were already there, all we did was clean them up and they were good to go. There honestly wasn’t much to do with them. And the same goes for the hardwood floors. They were in good shape, so we cleaned them and called it a day.

The fireplace was a whole other story. It wasn’t bad, not compared to other fireplaces I’ve dealt with, but it wasn’t a wow factor. If you’ve been watching our videos and reading the blog then you already know that I love making the fireplaces a wow factor.

Speaking of videos, we made a tour video of this property. Check it out on our YouTube channel!

using tiles when flipping small spaces

Anyway, this fireplace originally had dark, matte finished tiles around it. It just didn’t look like my style. So to turn it into a wow factor, I used these tiles from Floor and Decor. These should look familiar to you if you watched our before and after video, “How to Make an Open Floor Plan Rehab“.

In that house I used these tiles in the master bathroom to make it pop more. For the condo, I used those cool funky tiles to make the fireplace really stand out. Like I said in the video, these are pretty big tiles. My contractor cut them down so that they can be used for the fireplace, and I think they look really great.

The tile I’m using is called Cottage Gris Ceramic Tile from Floor and Decor. At $1.19/square foot, it’s a great find that really makes a room pop!

The Dining Room

For the most part, the dining room wasn’t a huge rehab. The floors were already there, so we basically just painted the walls and add a new light fixture. Yes, for my frequent readers and watchers, that is one of the chandeliers we bought from IKEA! If you missed out on the IKEA inventory shopping article, check it out! I talk about the things I look for when I’m stocking my house flipping inventory, and give you a breakdown of the things I bought and their prices.

add more light when flipping small spaces to open it up

When I’m flipping small spaces like condos, lighting is a super important feature. This condo had pretty good natural light because of the placement of the windows, but parts of the main living area were still dark. This IKEA chandelier that I got really brightens the dining room up and gives this condo another fun and modern feature. I really love how it makes a starburst shape on the ceiling when it’s lit up. Super fun!

Other than that, we did go ahead and put in wide baseboards. The original owner had started doing that, but it never got finished. To make the entire condo feel more cohesive, I had my contractor finish the wide baseboards.

flipping small spaces means everything needs to be perfect

Flipping Small Kitchens

This was a very small kitchen. Everything about it was small. The breakfast bar opening was much, much smaller before I got my hands on it. I had my contractor open up that space so that it wasn’t so dark and narrow in the kitchen. This worked for two reasons:

  1. The small space feels more open with a large “window”
  2. This cut out allowed more natural light to come into the kitchen

You can’t tell in these pictures, but there’s a huge glass sliding door on the other side of the dining room that faces the kitchen. When the blinds are open, it lets in a lot of natural light that this poor kitchen just wasn’t getting with the original small opening.

After that space was added, we put in those pendant lights for more light. Again, this kitchen was very dark. Adding more light, or more ways for natural light to get in, really helps when you’re flipping small spaces because it opens the area up.

open walls when flipping small spaces

Adding the granite to the countertops was pretty cheap because of how small this kitchen space was. In total, it cost us roughly $1,200 for the kitchen, and we had some left over for the bathroom countertop!

Ok, I know I talk a lot about not replacing the cabinets. I’ve mentioned it in almost every video or blog post I make. Of course, there are exceptions. These cabinets had rotted wood, and a lot of them were missing doors.

I couldn’t find doors that matched the few that were there, so I said “Forget it. Get new ones!” Sometimes when you’re flipping small spaces you have to know when to throw in the towel. Luckily for me, this condo wasn’t expensive to rehab, so adding new cabinet doors wasn’t a huge expense.

making the kitchen feel bigger when flipping small spaces

After we replaced the cabinets, I added new brushed nickel hardware. The kitchen really wasn’t a big flip. Actually, this whole condo wasn’t a huge project at all. That might be why I liked it so much, it was much easier than the normal houses I do!

The Bathroom & Master Bedroom

Just like the rest of the condo, the bathroom didn’t need too much work. I really liked the tub surround tiles, so we cleaned up the grout and kept that how it was. The countertop was replaced with the same granite that we used in the kitchen. Again, because the whole flip was really cost-effective, I was able to make all of the countertops match. It just makes the whole place feel more cohesive.

flipping small spaces bathroom

The master bedroom got new carpet and a new coat of paint. For the most part, it was pretty simple. The problem was the closet. Unfortunately, I don’t have any before pictures of this condo or else I would let you see what I was working with.

Ok, so the thing with this closet is it was a huge single closet with a water heater just open and exposed. This closet functioned as a storage closet and a clothes closet. I know, weird right?

So what we did first was build in a wall and close off the water heater so that there wasn’t a safety issue. We built in a wall in the middle of the closet and blocked in another door to divide the space. Now there’s a storage closet where the water heater is, and a clothes closet next to it. It’s a much nicer use of the space!

flipping small spaces with two closets

Flipping Small Spaces Wrap Up

Working with small spaces isn’t always confining. Finding ways to open up the space, or make it feel bigger than it is is important. And don’t forget to work with what’s there! We kept the hardwood floors and tub surround because they were in good shape.

Always be aware of what needs to be replaced and what doesn’t. Normally I don’t replace the cabinets, but in this case we really had to. In fact, we talk a lot about that in the FlippingJunkie Group on FaceBook. You should join! Come network with active real estate investors like yourself! 🙂

That’s it for this before and after blog post. Stay tuned on for the next one! And don’t forget to check out the Flipping Junkie YouTube channel for full podcast episodes, before and after videos, vlogs, and more. See you all next time!

-Melissa Johnson

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Comments (17)

  • Noelle Hartt

    Love what you did with the space! The color palette flows so nicely from one room to the next. This must’ve sold fast!

  • Jenny Chien

    Gotta love the end result! I really did enjoy reading this article especially when I saw your profit for flipping such a small-spaced property. I must say that you have great business going on. All the best!

  • Leonid

    That was a big change, it’s totally awesome…

  • Daniel

    Your post is amazing, Flipping Living Room, Dining Room, Small Kitchens, Bathroom & Master Bedroom, Small Spaces Wrap Up is perfect for every one. Thanks for sharing awesome post.

  • Jerryll Noorden

    This is what is so hard for me as a a flipper. How are you all so confident with your finishes. To me these seem like very risky choices. It is beautiful, absolutely. But it is not something I would think most of the buyers would be ok with. Obviously this is my opinion and most likely I am wrong which is why I am asking. I would be so afraid choosing the finishes based on personal taste. That is the hardest part of flipping I think. Great job. You all have a team that work great together!

  • shohan

    nice post..Helpful for me..Thank you

  • Kimberly George

    Hello there! What a fantastic job you did on this flip! Would love to know the paint color that you used on the walls and etc. It looks amazing!!!!

  • Gabe Sanders

    I’ve had some very good luck with my investors flipping some smaller condos in the Stuart FL area. We have lots of product where older folks have not made any updates for 40+ years and they are selling at good prices. Perfect opportunities for those willing to do some work for equity.

  • Condominium Property Manager@Catalyst

    This is a revolutionary blog on the different ways and technologies in flipping of condos. The ideas are a treat and an eye opener. Thank you.

  • Justin Maxwell

    Excellent article and site… very informative

  • Mark Driver

    I like the small ones because you can come in and get out fast. Put the money in the bank and never look back!

  • roslia santamaria

    hey! i have read your blog it was amazing. thank you for sharing such an useful blog.
    have a look at our:
    Commercial Property

  • Mac | Personal Finance Blog

    Only flippers can understand how tough it is to flip small spaces like the condo. The work you have done on yours mall place is very interesting and looks like you have put in a great effort there. Thanks for the great advice though, flippers will find it encouraging how you managed it all so efficiently. Thanks!

  • Carly

    The tiles around the fireplace look amazing! Just goes to show how something relatively simple can make such a big difference.

    • Danny Johnson

      Thanks, Carly! We thought they turned out quite nice as well 🙂

  • Kevin Lane

    Nice flip! And beautifully done rehab. I photograph completed rehabs and these look terrific.

  • Kevin Leadsup

    Not a bad profit at all for a small place. The work is impeccable. Thanks for the inspiration.

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