In case you haven’t heard, the Pittsburgh, PA real estate market is on fire. The Steel City is currently leading the pack of rust belt urban areas such as Buffalo and Cleveland enjoying a rebirth through tech-based businesses and a younger workforce. That has been a boon for housing as older properties have been bought and sold at a rapid clip by flippers updating grandma’s home for millennials doused in gender-neutral fragrances and collector hi-tops.
Staggering Profits For Pittsburgh Flippers
In Pittsburgh, home flippers made a gross profit of 162.7 percent on average during the second quarter of this year, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. It’s by far outstripped flipping hot spots, Las Vegas and Miami, leaders of the previous housing boom over a decade ago.
“Even at their peak in terms of home flipping profits, these two markets never came close to the potential returns now available in Pittsburgh,” Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data, told Reuters.
Appliances Connection services many flippers in the Pittsburgh area. One of the most prolific is John Anthony of Turnkey Property who does between 15 and 20 flips a year. John flips multiple houses at a time. One of his most recent is a property at 626 Kelso Road in the upscale neighborhood of Mount Lebanon. The property was bought at a sheriff’s sale and the renovation took four months.
Changing With The House Flipping Fashion
“We did all new plumbing,” says John. “All new windows, vents going to the roof, new electrical and that’s before the finish work.”
“When it comes to the interior, we tend to stay away from anything structural,” John says, “And I spend a lot of time researching paint and floor colors. Stylistically, we’re shifting from a more contemporary aesthetic to “urban farmhouse”. The floors are a darker brown hardwood and we’re using warmer grey paint tones that also has some hints of brown in it. One of the features that signifies this look in the kitchen is a higher end floating sink.”
Choosing The Right Cabinets For The House
For the project at 626 Kelso Road, though, John stuck with lighter vinyl plank flooring in the kitchen and a slightly darker hardwood floor in the living room. He installed new shaker cabinets and chose a complementary quartz countertop.
“If the kitchen cabinets are in decent shape, I’ll always refinish them,” he says. “It saves money and often they are made really well in the older homes you’ll find in Pittsburgh. Just by putting on new color and hardware can make them look brand new, but if not I like the clean lines of shaker cabinets. They have both a classic and contemporary look which works well with older houses that are being modernized.”
Working With Appliances Connection
After consulting with Appliances Connection sales manager Daniel Baja (firstname.lastname@example.org), he decided to go a little more high end than many flippers choose when it comes to appliances. The kitchen was kitted out at a five burner gas range with a convection oven, an over-the-range (OTR) microwave, and a French door refrigerator from the Frigidaire Gallery Series.
“I used to stand in a box chain store for ages waiting for someone to help me,” John says. “And then they just sold me what was on the floor. When I spoke to Daniel, he told me what many other flippers often get and suggested I go a little higher end to separate me from the rest. And through bundling packages, the appliances have really made the kitchens pop and, of course, they are what sell the house. A great range is a big draw.”
Choosing The Right Appliance Can Propel A Flip To A Quick Sale
Adds Daniel Baja, “Many house flippers stay in a $1500 price range for an appliance package. I showed John that by choosing a builder choice package (which are available at all price points) for $2400, that extra money would bring him thousands more on the back end and it’s proven to be the case.”
John concurs and states, “Most people aren’t used to going into kitchens and seeing 5 burner ranges and French door fridges,” he says. “The comments we’ve received about the kitchens have been overwhelmingly positive.”
Daniel says that John is a prime example of why he likes to work with house flippers.
“John had a successful business and was making money and was an expert in flipping houses but he wasn’t an expert in appliances which is my specialty. He was relying on the box chains which is very limiting. I know what the best promotions for that month’s builder’s choice products and so I can get flippers great deals. Additionally, I keep up with the brands that are offering special deals like a free built-in dishwasher or an OTR microwave with a qualifying purchase. That certainly keeps costs down when fully outfitting a kitchen. Then it’s a simple case of setting up a delivery time for when they are ready for the appliances to be installed. And, of course, we do the installation too, so it’s a seamless process.”