My very first flip was a money making disaster. Yes it did make money eventually however it took my time and the help of a friend to make the money.
It all started with my purchase a home located in South West Phoenix. The area is heavily Hispanic and while still higher in crime (as it tends to be lower income) it also has a great sense of community and has really been making a come back over the years. Needless to say, I like the area and I saw great money making potential when I purchased the home.
I worked hard on the home. I remodeled every inch of the house, I installed tan tile, tan carpet and modeled my design after the more affluent homes in North Scottsdale. I painted my ceilings while, the walls a light earth-tone and the molding a high gloss. We replaced everything, the roof, AC, windows, kitchen, bathrooms. In my eye the home was the crown jewel of the area.
I put it on the market with the idea it would sell in days. Average days on market for the area and price point were less than 20, I thought we would own the home at most, 10 days. Thirty days went by, then fourty days, sixty days, lots of showings but no buyers. I could not understand it and feedback was all the same, "it was a nice house but my clients were not interested".
In speaking to a buddy one day (who happened to be a carpet guy) he said I will bet you the cost of carpet on another house that if you take my advice, your house will sell quickly. His advice sounded insane to me but I was growing desperate. He told me to change the paint color to orange and purple, change the carpet to blue and install a kitchen back spash with some color. Reluctantly, I did what he said.
The house sold two days after the work was completed with multiple offers. The house was still very nice but was bright with colors. I learned a hard lesson that day. Not all tastes are the same and when opening a retail store, you had better stock the shelves with things people will buy in the area of your store, not just with what you saw at the store in Beverly Hills.
Almost 15 years later, I now teach classes on flipping and this is always my first point. Like retailers, you have to know your audience, you have to build homes to the taste of the people who will buy them, not your personal tastes.