Post image for Marcy Case Study #6: The Final Photos (The Reveal)

Marcy Case Study #6: The Final Photos (The Reveal)

by Brandon · 16 comments

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The Marcy flip is complete!

Today I just want to share with you the final photos of the home. Irritatingly so, my nice expensive camera died and I cannot seem to find the battery charger anywhere. So I’m using an iPhone so forgive the quality being a tad low!

In my next blog post l will be letting you in on my new “3-Fold Marketing Strategy” that I am testing for this home.  The strategies I am going to use are different than anything I’ve done before (well, sorta… you’ll see) and I’d love to get your opinion on my ideas! I’m pretty excited. However, for today I just want to show you some pictures! Be sure to check back on the “Before Pictures” to see the transformation!

So without further suspense (I know you must be on the edge of your seat!) I give you:

The Reveal…

(click on the photos to see a larger image)

Flip Case Study Exterior Photo


The exterior of the home received new paint, a new roof, updated landscaping, and a good cleaning. Additionally, there were some large CB radio antennas attached to the home which were removed (and for sale if you want them!)

Typically I spend a little more time and money on landscaping by adding plants in with the bark mulch. However, I decided speed was more important (with the hollidays approaching and the three-month death of house sales) and will probably add some small plants soon.

Other exterior work (not in the photo) included the tear-down of the ugly greenhouse in the backyard, cleaning up the garage, the removal of a LOT of junk, and a lot of cleaning.

Living Room

This photo is probably my favorite of the entire house. This is the view one gets when they first walk through the front door.  We decided to tile the fireplace with travertine tile rather than destroy it, adding an additional heat source to the home and, frankly, it looks awesome. While we discovered hardwood floors under the carpet, the condition made refinishing more expensive than we wanted to spend. Instead, we opted for this laminate from Costco. I love this stuff! Most laminate floors look, and sound, cheap. However, this flooring has the pad pre-attached and that seems to help with the sound. It’s also a little thicker than typical laminate (8mm vs. 7mm). At $1.50/sq ft and one day of a contractor’s labor – I think this flooring is an exceptional value.

The curtains and rods were purchased from one of my favorite stores, “Ross,” for under $50 total.  I do not include these in the sale of the home unless specifically asked for by the buyer. I find this to be a terrific negotiating point later in the process.

The furniture was rented from a local rent-to-own furniture store (the kind where people go and pay way too much, being ripped off because they don’t check credit and will rent the furniture to anyone.) I rented the “Living Room Package” which includes the two couches, the coffee table, the two end tables, the lamps, and the pillows. All of this was $99 per month. I tried to get them to throw the rug in with the deal but my negotiation skills must be lacking because I had to spend another $10 a month for that. All in all, not a bad use of $110 per month. Oh – the best part – this included delivery and pickup at the end.  Obviously, it would probably be more cost effective to just own a nice set of furniture like this – but I don’t flip/stage all that often and I’d be worried about it getting wrecked during storage or transportation. Additionally – I would need to hire someone to move the stuff anyways. So, I’m quite happy with my renting!

I then pulled out my “Staging Bin” and strategically placed small trinkets and nick-knacks around to make the house look more “homey” (not in the “thug” kind of way.)

Dining Area

The dining area (which is just part of the living room) continued to use the laminate flooring found in the rest of the room. This light was a terrific find that I was quite proud of. It normally retailed for more than $200 but was on clearance at Home Depot for under $50.00. I love it!  I also put my old kitchen table I bought from Ikea years ago here, which fit nicely in the small area.


The old kitchen cabinets were saved but given a facelift with fresh paint and new hardware. The counters were replaced with a nice pre-fabricated laminate from Home Depot, along with a new sink and faucet. The faucet was a great deal – purchased from Costco for just $59.00.  It’s the heavy kind with a pull-out handheld end on it. I bought one for my own house too!

The flooring we chose was a glue-less product known as “Allure” which comes in 3′ x 1′ sections that interlock with each other to form a waterproof floating floor. It’s a bit expensive ($1.59 – $2.10/sq ft depending on style) but the speed at which this goes down, the ease in transportation, and the durable nature makes it a winner in my book. I use it often in kitchens, but the one time I used it in a bathroom it began peeling around the toilet almost immediately. Despite what the box says – I don’t recommend this product for bathrooms.

We cleaned up the old stove and bought new pans, installed a brand new dishwasher, and bought a used clean white fridge (not in picture).

Finally, we drywalled and painted the back of the fireplace with an accent color, to stand out (the wall on the left in the picture).


The bathroom received a nice updating with new tile on the floor and around the bathtub walls (not shown – but awesome!)  We also added a new toilet, a new pedestal sink, new fixtures, and new trim.  The shower curtain came from “Ross” along with the towels.


The bedrooms received new carpet, fresh paint, updated electrical outlets/switches, and trim.  The carpet was purchased and installed from Home Depot. While I used to do all my own carpet (ick) I now have Home Depot do almost all of it. When you buy both your carpet and pad from Home Depot, the install is as cheap as $39 total. The pad is slightly more expensive than I might buy from a flooring outlet store – but Home Depot is so quick, efficient, and good at carpet I don’t even need to anymore.

Small Bedroom/Office

Finally, there was the small bedroom at the back of the house. As I mentioned in Case Study #2, this bedroom was probably the largest “issue” with the house because of the awkward narrow size. To help, we staged the room with curtains and this desk. I’m planning on putting a few more items on the desk (computer monitor, notebook, etc) as well as a small black desk chair – but I haven’t yet. Either way – when you have something a little bit awkward in a home – staging allows you to help home shoppers visualize what they could use the space for. This room would make an excellent home office, sewing room, or baby’s room. Hopefully the staging will help show this!


The Numbers

After the home sells, I plan on doing a final “Case Study” to discuss the total financial picture of this home. However, briefly I can let you know where I’m at.

Total repairs to-date along with holding costs and interest are at almost exactly $15,000.00. This is significantly less than my original $19,000 budget, but we did opt to change a few things (such as keeping the fireplace and no ductless heat pump) so we are about where we wanted to be.

The home is listed for $109,900 with two additional price points for upgrades (part of my new strategy which I’ll talk more on in my next post.)

Again, we’ll dive deeper into the numbers later on but now you have a closer idea of where I’m at on this flip. The numbers are not incredible, but the deal is solid enough and I have multiple exit strategies in place so I am confident in success in one form or another.

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll talk about my marketing strategy for this house that goes above and beyond just listing it on the MLS. I’m experimenting with some fun ideas. Until next time, I leave you with one question:

Do you want to buy a house?! I have a nice one for sale…



About Brandon

has written 199 Awesome posts in this blog.

Brandon Turner (G+) is the Senior Editor and Community Director and owner of He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

P.S. looking for hard money loans in California? Be sure to check out my friends over at They have very competitive rates, can fund within a week and specialize in fix and flip loans and other hard money loans.

P.S. Looking for more real estate investing knowledge? If you are interested in a top-notch course to help you understand the nuts and bolts of creative real estate investing, I would like to recommend Ben Leybovich's Cash Flow Freedom University. Ben is a close friend and has been my trusted adviser for years. He's a smart guy and CFFU is pretty awesome. The course is waitlisted, but while you wait for an opening Ben will send you tons of FREE content. Seriously. Click here to check it out.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc October 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Excellent Job! The fireplace is a keeper! Love the floors. Also, the landscaping changes have added a lot of curb appeal.

Could you show us pictures of the backyard area? In the “before” pictures those were scary.


Brandon October 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hey Marc – will do! I didn’t have one because it was storming pretty good when I took the pictures and I wanted something not so… blustery! I’ll try to get a good shot in the next couple days! (I’m sure it will still be raining… this is Washington!)


Tiffany October 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for sharing tips on the specific gems you find (Costco laminate) etc. I’ll have to check that out. I used the “Allure” flooring from Home Depot in a recent rental in the kitchen. I was hoping it would save me on labor, but my contractor seemed to think it was a bit tricky to install. It worked out well because tile would have been too high and locked the dishwasher in. So, this laminate seems to be a good solution for height challenges.

The one difference I would have made in the house is not putting in a pedestal sink. They are horrible for ladies because there’s no place to set/apply makeup in the morning. You must have done this without getting your wife’s take. :). Even the small cabinet/vanity combo is better because it at least has storage underneath. I discovered all this from living in a house with zero storage/countertops and pedestal sinks.

Cute place, though! Nice work.


Brandon October 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Thanks Tiffany! Funny – yes, the pedestal sink was my idea 🙂 After I put it in, I found a really thin base cabinet that would have been perfect, but I didn’t want to buy another thing!

Oh, girls and their makeup!


Sabrina Laplante October 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Brandon, love it, good work!!! It instantly made me think “How cute” which is what you want the buyer to think, and bring that emotion in, even though we as investors are to leave all emotion out. Cannot wait until the next blog with more numbers in it. Also, yes thanks so much for including those tips about where you got the stuff from! Take care, good luck, and hope it sells asap!!!


Brandon October 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Sabrina! I definitely aim for the “How Cute” first instinct!


Jon Russell October 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Well done Brandon!!

Flipping can be tough, but it sure is rewarding when you turn out a product like this. I especially like the Travertine on the fireplace. Most of us would have painted the thing, but the tile really steps it up.

I’ve used the same costco flooring on my last 3 flips and that faucet in just about all of them. Can’t beat Costco with these 2 products.

I look forward to hearing numbers on your next blog and hopefully a sale too.


Brandon October 30, 2012 at 1:59 am

Thanks Jon – it sure does feel rewarding! And yes, the Costco deals are great! Any other Costco stuff you use that I’m missing out on?


Jon Russell October 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hi Brandon – Costco is hit and miss, but since ,my wife seems to be there a couple times a week there isn’t much that gets by her. I was able to buy a pallet of that flooring when it was on sale in June for about $1/ sq ft. Those kitchen faucets are on sale for $59 until Nov. 4. Other deals we’ve found… Higher end “boob” lights that I put in bedrooms and hallways for $10ea w/ a $9 PSE rebate!!, Toilets for $69ea and they used to carry a really nice kitchen chandelieralso for $69.

Where do you find your best deals?


Brandon November 1, 2012 at 5:05 am

I’ve gotten almost all those deals as well from Costco! I generally like Lowes better than Home Depot, but the nearest Lowes to me is almost an hour away so HD is my main store. I have been doing more and more online shopping, such as a stainless steel hood vent I got on Amazon for under $100 (with free shipping) when the cheapest at Home Depot was $269.00!

I also like doing the “volume bids” from Home Depot at the Pro Desk, where they mark off between 10-15% on the total order when you buy more than $2000 worth of stuff. I think this saves money – but at least it saves time. I usually have them throw in curb side delivery as well.


KK October 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Hi Brandon,

I enjoyed reading some of your blog posts over the last few weeks. I’m a lender/developer based in Chicago. Like you, I’m building on my rental portfolio but I am also working the flip side of the business (since that’s where I started as a lender).

I’ve just setup my website at I’m focused more on sustainability measures for lower-to-middle income folk since that’s a particular passion of mine. If you don’t mind, I’d like to link your recent post on “Why Young People Shouldn’t Wait to Invest” on my own blog. I think it’s important for people around our age group to diversify into real estate. Too many are focused entirely on the stock market and I’ve seen mixed results across many of my friends and former colleagues (relatively higher net worth individuals). While it’s important to make money, I’m also hoping to channel people towards responsible investing.



Brandon November 1, 2012 at 5:01 am

Thanks! I love Chicago! Almost went to college there. I like your idea a lot! Best of luck to you!


Elizabeth November 6, 2012 at 2:55 am

Looks fantastic! Great job Brandon. Best of luck with a quick sale – someone is going to love this home 🙂


Brandon November 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I hope so Elizabeth! Thanks!


Lori November 21, 2012 at 4:59 am

Amazing job!


Brandon November 21, 2012 at 5:45 am

Thanks (mom!)


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