Flipping Expert Cherie Barber + the Art of the 'Five Day Flip'
Home renovation expert Cherie Barber says she can take an old, ugly or distressed home, turn it into something beautiful and get it back on the market in just five days. And then she does.
HGTV's new series Five Day Flip follows Australian born property-flipping guru Cherie Barber as she seeks out older, dated-looking and period homes, makes strategic purchases and then descends upon them with a crack team of renovation pros who know how to get things done in a short amount of time. Very short.
Cherie's home transformations restore original charm to old homes, uncover lost architectural details and turn former neighborhood eyesores into properties that may well start bidding wars. Her key talents include knowing the local market, understanding profit margins and return-on-investment, sniffing out warning signs that are potential deal killers and, perhaps most importantly, recognizing hidden potential in distressed looking homes that may be lost on the casual observer. To use the stock cliche, she can spot a diamond in the rough. Case in point, the renovation featured in the pilot episode of the new series.
19th Century Home, Meet the 21st Century
Built in 1849, this house is actually the oldest home in its historic neighborhood – the Summit Hill area near downtown St. Paul, MN. The exterior was in reasonably good shape but, prior to the renovation, was rather plain, had a few rough edges and was generally lacking in visual appeal.
Outside improvements were simple and straightforward but visually dramatic. Red shutters and wooden corbels, a new treatment for the columns and front stairs, flower boxes and some general sprucing of the exterior up go a long way toward making this an eye-catching property for potential buyers. Cherie described the exterior improvements as little tweaks and decorative elements that made a world of difference for the façade.
On the inside, Cherie and her team completely gutted and remodeled a kitchen and two baths, then added custom touches to other rooms. The living room was in good shape and had attractive hardwood floors, so some simple cosmetic improvements would prove adequate.
The remodeled living room features new recessed lighting, fresh white paint for the stairs and railing and some smart staging to help entice potential buyers.
The kitchen required a thorough upgrade to ensure good marketability for the home. Prior to the renovation, it had outdated cabinetry and appliances. Linoleum had been installed over the original hardwood floors.
New appliances, lighting and cabinetry, along with a well selected color palette and newly revived hardwood floors, make the kitchen a showplace that blends classic and contemporary elements.
So What About the Numbers?
The list price for this house was $210,000. Cherie was able to negotiate a purchase price of $189,000 and the renovation costs totaled $60,200 – for a total outlay of just over $249,000. After the renovation, Cherie offered the house at a new listing price of $339,000 – for a potential profit of almost $90,000. At the open house she received several offers and, after a small bidding war, the house sold for more than the listing price at $342,000. Cherie's profits after renovation and closing costs: $85,000.
Credentials and Credo
Cherie flipped her first house at age 22 and has now renovated and flipped more than 50 properties, consistently turning profits well into six figures for individual ventures. She has a no-nonsense and methodical approach to renovation and quick turnaround that she's fine-tuned with a core emphasis on adding maximum value at low cost. "In the house flipping business," says Barber, "time is money. The longer you own it, the more cash you're shelling out. My specialty is taking that dated looking property and turning it into the most beautiful house on the block – without wasting time or money. For me it's all about those budget-friendly projects that create a huge transformation for the next buyer."