A House Flip Gone Wrong (And House Flippers Gone Insane)

Y’all, let me tell you the story about the house next door. When I came for the first time to look at our house eight years ago, I almost just kept on driving by without stopping. There were two issues that I thought I would never get past. The first was the lack of a paved driveway on our house. As it turns out, that will be a blessing when we finally do pour our driveway, because had there been one, it would be in the wrong spot and it would have to be taken out first, costing thousands extra in labor.

But the second issue was the house next door. It was a hot mess. And the house was only part of the issue. The main issue was the huge metal building/shop they had built right up against our property line, and which they used as a shop where they worked on cars and engines of all kinds almost every day.

I was never really bothered by the noise of revved engines throughout the days, but I was bothered by the fact that the property, front and back, was always filled with cars and RVs and trucks and lawnmowers, and anything else that had an engine that could be worked on or rebuilt. The back yard (that house is also on a one-acre lot like ours) was filled front to back with so much stuff that it looked like an actual junk yard — the kind of junk yard where cars go to die, and people go to search for parts that they need.

And because that was their main focus (both hobby and business), the house never got much attention at all. It seemed to be falling apart right around them — two brothers who had gotten the house when their parents died, I believe. For the eight years we lived here with them as neighbors, they never had a sound roof on that house. For years, half of the roof was covered in a blue tarp. And then they got their hands on some extra metal roofing and starting patching their shingle roof with random pieces of metal roofing.

Despite all of this, I will say that they were wonderful neighbors. They were both the types of people who would do anything for me that I needed. Several times, they fixed my car, changed my oil, repaired flat tires, etc. I gave them my old car, and in exchange, they mowed my yard (again, one acre) every week or two for about two years. I didn’t love looking at their property, but I did enjoy having them as neighbors.

They moved last year, after living in that house for decades. I was so interested to see what the inside looked like. I wasn’t shocked. It looked exactly how I would have expected it to look after two unmarried, older brothers, who clearly weren’t too concerned about the state of their home, had lived there for decades with their pit bulls and other random family members in and out over the years. The original hardwood floors were in sad shape. All of the windows were old (just like ours were) and some of them were broken and covered over with cardboard or plywood. The walls hadn’t been painted in probably decades. It needed help. Lots of help.

I talked with Matt about buying the house and flipping it, but we decided that it just wasn’t something we’re ready to take on right now, and even if we were ready to purchase a house to flip, that probably wouldn’t be the one. It has two front doors, which is confusing. The layout of the home is kind of awkward. And it has no garage or carport, and there’s no place to put one since they built that huge metal building right there on the driveway. That would be a deal breaker for lots of home buyers, so it would be a deal breaker for me buying it as a flip house.

Anyway, let me show you the house as it’s looked for the eight years we’ve been here.

This actually looks pretty tame. 🙂 There are only three cars in the driveway in this Google maps image, but sometimes there were up to fifteen in the driveway and on the street, and they would stay there for a long time. They were always being threatened and fined by the city because of it, but they seemed completely unbothered by it. And this doesn’t even show the junk yard in the back. But you can tell that the house itself, while definitely needing some attention, could probably be cleaned up and turned into a cute house. I mean, it’s a long, ranch house that doesn’t have much character, but there’s nothing terribly offensive about that house.

Anyway, as I said, they moved out last year, and the house went on the market for $160,000. That alone shows you just how crazy the real estate market is right now. Remember, Matt and I bought our house on one acre of land just eight years ago for $80,000. So this one was selling for literally double the price that we paid for our house. And the condition was every bit as bad (and probably far worse) than ours was when we bought it.

I don’t know how long it took to sell, but it needed a ton of work — a new roof, all new windows, some major floor repair/refinishing, a total tear out of the existing kitchen and bathrooms, drywall repair (or probably all new), all new exterior siding, and on and on.

It finally sold to someone who planned on flipping the house. And I’ve been watching as they’ve worked on it over the last few months. And as they were finishing up about a month ago, I walked through the house to see the progress.

It was fine. Very clean. There wasn’t anything special about it at all — all white walls, no crown molding, standard door and window casings, new laminate flooring covering up the original hardwood floors, new basic windows. Here’s a picture of the front dining room/living room area.

The kitchen and bathrooms were all in black and white, and looked to me like a bachelor from the 1980s had designed them. But I guess they were an improvement from what was there.

The house definitely felt cold and sterile with everything being so stark white, but of course, any buyer can change that with a bit of color on the walls, or with their furniture, decor, window coverings, etc. I honestly thought that they had done a fairly decent job on the flip.

I wasn’t thrilled with the exterior color they chose. It’s so harsh and seems to clash with the stone.

It just seems like such an odd color to choose to go with that stone. And so much money wasted, because paint isn’t cheap! But my hope was that perhaps the next buyer would take a couple of days and give that house a neutral coat or two of paint to tame whatever that is. And I was so hoping that they’d remove or move that metal building, but it’s still there. Still an eyesore sitting right there at our property line. Ugh. Oh well.

So this was just a standard, basic flip. And it was pretty unremarkable and non-newsworthy, right up until they put that “for sale” sign in the yard a few days ago, and out of curiosity, I looked it up to see how much they were asking for this house with its new makeover.

Y’all, I nearly choked on my tea. I could not BELIEVE what I saw. Are you ready for this?

They’re asking $439,000 for that house.


Now before you Californians and New Yorkers say, “That seems reasonable,” let me remind you that this isn’t California or New York! This is central Texas!

Again, eight years ago, Matt and I bought our house on one acre of land in the city of Waco for $80,000. It was a fixer upper and needed tons of work, but even now, it’s valued at around $250,000.

And this house I’m showing you, just last year, sold for $160,000. And now they think it’s worth $439,000?! And that’s after an $11,000 markdown! So they originally priced this thing at $450,000!!!

If anyone buys this house for that amount (I can’t imagine anyone would actually pay that), that would make this house the highest-priced house not only on our street, but one of the highest-priced houses in this area. And there are some really nice houses that are RIGHTLY priced around $350,000 all the way up to about $675,000 in this area, but those are houses with real character, set back on huge, gorgeous lots filled with trees. But to think that this house commands a price in the range of some of those houses is absolutely ridiculous.

There has been a huge influx of people from California moving to Waco and surrounding areas. And I feel like these sellers are counting on come Californians seeing that price, not understanding the Waco real estate market, having a California real estate mindset, and snatching it up thinking that it’s a bargain.

Let me show you what you can get in the Waco area for that same price.

This home is in Woodway, which is a suburb of Waco, and a much nicer area that Waco proper. (It’s where I grew up, and where my mom still lives.) This house is $450,000.

Here’s another house in Woodway, and this one is $429,000. Look how cute! It actually has character.

This one is located in Waco. I think it’s 5 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, priced at $444,498.

This is Texas real estate. What you would pay millions for in California, you pay less than $500,000 for in Texas. And what you would pay a million for in California, you can get here for about $150,000 to $200,000.

And then there’s the house next door. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

So after seeing that price, I looked at all of the pictures they provided, thinking that I had missed something. Maybe there was something really special that I had overlooked. There certainly wasn’t anything about the exterior that I had missed. It has new siding and a new coat of dark gray paint (which I just don’t understand), but it was still the same long ranch-style house with little exterior character.

And yes, I had missed something, but nothing good. I want y’all to look at this kitchen. They ripped out the original (which needed to be done, as it was beyond repair), and installed this brand new kitchen.

I want you to take a close look at the layout. This is a standard U-shaped kitchen, but look how they installed the cabinets. Let me show you up close.

Instead of wrapping the cabinets around from the back wall to the side walls in a continuous way, they installed a full wall of cabinets on the back wall, and then had to leave these awkward spaces between the back wall and the side cabinets.

So what does that do for the stove? It gives the kitchen a floating stove with no countertop space next to it.

I’ve seen some awkward kitchen layouts in older homes. Heck, our house had an awkward kitchen layout when we bought it. But when I remodeled it, I fixed it. This house has a U-shaped kitchen, and there are standard ways to utilize a U-shaped kitchen. This isn’t one of them!!! And if they didn’t want a U-shaped kitchen, there was a ton of space to redesign the entire thing and make it an efficient (and much larger) kitchen. But this is some half-baked idea with moderate effort that they now expect to get almost half a million dollars for.

And they also did something that is one of my biggest pet peeves EVER, and that I see DIYers and house flippers do all the time. Do you see this gap of space between the cabinet and the wall?

Yeah. Evidently they couldn’t be bothered to remove the baseboard before installing the cabinets.

This is a shortcut I’ve seen even high-end designers do. I remember seeing Candice Olsen’s people (remember Divine Design?) do this in several of her rooms where she added built-ins, and it bothered me so much every single time. If you’re going to add cabinets or built-ins, REMOVE THE BASEBOARDS so that they fit right up against the wall!! How hard is that? It’s those little details that will take your project from looking like a DIY project to looking like an professional upgrade. But literally nothing about this kitchen looks like a professional job. This has “first-time DIYer” written all over it.

Anyway, I just had to share this with y’all. I almost find myself getting offended by it. 😀 It offends me that our house, after all the work I’ve put into it with custom upgrades and touches, is valued at $250,000, while they think they can sell this thing for nearly half a million dollars. It’s absurd.

I genuinely hope some family from California doesn’t see this online, compare it with California prices, think they’re getting a steal, and buy it sight unseen. I know Californians are doing that right now (buying Texas real estate sight unseen), and I’d hate for anyone to get suckered into such a price for this property.

I honestly would have just minded my own business if it hadn’t been for that price tag. I just can’t get over it.

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  1. I live in area where prices have sky-rocketed, largely due to an influx of Californians. A house like that at that price will sit. That’s not what they are used to in CA. Unfortunately an investor may buy it as a rental, but not for that price.

    1. Exactly! Where DOES the fridge go??? And what is that empty spot on the left next to the drawers? Dishwasher? Spot for the trash can?
      Our kitchen had this exact setup when we moved in and we gutted it and made it 1000% better by wrapping the counter/cabinets around both sides and building in the fridge and stove.

  2. That’s so crazy! I wonder if they came across some cheap kitchen cabinets and just “made them work” for the space? The bathroom is also horrid. I’m thinking they’ve used el-cheapie fixtures from a clearance sale. Just yuck! 🤮🤮🤮

  3. But you will have lower property taxes, at least for a little while if property taxes in Texas work the way they do in other places. The down side will be once the property tax people catch on to how beautiful your house is.

    1. But on the other hand, if they do manage to sell this for that price, that means it’ll drive up the values of all the other houses around it, and increase our property taxes.

      That’s exactly what’s happening in all of the areas where Fixer Upper/Magnolia is fixing up and selling houses, and why so many Wacoans can’t stand them. They go to these areas of town that aren’t so nice, fix up a house, put an astronomical price on it, which in turn drives up the values of the houses around it, and then increases the property tax. I mean, there are Wacoans who absolutely can’t stand them because of this.

      This happened in my mom’s neighborhood. She’s in a very quiet, older, established neighborhood where the houses are valued around $275,000 to $350,000. Fixer Upper/Magnolia came in and redid one house just across the street from my mom’s house, and then it went on the market for just under $700,000. Stuff like this is very frustrating for people who want to stay in their homes (so don’t want to sell and take advantage of the new higher value), but are looking at their property taxes increasing because of it.

      Waco property taxes are already ridiculous, so if this happens on our street because of this house, I won’t be too happy about it.

      1. That’s exactly what I was going to say. I’m a couple of hours NW of you and we’re experiencing the same thing. Many older folks are being taxed out of the homes they’ve lived in for 30 years or more. It’s insane and it makes me furious.

      2. Realtor here…. That’s a problem with the assessor which you should be able to contest. Just because a fixed up house sells doesn’t necessarily make others astronomically more. And sorry to let you know but sheds add value… lots of value. Even if dilapidated… hopefully . Please can ask whatever they want. The buyer will set the market value.

        1. Yep yep yep to everything you wrote. We have properties in the Las Vegas NV area and the Texas panhandle. Asking prices are just that, asking. What the buyer purchases it for is certainly not always asking price. I will add though – west coast buyers are driving the prices up. It’s nuts.

      3. I live in Western NC, and we have the same problem: the average income will not come close to buying the average house, and it has been that way the entire time I have lived her (decades). We were very fortunate to find a good home in a good neighborhood for a reasonable price, because our neighborhood is a hidden gem, but I really feel for the less blessed.

      4. So sad 🙁 Florida has “Save Our Homes” tax rate…they can’t increase taxable value on homesteaded property more than 3% per year. Still goes up, but avoids that problem.

      5. Y’all need a Prop 13 law in Texas. Your property taxes seem pretty similar to California, and Prop 13 stopped people in CA from being forced out of their houses due to ridiculous increases to property taxes.

  4. It would be lovely if it had someone who cared, like you, to lovingly update it. And I hope you never sell, but your home is definitely worth MORE than that! But I don’t want your assessment, and therefore your taxes, to go up before you ever need to sell. The market will charge what the market will bear…and if it sits there, slowly getting the price decreased over and over until someone gets it…at least you don’t have neighbor noise. What I see is….a contractor flip. Everything put in it was bought on clearance and sale…the paint was probably discounted and mismixed whites, and all poured in a 5 gallon bucket and shaken up to make it whatever color it is. My Dad was a landlord and used to do that. those cabinets were rock bottom, probably “assemble yourself”. The installers were not craftsmen.

  5. Just remember that the value on your house is based almost exclusively on square footage, # of bedrooms, and # of baths. They don’t see inside your lovely home. Any buyer would definitely give you more. It will be interesting to see what they finally DO get for that place. LOL

  6. Yikes. One of the worst kitchen layouts I’ve ever seen. I wonder if the opening in the cabinetry across from the stove is supposed to be for a dishwasher. And where is the refrigerator supposed to go? They could have gotten a free kitchen design at Home Depot. It will be interesting to see how long this house sits on the market and what it finally sells for. Does the city code allow for the metal building to be so close to your lot line? Any chance the city would require it to be removed?

  7. That is the worst kitchen layout I’ve seen in a flip. I mean the dishwasher isn’t even close to the sink either. WOW! Although in my much smaller town in Texas we’ve seen stuff like this for a long time as it’s a town where Houstonians with higher incomes tend to want to by a second home or retire so that often causes as high prices as in Austin, which is higher than Houston, but makes it hard for those living here on lower income wages as wages doesn’t match the housing costs. The thing is we go nobody is going to pay that price for something like this and sure enough every time we’ve said that it has happened and then they spend money to remodel the poorly flipped house. I guess it is good for us who is going to build a house and need to sell our current house, but it is ridiculous. So it is not just unsuspecting people from out of state in our area it is those living within 75-110 miles from the area too.

  8. Oh my gosh, Kristy, what a mess! I would be upset too. The audacity to think they can get that amount for such shoddy workmanship.
    Good for you, writing this post! I hope potential buyers see it.
    Ps: I’m offended by your use of “full-time DIYer”. Nah, just kidding! Nothing offends me 🙂

  9. What a lousy kitchen! That space could have been so much more efficient, functional and appealing if some thought had gone into the design. As a Californian, I would hope that others looking at moving to Texas really studying the value as compared to other listings. I’ll stay here!

  10. That is unbelievable. Where does the refrigerator go? I live in California and the house next door was bought sight unseen by a family from New York and we think they overpaid, so I get it.

  11. That kitchen is BANANAS. Where does the fridge go?! And what goes in that hole under the counter – a dishwasher? What a shame to waste such valuable space (in what actually looks like is decent sized kitchen) with such a poor layout and garbage craftsmanship.

  12. My daughter just bought a 991 sq ft 2 br, 1-1/2 bath townhouse in West Sacramento, Ca last month. Sacramento has generally considered an affordable place to live in California. West Sacramento, across the Sacramento River and in a different county, is more affordable than Sacramento. What with the pandemic and all turning a lot of office workers into telecommuters, folks from the San Francisco Bay area are moving here (about 100 miles from San Francisco, and driving up our prices. Maybe I should have suggested she move to Texas! Nah, I like having her close. She lived in Tucson, AZ for seven years. Anyway, it’s crazy.

  13. Just wondering….where IS the dishwasher and refrigerator going to go in that kitchen? Where is the other mirror in the bathroom…is it really done? UGH, needless to say, the same thing is happening here in Florida.

    1. I think the dishwasher goes in that space under the counter on the left wall. And as far as the refrigerator, my best guess is that it goes in that indented area to the left of the cabinets on the left wall. I think. 😀

      1. I’m not sure – it looks like a desk space, as I can’t see any plumbing or electrical outlets that you’d need for a dishwasher? In any case, I can’t believe somebody actually deliberately designed that kitchen that way and put it in brand new like that. That alone is an outrage, regardless of the house price (which is also an outrage)

  14. So maybe I’m missing it but where does the fridge go in this hideous kitchen? Am I missing something? Your house has more character & style in one room than that whole house has. And I’m sure it’s worth more than that one, at least to me!!

  15. Yikes! I shudder to think what things people would stick in those empty corners! Nope, Nope. But I really truly enjoyed this post! More Kristi musings and opinion!

  16. Totally agree with you 😜. Where’s dishwasher? Are those laminate counters?? They didn’t take cabinets to ceiling either 🤷‍♀️
    The bathroom also looks cheap and outdated.

    The lipstick on this pig isn’t even applied straight 🤣

  17. I sold my home in north Texas almost five years ago.
    It had two recently remodeled bathrooms ,new flooring ,new roof and new hardie plank siding and was 1500 sq feet in a nice neighborhood near good schools. I sold it for $208,000. That same floor plan in the same neighborhood is now going for $350,000. Just 5 years…..prices have soared. So although I agree with you that this house is not worth the asking price I think it will sell very close to $400,000. Investors are buying up houses and making them Air BnB properties if the local governments have not stepped up to forbidden short term rentals. The Dallas area is struggling with governing that type of property right now. I hope that this property is sold to a homeowner who will live there for the sake of your neighborhood. I did not sell to an investor who offered me more money and a cash deal because all of my neighbors were homeowners and after living there twenty years I wanted to help keep it that way. I made less money but felt good that the home was going to a couple who had three children to raise in a decent neighborhood with good schools.
    Investors are changing the whole landscape of Texas property and so many young people are being priced out of the market.

    1. I love that you chose to sell for less and sell to a family rather than get more selling to an investor. These investors are destroying communities and pricing potential homebuyers out of the market. It’s a huge problem.

  18. Yup, that kitchen is a hot mess. In my area that design/final inspection wouldn’t pass code. One requirement is counter to left & right of stove, for safety so that pan handles can be turned out of the reach of children & also not over burners.

  19. Girl, I can relate. The real estate market in Middle TN has gone crazy! Yes, it is because we have people from CA, NY, and Chicago moving here by the droves, but no locals can afford a home now. Our 2200 sq ft home (1 acre lot) we bought for $220K in 1999 (a deal for this city) has now jumped to $800,500! There is a house in our neighborhood that was renovated that sold for over $1 million! Looks like I’m just renovating our house and we are staying put. Just added a she shed and starting a greenhouse with more garden beds.

  20. I’ve had a similar experience in my neighborhood. I bought my house for around $130,000 dollars. I was flabbergasted when one sold across the street from me for $185,000 dollars last year, but since then another has sold for around $325,000!!! It’s unbelievable what’s happening in the market right now. Looks a good time to sell, but not so good on buying!!

  21. Yep, same thing happening here in Nevada. It’s nuts. Bought my place here in 2011. 310K. Realtor.com has it at $775 K – absolutely nuts. And lots of first time flippers here as well. Can’t last forever…. Reckoning is coming…..

  22. So glad you shared the absurdity! They don’t have that much money in the remodel. I agree the asking price is ridiculous, keep us posted once it sells. I hope you get good neighbors.

  23. I’m not saying lipstick on a pig, but you have to look at the other homes available in your area. Honestly, similar things are happening in north FW.

  24. …………and no dishwasher and where does the fridge go? No upper cabinets over that one cabinet looks like a waste of space. The house looks like a navy. You said it was gray. Guess my eyes must be off. But It cleaned up pretty well. One small mirror over two sinks? How many baths and beds? That is quite a price. Did they add on to the house? Looks a lot longer in the after picture. Took some trees down. At least you don’t have to look at that trash anymore. Hopefully, nobody worse buys it.

    1. It’s a dark bluish gray. Depending on the light, sometimes it looks more blue, other times it looks more gray. Either way, I think it clashes with that stone.

      It’s 4 bed/3 bath. I think one of those bedrooms is tiny. They didn’t add on. I think they just used a wide angle lens to take that listing pictures.

  25. Not sure what your zoning laws are but with those two front doors an investor may make it into a duplex
    and rent it out. I hope whoever buys it will provide you with very good neighbors.

  26. You make it sound like a bad thing to live next to a wrecking yard 😆 we literally do, and it’s not too bad. Previous owners planted a hedge of evergreen trees about 50 years ago so we can’t even see it! The trade off is we get to live on a 40acre farm 1 km outside of the city … I’ll take it ☺️ Also, if you think housing prices in CA are bad… don’t look at the Ontario real estate market 😑

    1. I would have loved to have a mature hedge of evergreens between us and them!! Or 40 acres. 😀 We just have a 4-foot chain link fence, so I could see everything in all its glory.

    2. I love this post. It helps educate first-time home owners and even those who have bought homes before. And “bachelor from the 1980s” is a perfect description for that bathroom!

  27. The only bright side is if someone pays that ridiculous price it will drive the price of your home up as well as it is a much superior work of art!!

    1. Real estate is nuts everywhere. I used to live in Austin and glad I left when I did. Lots of people there can’t afford the taxes anymore. I now live in a Kansas suburb of KC and I the prices here are nuts. I live in what used to be called a starter home but no one starting out can afford them now.

  28. That kitchen is horrifying (and the bathroom equally so but for different reasons.) I see I’m not alone in wondering where the fridge is supposed to go and how one cooks with not even a smidge of counter on either side of the stove. I’m presuming the gap in the cabinetry on the opposite wall is supposed to accommodate a dishwasher but I don’t see any sign of plumbing … and why would you locate it so far from the existing sink plumbing? Yikes.

    And it isn’t the black and white that bothers me – my house is predominantly black and white at this point but it isn’t cold and stark looking like that – and I have black cabinetry and appliances in the kitchen.

    House prices are insane these days. Like you Kristi – I bought my house for a very low price in town because it was a fixer upper. We paid $107,000 twenty years ago. My ex and I ripped off the sad little one story addition on the side, poured a proper foundation and built a two story addition that tied into the original two story part of the house. We gutted the interior – it was necessary – drywalled, put in new electric and plumbing and turned it into a modest 1400 sq. ft. two story with three bedrooms and 1 and a half baths.

    Right now my tax assessments put it somewhere between $270 – 300,000.

    Colour me shocked when two single story homes – both in the 900-1100 sq. ft. range went on the market a couple of years ago for upwards of $500,000. They are both tired and SMALL and one is tucked into the side of the parking lot for the industrial building (used to be a paper mill) across the street from me. I nearly had a heart attack. They both sold – and for nearly the asking price.


    1. I thought the same thing about the dishwasher space — new dishwashers are more water efficient 😄, but come on.

  29. I’d love to show you (privately) the condition of my childhood home that was ruined by my oldest brother as well as the other two who lived there as well. It’s so sad to see a once beautiful home go to ruin.
    We live in S. Az now and we see tons of Californians buying up real estate here.

  30. Welcome to the insanity of the west coast real estate mindset/market!! We’ve seen the same sort of pricing happen in Oregon over the last 5-10 years. Now it’s Texas’ turn. Good luck getting some sort of reasonable pricing.

  31. Umm…. Where is the refrigerator going to go? That is the craziest kitchen I’ve ever seen. No adult should make those mistakes!!

    1. Heh – I’m betting an adult male that doesn’t cook made those mistakes. He just slapped some cabinets in the space without thinking about how the kitchen will actually work. (And this one will not.)

      1. Yeah I second that thought. I bet it’s guys who don’t cook unless heating up Big Macs in the microwave. Bonus no dishes or silverware needed

  32. The reason I became a DIY fanatic was because when we had a carpenter divide our family room into two rooms, he put the new wall up without removing the baseboard. Now that was just stupid. I decided I could do better than that…and I was right. I have never looked back.

  33. But look at the excellent neighbors they will get! You and Matt and Cooper are worth at least another $100,000! I live in Hawaii, and I have no clue how people buy property here without an inheritance, which is how I got my house. Thank you, Mom. Also, here that extra building would add a lot of value, although the location right on the property line would definitely be an issue. That is one terrible kitchen. Interested buyers should ask for a credit to gut and re-do.

  34. You’d be surprised what things are selling at. They are selling the “move in ready” and Waco.

    I recognize those vanities. They are great if they fit a look, but good luck repairing anything if it has a bad day.

    A place that shares 3 walls, (like a condo) was but purchased by a flipper across the street from me. We are a unique neighborhood that was developed by at least 5 developers with at least 4 styles of homes, the homes range from 5k-1.7 square feet, not easy to comp. But this style had sold last for 300k when it had been fully renovated. The flipper did a pretty great job and make good descions. They listed it at 470k…I thought they were nuts till it sold. Now another is listed at 510k, not flipped but the owner knows their street is a faster selling street, and their wall neighbor just sold for 300k… To a flipper.

    I feel bummed, we refinanced to re-side our home (only share one wall) last year. Our home the same Sq footage of the one across, was appraised for 230k. This was 2 months before the 470k home listed.

    The prices for fixer uppers are inflated, the move-in ready even more.

  35. Gosh.

    I live in an unremarkable city in the south west of the UK – 120 miles from London, population 120,000. If such a thing as a house on an acre of land were available here – there might be ten? in the town – it would be subdivided and extended to make apartments. And it would have an asking price of upward of £1,000,000, or, $1,300,000. In the next door city, much more up market and desirable, you would probably double that.

    We just don’t have the space – a country of 70 million people with a land area equivalent to Wyoming.

    1. Yep. Welcome to Texas. We’ve got plenty of land to spare. 😀 But it is quite unusual to find lots the size of ours inside the city. That’s why, even with the drawbacks of our house, I still wanted to buy it just to have the one-acre lot. This specific area is so quiet and peaceful because we’re not surrounded with houses just right up against us on all sides. When I’m in the back yard, especially at night, I almost feel like I get a tiny taste of country living right here in the city. 🙂 Which is all the country living I want or need. 😀

  36. This kitchen is making me angry. I’m trying to remind myself it doesn’t affect me in any way, and yet I’m angry looking at that terrible kitchen. It almost feels like an injustice to interior design. Someone who has no business designing a home just butchered that space. What in the world? It’s like everything that could go wrong did. As if they were literally trying to make the worst kitchen ever. It would have been easier to just install u shaped cabinets like a normal U shaped kitchen. I cannot stand floating ovens and fridges. What a waste of space, those glaring voids of nothing in that kitchen. Someone really went above and beyond to make that space into a train wreck. Is there an award for worst design ever?

    1. I’m with you on that Becca!! I’ve never responded before, just enjoy Kristi, but this kitchen also has REALLY PO’d me ! It doesn’t affect me either, repeat over and over…… an over. It is just horrific! Did someone look at that and say “wow, this is an awesome layout, let’s do it” ? just YUK.

      1. I’m thinking they never even laid out a plan. Probably found some cabinets made for another kitchen at a cheap price and installed them. Awful. Especially slapping that price tag on it afterwards. Grrr. Now I hope it doesn’t sell just so they don’t receive positive reinforcement.

    2. I agree, too, Becca!…I know that I’m not affected personally, but morally, it truly bothers me that too many people are out there just to make a buck off some unsuspecting soul!! True, if you’re purchasing any home, homework NEEDS to be done, so definitely Buyer Beware. But, I could and NEVER would try to take advantage of my fellow man for my own benefit. My goodness, sell something fairly, make some profit and move on to the next project. You don’t have to rape someone in the process which drives up EVERYTHING else. Everyone needs to make a living, but it shouldn’t be made at the expense of that other person. IDK, I’m just very disappointed in our society right now that focuses on the I, ME, MY thinking!!

  37. Hey now, don’t just assume all of us California to Texas transplants are blind and have no taste! I was born and raised in central CA, where real estate is actually pretty on par to “normal” Texas real estate. I say “normal” as in, prior to Covid pricing. I’m in Weatherford (west of Fort Worth) and we’re seeing the crazy real estate prices up here too. We built our house a year ago and it’s already gone up in value by $100k (if we were to turn around and sell it tomorrow). I’m with you though, I don’t think there’s any way it’ll go for that price, based on comps alone, unless the buyers were doing what you were willing to do and redo everything-but then, they shouldn’t have to do that if it was just flipped! Oy!

    1. I wasn’t meaning to imply that Californians are blind and have no taste. 😀 But my understanding is that inventory in California is limited, and you’ll pay through the nose for it. And $450,000 for a fixer upper in California is probably not a bad price, whereas here, we don’t pay that for fixer uppers. We pay that for new builds. So someone with that California mindset might think paying almost $500,000 for something like this here is normal.

      Matt showed me the house where his family used to live in Union City, Ca. It’s now valued at $1.3 million. A similar house here would be about $250,000. I was astounded at the prices there.

      1. Bahahaha! We live about 40 minutes from the San Diego area (not maximum expensive but still verrry high prices) and are planning to leave California in the next 1-2 years though I’m really hoping for this year. Currently browsing near Springfield, Missouri to get a sense of the homes and prices. I can’t imagine someone would buy that house for that price when a few clicks on any real estate site will show them what homes are going for in your area.

      2. I’m in Central Valley of Ca, and know of so many people moving (or just moved) to TN, TX or ID. People want out! Union city is “Bay Area”, with crazy Bay Area pricing. I can’t even imagine. You are right though—$450K on an ACRE seems like someone might jump—if they’re from CA. But for that flipper to think the kitchen is good enough, is ridiculous.

  38. Inflated real estate prices have happened before. Then the unsuspecting buyers decide to move and can’t get what they bought it for. That was the era of foreclosures and short sales. If you get that inflated price for your own house then you buy one at an inflated price. Lose, lose for everyone.

    1. Or worse, owners take out all that equity, and then the bubble bursts and they owe more than their house is worth. Last time that happened, taxpayers were on the hook. Ugh.

  39. Kristi,
    I can’t imagine anyone paying that much for any house, unless they would be millionaires without any sense and buying it unseen. I see what you mean about the kitchen being so fouled up. I know it would be almost impossible to cook a meal in there without meeting yourself 40 times going back and fourth from stove to countertop and cabinets. Maybe they will drop the price somewhere down in the $200,000.00 range category and some young enthusiastic couple will snatch it up and redo the entire place, inside and out.

  40. How on earth can a new, full size refrigerator fit under any of those upper cabinets, wouldn’t a fridge be too tall? Also, that hole where the dishwasher would probably go, looks to me like a desk? Don’t get me started on the floor, it reminds me of a bathroom floor in a fast food restaurant.

  41. I cannot agree with you more Kristi. That “re-do” is atrocious. I will admit when my husband passed in March I was going to stay in our home but a realtor friend contacted me showed me what homes in our area were going for at that time. He stated if I wanted to get more out of my home in 2021 rather than later I should think seriously about it. I did and decided to sell. I made more than 200,000 after all the expenses and I owed 96,000 on it. I was truly blessed by selling then. I don’t see that happening on the house next to yours, but with CA people you never can tell, especially if they pay cash. If they get a loan I don’t see an appraiser coming in that high on it.

  42. Many times as a buyer I have driven past homes where a neighbouring property has been a mess or had too many cars. Those are major deterrents for me. That is one ugly renovation and will cost too much to make it worthwhile fixing. Not only is the interior all wrong but they left the two front doors not to mention the shed. First timers for sure. I am constantly surprised that how inexpensive real estate in America is once you get outside of N.Y, Florida and California. In Australia you would have to go bush and hundreds of kilometres from major centres to find anything under $400K. You would be in a rural setting with few amenities. The mean average price of a house where I live is $900K. We are considering selling this year so had an appraisal done. My house that we paid $767K for 10 years ago is now expected to fetch upwards of $1.6million. Is that crazy or what?

    1. Yeah we used to live in Mt Waverly. Looked at my old house on a real estate sales website I couldn’t believe it that a house worth probably $150k in small town usa is near 1 million in Australia. Crazy. How do people even live?

  43. Wow! I’ve never seen such a dreadful kitchen layout in my entire life. And that price tag! I’m as shocked as you are… my chin was on the floor the entire time I was reading this. lol It’s just so unreal.

  44. Seems that U shaped kitchen way has become a standard for flippers. I even saw a stove in front of a window with the extractor on the ceiling!

  45. Hey californians, leme do the math for ya. You lose your job. Now you’re in Texas. Period. End of story. Overpaying is raping your neighbors, not helping them “build equity” cuz now their real estate tax goes up.

  46. I don’t even know what to say… except WOW. Having just gone through a renovation recently, I am shocked at the quality of that reno. I was so meticulous about every little detail during ours. Much of what I knew to be aware of, I learned from watching you and your perfectionism, Kristi. Of course, we did not do our own renovation, as my son-in-law owns his own construction company. I told them what I wanted and they did the work… quality work. I’m just shocked at the price they are asking, especially given the quality. Make sure you let us know what it sells for. 🙂 xo

  47. YIKES!!!!!! I’ll never ….EVER!!!!……be able to unsee that kitchen…. Quick, please put up photos of your amazing kitchen…. I NEED the distraction….

  48. A home’s value is in the eye of the owner.

    A house’s worth is what someone else will pay for it.

    We are definitely living in some crazy times.

    I’m glad that you have good memories of the neighbors and all they did for you.

  49. Well at least it cleaned up well. Hopefully you will get some house proud neighbors and your property values will increase too. Look at the silver lining!

  50. I live in Tennessee and we are seeing the same thing here. Bad flips and sky high prices. It makes housing unaffordable for a lot of people. Ridiculous and greedy in my opinion

  51. That kitchen is shoddy, I feel badly for the person that buys that house and hope they really look at it without those rose colored glasses and don’t let the excitement of the purchase take over. It’s exciting to buy a home of your own, but that kitchen would shut it down for me as well as that hideous bathroom. I hate vessel sinks. The price is OTT. Will a bank finance something there that isn’t comp with the other homes in the area. I’m sure there will be an appraisal? Hopefully an inspection as well. It won’t be just an unlevel cabinet that he/she finds. Good luck to your new neighbors, may it take a while to sell.

  52. I agree about both the house being overpriced and that u-shaped kitchen!!! As for that cute brick with character… definitely a yes vote from me!

  53. I am not sure if a refrigerator would even fit under the cabinet, it look very low. And why is the spot for the dishwasher across the room ? Yep these people are(what do we say in Texas… Oh, they are missing one oar in their boat )

  54. It’s going on everywhere! I reside in Canada’s smallest province…in 1987 we bought our little seventies split for $63,500. A house…three driveways up the street…sold for a few weeks ago for almost $1 million! With the updates & upgrades we have done continuously over the years…we could easily get close to 1/2 million. The problem is….you have to live some where…and whatever $$ earned in selling our home…would be swallowed up purchasing another home in this market. We have upper Canadians…from metropolitan areas …and similar to coming from California to Texas…think our home prices are a steal! The whole world has gone crazy!

  55. Girlfriend, where is the fridge supposed to go, also??? Can’t even use the space beneath the cabinets on the side wall or even by the stove because the drawers in the sink cabinets wouldn’t be able to be accessed!!! $439,000 is SOOO RIDICULOUS!! And I agree, if you’re going to do a remodel, do it right and pull the baseboard away so the cabinets fit flush! No, nope and nope!! I totally agree with you…on first glance, yeah, looks better for sure, BUT looking closer (which I HOPE an potential buyer would do!) this flip was quick and not even sweet! Ill-thought layout and terrible exterior color with that brick! Even with the correct flip being done, it still is not worth $439,000! Get real, people!! Some of these flips just wreak of trying to take advantage of buyers in this ridiculous housing market…absolutely Buyer Beware!!

  56. This happened near me. Horrible flip, tried to sell for 375,000 now reduced to 269,000 and still sitting on the market for months. How will your neighbor sell for that much? Won’t the loan companies appraise it for much lower?

    1. I would hope they would not appraise it for that amount, which means that banks and mortgage companies won’t loan that amount for this house. But there are always cash buyers. 🙁

  57. I hate flippers. Truly, in most cases, it is just putting lipstick on a pig and asking outrageous prices. Who in their right mind would install a useless kitchen like that?

  58. What the he k is that kitchen?? Where dies the Fridge go, in front of the cabinets??? Ugly, cheap, poorly done. I hate the bathrooms too. I would still consider that house a fixer upper!

  59. When I saw the asking price my jaw dropped. The kitchen is awful and instead of having a functional space it looks like it was thrown together and hardly has any storage. I hate a stove hanging out with nothing around it. It reminds me when I was little that’s how it was then but not now. And, what is with a desk in the kitchen taking up valuable space. I am infuriated and I don’t live there.

    I go on realtor.com at least a few times a week and look in different parts of the country to see designs and prices. You know it will not appraise for that ridiculous price!

    The color on the outside makes no sense, it’s like this color was selected without even trying to blend it with the stone.

    I guess I did not realize you lived in Waco, have you been to any of the places of the Gains, Magnolia stores? I just love them!

    1. Before Fixer Upper and fame, Joanna had a little shop on Bosque Blvd. in Waco (also called Magnolia) where she would sell cute things that she found at places like Roundtop and flea markets. It was such a cute and charming store. My mom and I would go there and shop.

      Since they built the big Magnolia Market, I’ve only gone once. They no longer sell those one-of-a-kind flea market treasures that made Joanna’s store so beloved in Waco. Now their store sells a lot of “made in China” products, and it’s mostly a tourist attraction.

      I do love their bakery, though. If you visit Waco, you really need to stop in and get a cupcake!

  60. Your home is beautiful and the value you are referring to is not sale value. I’m sure it is worth more if you went to list it. That being said, there is NO WAY anyone will pay that price, even from one of the coasts. Typically when shopping for a house you do a comp and this would show that house is no where close to that price. As an interior designer, and a kitchen designer, that is the poorest looking renovation ever. They let their prefab countertops determine the layout. What ashamed, the next buyer will just need to tear out everything and start over. The exterior isn’t hideous, just could have been much better.
    Love watching all of you projects, would have made your house a beautiful home.

  61. I’ve read all the comments and didn’t see the possibility that a cash buyer could eventually get a better price and then knock it down and build a wonderful home on a full acre. Just because it was ‘flipped’ and that is being kind doesn’t mean it has to stand.

  62. I’m with you! That kitchen is a disaster!!!!! I pity the person who’d pay that and then realize the kitchen needs to be remodeled.

  63. I ALSO live in area where prices have sky-rocketed, largely due to an influx of Californians. Unfortunately, (although up to this point I preferred it) we ALSO do NOT live in an HOA, and so, although houses are commanding huge prices, the one next door to us was sold to be used as an Airbnb. We need to downsize, so I guess it’s okay, but then again, although we will get a good price for our house, we’ll have to spend probably close to the same amount for a much smaller house. Sigh.

  64. This to me is the result of someone who has watch too many of those flipping shows on TV. I cannot stand those shows!!
    Reading through comments is crazy. Real estate is so crazy in Florida right now and as a getting older single adult, it is scary.

  65. I relate to this post so much as I’ve had a similar eyesore to deal with in a provious home, and also have an interest in local real estate and am often blown away by the price tag for low quality workmanship. You’ll have to let us know what it sells for!