What makes a house flip-worthy?

Curb Appeal

Let this once-dusty and deserted Craftsman be your inspiration to look past any lackluster, curbside first impressions. Instead of dialing in on the crusty-coated details, focus on the design and shape of the structure itself. You’d be surprised what some modern-day fine tuning, a little imagination and a lot of elbow grease can accomplish.

Can it be Fixed With Paint?

Dark and dreary… and that’s putting it lightly. Not exactly ideal for your family movie night. Still, this isn’t a lost cause. The large windows offer up loads of natural light and what better way to play that up than with some bright-white paint? A coat here, a coat there, a little rearranging and a built-in window bench turns this sad space into something spectacular.

Outdoor Space Galore

For those of you who consider hosting an art form, this tip is for you. Set your sights on properties with large outdoor spaces — yes, even ones that are a little (a lot) rough around the edges. Look at it this way, the more square-footage, the more you can play to create a space you’ll be proud of. Case and point? This prettified porch that went from scary to sophisticated, leaving the resident social butterfly itching to host an event.

A Solid Build

Cliché though it may be, there’s some truth in saying “they just don’t build ‘em like they used to.” We think that the Magnolia House, flipped by Chip and Jo, is the perfect example of a timeless-meets-unique exterior to aim for when searching for the perfect flip.

A Lovely Layout

This kitchen project proves that flip properties do not have to be haunting and horrific to qualify for dramatic before-and-afters. Love the layout of a space? Keep it. Then, coat it with paint to fit your style. This traditional, wood-clad kitchen got a major wow-worthy update with a cool blue hue and brass finishes.

Loads of Character

Even in the bleak before photo, it’s easy to be charmed by the oversized arches connecting this living and dining room. Work with the darling quirks and charming features of a home that led you to fall head-over-heels with it in the first place. The arches shine just as brightly in the after shot, don’t you think?

Good Bones

Search for stylish bones. The trio of tall, handsome windows at the end of this living room fill an otherwise drab space with loads of natural sunlight. Bonus: the windows are gorgeous even before the first coat of paint. Find a flip that offers a beautiful, albeit grimy, blank canvas and use them to inspire the design of the space. What do you think inspired the ultra-charming coffered ceilings seen in the after shot?

Potential Statement Pieces

If you’re totally creeped out by the before photo of these stairs, that’s okay. You’re in good company. But, friends, the after shot of this swoon-worthy staircase? If this doesn’t prove that even the scariest of scary stairways a second glance, I don’t know what will. If you come face to face with a similar space, rub your eyes a couple of times and take a step back. Maybe take two. Then, envision the statement-making potential just waiting to be brought to life.

Extra Square Footage

Older homes often treat homebuyers with loads of little, unused spaces to play with. And play, you should. View every little nook and cranny as an opportunity to make your home more livable, more stylish and ultimately more “you.” This flip by Chip and Jo transformed a quirky, unused attic space into a double home office complete with a bench for the occasional afternoon siesta. Transforming every square inch into usable space also increases the value later on.

Vertical Possibility

Believe me when I say that I understand the initial reaction of wanting to run far, far away from this chaotic kitchen and never look back. But when shopping for a flip, search for the positives, then capitalize, capitalize, capitalize. The pros here? Sky-high ceilings serve as the perfect excuse to create a floor-to-ceiling wall of cabinetry. If you’re finding it hard to see the possibilities in a place, simply look up for inspiration.

Original Article for HGTV.com by Maria Conti