ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Practical and Budget Friendly House Flip on Long Island, New York

Updated on January 25, 2021
Catherine Stolfi profile image

Catherine Stolfi has a Master of Science degree and enjoys sharing experiences related to expanding awareness on particular topics.

Being in our first home for three years and looking at back at what our house was to what it is now, we can truly see all that we've accomplished. It's not until you look back and compare, can you really see the progress. Below are photos of before and after renovations. We did light aesthetic work and major cleaning to different rooms in our home including the outside, bedrooms, living room, kitchen and a basement.

When we were searching for our new home, we knew we wanted a fixer upper but also knew we didn't want to wait months to get into our house with a short sale or foreclosure. When searching for new homes for sale that were neither of these, most were already move-in ready because they had already been flipped. It's easy to spot these because all the home sale websites has the last date each home was sold. Those that were owned for less than 6 months that were now for sale again, was an easy hint it was flipped. Ofcourse, those that were move-in ready were much pricier than those that needed some work. We found a house that wasn't a short sale or foreclosure, so we could get into it quickly, it was messy but not rundown to the point that it would need serious renovation, and most of the work would be strictly aesthetic. We hired an engineer to inspect the home and he echoed our same assumptions. We made an offer and got the house. It was just the beginning of a long journey to turn around a house that needed alot of work that we could mostly do ourselves. Amazingly, all the before photos below were very similar to those listed on the realtor website with the home listing.

The Backyard Exterior

Some of these are the photos from the actual listing of this home on and other comparable realtor websites at the time it was on sale. We were shocked, but could see past the mess. How could anyone put a house for sale in this condition? Well, to put it in a nutshell, the owners wanted to sell this house as soon as possible. It had been for sale for sometime and they just dramatically dropped the price. We swooped in at just the right time. To point out some interesting things in these photos below, notice the black ceiling of the master bedroom, the garbage on the floor of the living room and basement, as well as the pile of garbage in the backyard. There was actually no effort put in by the owners or realtor for this house.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The living room needed some... interesting work. The previous owner added french double doors in the living room leading to the garage but the garage was not insulated, and the winter was going to come quickly. Essentially we had a giant doorway sized hole in our home leading to the outside. We knew we would have to seal that area as soon as able and this was one of the few things in the home we went with a professional on.

The floors were also seriously damaged but atleast they were original hardwood floors. After refinishing with a professional, they looked absolutely beautiful. It wasn't the most dramatic of the flips but the most important, with the living room being the center of the home.

The Living Room

The kitchen was next, and with high ceilings and skylights, it had some good bones to work with. So we cleaned it up, gave it a fresh coat of paint, and removed the hanging ceiling fan and replaced it with track lighting. We were left with a beautiful kitchen, that now with the lighter paint, looked twice as big as it did previously. The dining table in the room before was much too big for the area as well. After getting the right sized furniture for the room, it also made it feel so much more open of a space than it was previously.

The Kitchen

The bathrooms didn't need as much work as the rest of the home. They just needed a good clean and polish as well as some nice modern shower curtains, shower mats and towels. It's hard to notice the work that went into it with the before photos being so dark and not close up. The most dramatic change in the bathrooms actually came from the lighting. With the proper bulbs and lighting, the room looks brighter, cleaner and welcoming. It's such a simple fix for a change that makes the space beautiful.

The Bathrooms

For the master bedroom, there was much that needed to get done. It was unfinished, a complete mess, and the ceiling was painted the darkest black paint color I've ever seen. What self respecting paint design store even sells that color for the ceiling? I'm guessing none. It's such an odd choice for something that could have been solved with blackout curtains. After three layers of ceiling primer and two coats of white ceiling paint, it finally was looking a hue I could live with. We painted the trim on the windows white, the walls with a fresh coat of paint, and again refinished the floors that were luckily natural hardwood. The bedroom before and after is quite dramatic and took alot of muscle work that really paid off. It's now a nice, warm, open and welcoming space that you want to go to at the end of the night.

The Master Bedroom

If it were possible, the other bedroom was just as horrific. I can understand if your child's favorite color is purple but why purple on purple? And why shiny purple, foil-textured curtains? It was bad on top of bad, but an easy fix. The new curtains are soft and light, making the room feel bigger, and with the new paint color it made it a beautiful space. After the addition of the comforter set I purchased for the guest bed, the big canvas was added behind the bed which made the room feel finished and not as confined. I also decided to make the room feel even bigger by removing the closet and making it part of the room. It increased the space dramatically. Now you could fit a full size mattress bed where previously there was a twin and it looks quite cozy for any guest.

The Guest Bedroom

And another dramatic flip was in the den, or basement, of this split-level home. It was used as a man cave previously, and sure did feel like something that belonged underground. Luckily, this area had no history of water damage, so it had great potential. I knew I could install a carpet without any worry but we also installed half of the basement area with hardwood laminate. We added accent molding to the middle of the wall area all across the basement. The furniture in the space also fit so well for its purpose - a lovingly named 'girl cave' area of my own equipped with an electric fireplace and comfy lounge couch.

The Den/Basement

After a year of work to the interior, we finally started work to the exterior of the home in year two. I rented a heavy duty professional paint sprayer from Lowes, taped up all the front windows and doors and painted the outside, just by following videos on YouTube. It was one of the most ambitious projects that I undertook, and was the most proud of. It also arguably made the biggest difference. There's nothing like adding curb apeal to your home to impress guests and have a beautiful looking home to come to everyday. We added white shutters on the windows, painted the garage with a fresh coat of paint, and did some serious landscaping work. The transformation of the frontyard grass within itself is quite impressive, with my husband to thank on all the hard work he did there.

For the backyard, we knew the patio would be the big price tag makeover project. We hired a professional to remove the cracked pavement slabs, put in stone, and ensure proper leveling. This is not a job you want to DIY because improper drainage and leveling could lead to catastrophic flooding in your home that could have been otherwise avoided. We also tore down a metal overhang and built a beautiful, trendy wood pergola, added an outdoor furniture set from Walmart, put in some flower hangers, and power-washed the entire side of the house for a, now, welcoming area.

The hard work paid off and our home is now more beautiful then we could have ever imagined. When searching for your new home, try to maintain a good imagination and see past what might be the mess or doable DIY fix for your next dream home. It's worth what you'd be saving in the total cost of the house to do a few fixes rather than getting a pricey move-in ready house, especially for your first home. You walk away saving money and with some new skills to carry you to your next house and beyond.

What do you think is the most dramatic space transition?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)