Phoenix old home renovations

The Phoenix area is one of the most popular areas in the U.S. for home flipping. The area has a generous supply of older homes that attract real estate investors looking to renovate and resell for a profit.  When it comes to renovating older homes for resale, the rule of thumb is to do strictly what is necessary to make it profitable (without doing too little), and not only to stay within a predefined reno budget but also to avoid damaging or removing traditional interior and exterior elements that add to the property’s value.

Residential property investors who aren’t familiar with traditional Southwestern architectural elements often unwittingly diminish the house’s value by removing or modifying traditional features that are highly desirable to home buyers.

 When you’re ready to begin renovating an older home, it’s important to know the market, the architectural history of the area, and the architectural features that are most sought after before you start tearing out or destroying anything. Knowing which elements are most iconic to an older home and choosing to preserve them can not only increase your profit potential, it can save you money.

Exposed ceiling beams (vigas)

Exposed ceiling beams, called vigas, are large, rough-hewn logs, usually peeled, spaced across the room’s width. In traditional Southwestern Pueblo architectural design, exposed interior vigas were originally installed to support the roof, creating a striking visual element. Vigas often protrude through the home’s exterior walls as well, enhancing the home’s classic structural style. Protecting and maintaining vigas is integral to sustaining the architectural integrity and value of an old Arizona Southwestern Pueblo-style home.

Wood and terrazzo floors

Original hardwood floors are a serious draw for buyers looking for mid-century modern homes in Phoenix. Refinishing an original wood or terrazzo floor may be more labor-intensive than tearing them out and replacing them with newer materials, but if they can be salvaged and restored they can add tremendously to your resale value. Natural stone features such as fireplaces and accent walls original to the home should also be preserved and restored, as these are also fundamental to mid-century modern style interiors.

Wrought-iron details, tile work

Phoenix’s Hacienda-style homes, (also known as Spanish Revival), are commonly made of clay and stucco and represent both antique and contemporary architectural designs. Some key attributes that should be preserved during a renovation include wrought-iron details, original tile work, repeated arches, and interior exposed beams.  Original painted tile further enhances the character and charm of these homes, and add to profit potential upon resale.

The general guideline for renovating an old home for resale is to preserve architectural details rather than replace them.  While flipping homes is based on the theory that it’s best to tear out the old and replace it with inexpensive new materials, on the flip side, older homes were built to last and original architectural features are critical to attracting qualified and motivated buyers willing to pay top dollar for authenticity.

Intentional or inadvertent destruction of distinctive craftsmanship and high-quality materials because they appear dated or damaged is simply the best way to diminish an older home’s value. Even a quick flip can be accomplished without destroying the home’s original design integrity. Authentic details maximize the value of any home sale; remember, restoration-ready houses are difficult to find and easy to sell.

Any traditional architectural elements that you’d like to add to this list? Leave us a comment.

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Phoenix old home renovations