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5 home improvement tips from the stars of "Flip or Flop Nashville"

Ned Ehrbar
Producer

“Flip or Flop Nashville” stars Page Turner and DeRon Jenkins have seen plenty of ups and downs in their city’s real estate market, and they have some tips for potential flippers about how to best navigate the industry.

Watch the market

“With any business, you have to have a plan, and, of course, pad the plan, meaning pad the budget,” says Turner, who stars on the HGTV series with her ex-husband, Jenkins. “It's really going to depend on which part of the country you're in, and where housing prices are. In Nashville, our housing prices have been lower, higher, then busted the bubble, and now they're kind of mellowing out. So, we've seen a lot of ups and downs with our business.”

Front-load your efforts

The first step to becoming a successful house-flipper, according to Jenkins, is understanding the financial realities of the business.

“Your money is made on the front end of all real estate deals for the most part, especially renovation,” he says, which means aiming to keep the purchase price as low as possible to maximize potential profits. “If you purchase the property for too much, then by the time you are at your closing table, that amount can really shrink.”

Renovate toward ROI

The key to the house-flipping game is return on investment, and the best way to insure a good ROI -- aside from negotiating a good purchase price -- is all about finding ways to save money during the renovation without making choices that will turn off potential buyers.

“We're always scouting and finding ways we can save money during the renovation,” Turner says. “For instance, we're really big fans of adding a pass-through. Of course, if you’re dealing with a load-bearing wall, you can't tear it down, but there are other ways you can open up a room, make it brighter.”

Lighten up

One tactic Jenkins loves for brightening up a space is to literally make it brighter. “Some of the homes are a little bit smaller, so we use a lot of the white or brighter colors,” he says. “Just to give the house some character, we'll go with a darker trim. That gives the house pop. It gives the house a cool feature. Kind of a contemporary feature that people really like right now.”

Turner and Jenkins also suggest using wallpaper, shiplap and window treatments as ways to brighten up a room and maximize its square footage.

Don’t skimp on the master bath

But if you’re going to splurge on any part of a renovation, Turner and Jenkins have one recommendation: Never cut corners on the master bathroom.

“Women like me really still want a beautiful bathroom to adorn themselves in, so I love making bathrooms beautiful,” Turner says.

Jenkins agrees: “The women are coming into the house, they are looking for that master bathroom,” he says. “And that's who decides who's going to buy the house.”

Say Turner, “We're still the bosses. This is the truth.”

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