Carly Anderson has always had an eye for interior design and attention to detail, but she never imagined that her passion would not only forge a new career but also lead to building her own dream home.
The 39-year-old Belfast woman has become a professional ‘house flipper’ and that’s exactly what she does.
She buys a house, and completely flips it on its head with interior renovations.
When Carly is finished, the homes are ready for resale, looking completely different and prospective buyers even have the option to buy the house complete with all the furniture Carly has hand-picked herself.
Speaking to Be, the civil servant explained just how her business works and a bold move to sell her home and purchase two smaller home paid off.
She said: “I had never anything like this before I was always interested in this type of thing with TV shows and I refurbished the house I lived in and I just thought one day I can do this.
“I was really brave and took the decision to sell the house that I lived in three years ago and buy two smaller houses and refurb them.
“So after I put the house up for sale one of the builders came and offered me £15,000 for all the furniture in the house as well. So that kind of put it in my mind as well that people are looking for the ready to move in to homes, and I just thought that might be a wee niche in the market.
“So with the two I bought I decided that I would stage them properly and everything would be in it. So I set out doing that, the first was on Ravenhill Road and the second was in Newtownbreda and the first one was a two bedroom apartment, nice building, ground floor and nice garden out the back, I bought it for £100k, spent about £13k on it and ended up made £61,000 profit on it, so I thought this is the way to go.”
Carly plans everything she is going to do in the houses she flips but she also has built up her own team of professionals to ensure each home is finished to a very high standard.
She said: “I get all the trades people in, I wouldn’t have a clue about that aspect because all the houses are literally taken back to the walls for example the one at Ravenhill had economy seven heating in it so the concrete floors had to come up, I’ve knocked a wall down in most of them so I do that all with building control and get builders in.
“Over each project I’ve now built up a team of builders, plumbers and even in addition to that I have the estate agents and solicitor and mortgage advisor who I all regularly use so it’s a whole real wee team behind me and couldn’t do it without all of them.
“In every house I decide what goes into it, what kitchen, what bathroom, what layout is going to be and then my good old dad is a painter and decorator so he has the laborious task of painting a wall and then me coming in and telling him that’s not right and then my mum coming in and saying the same and he just sucks it up and does it, bless him.
“The whole team get involved and then towards the end we start to stage it and my mum helps me stage it. I buy all the furniture brand new and then use little accessories I have such as plants and pictures and then it’s put on the market and we offer just the house or there’s the furniture package which includes the furniture too. To be honest every time, bar one, the buyer has taken the furniture package.”
When Carly started out she had a vision that one day she would build her own home, but she wasn’t willing to move too far from home.
She said: “At the start before I decided to even do this I really wanted to build my own house and no matter what house I looked at it just wasn’t quite right but also I’m such a Belfast girl and I wanted to stay close to where I live which is near Forestside.
“So I found the perfect location and it’s a location you can’t change so I bought the house and put in planning permission to demolish it and built my dream house on that site, so that was also part of my motivation to make what I was doing really work and thankfully it has.
“It’s just going through at a nice steady pace and it’s just making sure you’re looking for one while one is up for sale.
“I just wanted to pursue this to follow my dream and it just worked out so well, I’m so glad I made the jump.”
Here are some of Carly’s top tips for flipping your own home or one you’ve bought
Top Tips: Buying Houses to Flip
1. Only buy the property if you would live in it! You never know you may have to.
2. Keep up-to-date with house prices in your area.
3. Establish a cracking team, from estate agent to contractors.
4. Take Action, view properties, meet fellow investors, make offers.
5. You will ALWAYS need a bigger skip than you think!
Top Tips: Flipping your own home
1. Kitchen Flips – For a more streamlined look, integrate all appliances – including extractor fan!
2. Use recommended tradespeople, ask to see their previous work.
3. Make flooring cohesive – use the same colour of carpet and flooring throughout the house.
4. Choose floor length, light coloured curtains for an elegant look.
5. Add plants, mirrors, pictures and lamps for the finished look.
You can see more of Carly’s incredible before and after transformations on her ‘Flipping Belfast’ Instagram here.