Lessons From Listing Photographs: Dilapidated Houston House Now Dreamy

It doesn’t make a difference how excellent your dwelling is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential potential buyers will not occur by to just take a seem. In our sequence “Lessons From Listing Shots,” we dissect the intelligent updates sellers have designed to their houses, and how their listing images spotlight the home’s ideal assets.

When the earlier homeowners of this three-bedroom, two-bathroom property in Houston stumbled on it, they knew they had identified a diamond in the tough. And by tough, we signify tough.

The household, built in 1929, was partly gutted, and what was remaining was dated and in disrepair. But the house’s operate-down state failed to hinder the prior entrepreneurs from seeing its probable. Additionally, it is located in a fascinating (and significantly adorable) community that’s just outside the house downtown.

So they took a leap and procured the property for $89,000 in 2011. Over the future nine several years, they definitely place in the function. When they stated the residence in September 2020, it offered for $479,900. Talk about a attain!

So sure, remarkable returns on financial investment are possible—and the system will not essentially have to drag on for the superior part of a decade. We tapped our team of professionals to locate out what these proprietors did that produced this transformation this sort of a achievements, and how you can pull off a similar feat.


The entrance of this home has long gone from dreary to bright, warm, and welcoming.

Natasha Nicolaou, proprietor of NatNico Styles, a Boston-centered inside layout and residence-staging enterprise, says these images embody all the things a home renovation need to be.

“If you glimpse intently, you can see there are really handful of big structural modifications. This owners truly recognized wherever to shell out their funds to get the most bang for their buck,” she describes. “The addition of the personal entrance deck, staircase, and matching window containers would make the house look larger sized and more considerable. … The extra window in the front bed room produces a stunning continuity to the front of the house.”

“The makeover of the front of the house is easy but absolutely adjustments the experience of the residence,” provides Rachel Road, interior designer, real estate agent, and the host of the Do-it-yourself Community show “Philly Revival.” “Clear, white siding is complemented with pure wooden accents in the fence and window box, and the pop of yellow on the entrance doorway generates an inviting and cheery entry.”

Living home

“This residing space is a fantastic example of how a several basic, nevertheless efficient modifications can completely alter the seem and experience of the dwelling place,” suggests Nicolaou. “By including constructed-in cabinets and a barn board wall, the past owners have taken a forgettable hearth and two very small windows and established a lovely focal point to anchor the space. The new seem provides the property a much more customized, large-conclude come to feel that prospective buyers are captivated to.”

Road states these constructed-ins provide yet another intelligent objective: incorporating storage, one thing which is quite essential to buyers on the lookout at lesser properties.

“They also produced a smart alternative to conserve cash by portray the fire a deep charcoal color instead of refacing or entirely replacing the unit,” Nicolaou claims. That very likely saved the house owners massive bucks for their renovation budget. For the reason that the goal is to make a superior gain, proper?

Kitchen area

There is nearly practically nothing remaining of the first kitchen, and that’s most likely a superior point since the total overhaul paid off.

“Owning an eye-catching kitchen is the key to advertising a residence, and they did a excellent career concentrating on the particulars and fully making use of the room,” says household actual estate investor Bill Samuel. “I primarily like the contrasting colors of the upper and reduced cupboards.”

Janci Deetz, stager and designer at studio D, suggests “Bringing the hardwood in from the dwelling home allows join the rooms and provides the illusion of extra house.”

“New appliances and a compact island incorporate operation and appeal to possible customers,” adds Deetz. “…The kitchen area is the coronary heart of the property, and often a safe location to devote income if you are trying to see a return on financial investment,” adds Deetz.

Bed room

Adjust is great, primarily in this previously drab bed room. Road suggests a lot of that change comes from the more (and now blind-much less) home windows, which aid convey the exterior in.

But the home windows aren’t the only modifications Street discovered.

“The sliding barn doorway adds character and also saves place in the slim home, raising its performance and creating it come to feel extra open,” she claims.

Nicolaou has practically nothing but fantastic factors to say about the bedroom.

“I’m in enjoy with the designer touches that have totally elevated the glance of this space,” she claims. “The shiplap wall, sliding barn doorway, up to date ceiling enthusiast, even the added touches to the molding exhibit that the previous owner understands and appreciates a buyer’s eye for detail and design and style. Even the paint colours, whilst uncomplicated, definitely add a amount of design and sophistication to the new grasp bed room.”


Just about every flipper appreciates you require to have a spa-quality bathroom, and so did this home’s past house owners.

Deetz confirms that renovated bathrooms are usually significant on the wish record of possible potential buyers.

“This rest room appears substantially greater after the addition of light-weight-reflecting surfaces,” says Street. “Subway tile is not an highly-priced tile option, so this is an inexpensive up grade that presents major bang for your buck.”

Nicolaou agrees. “Wall-to-wall tile is a wise expense that has completely up to date the seem of this rest room,” she suggests.

She also notes that potential buyers will drop in enjoy with the designer touches in this lavatory: “The double sinks with different heights will charm to families with youngsters, while the updated mirror and lights will charm to a purchaser wanting for a toilet with a minor designer glam.”


Some potential prospective buyers could have spotted that sorry-wanting guesthouse out back again and straight away began calculating the rate of demolition. But Samuel suggests tearing it down would have been a negative strategy until it was totally past repair—and it wasn’t.

“I completely agree with trying to keep the in-regulation suite on the residence as the added sq. footage provides a significant total of value to the house,” Samuel explains. “Owning the added residing house on the house is a excellent marketing point for buyers when they host visitors from out of town.”

He also suggests some prospective buyers may possibly view the renovated guesthouse as prospective rental space—either through Airbnb or as a prolonged-phrase rental. Supplying a way to offset a mortgage loan payment is a sensible way to entice buyers to pay back a better cost for a home.