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Advice from the “Masters of Flip” to keep your projects from flopping

Kortney and Dave Wilson of HGTV’s “Masters of Flip” joined staff writer Jura Koncius on The Washington Post’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.

Q: How much money do you need to flip a home? Also, is it better to get a mortgage on such a property or, if you have the cash, purchase the house outright?

A: (Kortney Wilson) That is a loaded question because not only is every house different, but every market is different. We were actually going to mortgage a house this week, but to stay competitive and get it, we decided last minute to pay cash.

Cash is always best, because houses go quickly and you avoid carrying costs, but it is also riskier. If something goes wrong and you are upside down, the bank will probably not want to lend you money. It’s important to do your due diligence.

As far as budgets, they run anywhere from $60,000 (for a smaller house that doesn’t need a bump-out) to about $250,000. I would say we generally spend about $170,000 a house to do a bump-out and complete overhaul on about 2,500 square feet.

Q: I’m looking for color suggestions to change up a 1935 white brick house. Baltimore used brick then — hence the paint — and I can’t sandblast it to restore the original brick.

A: (KW) I am doing a house right now that is inspired by the Ralph Lauren color scheme — think really clean, creamy whites and navy blues. I’m painting the brick for the same reason and doing blue and black accents. The greenery that our landscaper has planned is going to pull it all together.

Q: We noticed that Kortney’s signature touch seems to be open dish cupboards in which the plates are positioned vertically, like record albums. What are the advantages of this tactic? More importantly, how do we get one for our kitchen?

A: (KW) I model a lot of the open cabinetry after European kitchens (which is so in right now). Of course, we are a big family and use plates nearly every day, so I love the idea of being able to see them all up…

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