The proper way to flip houses

The proper way to flip houses

Flipping houses isn’t about getting rich quick. It’s about making properties better !


I grew up in Paris. My parents lived in a town house with a small garden near the Trocadero. By Paris standards it would be considered Posh. My neighbors were famous actors, ambassadors, doctors, or prominent government officials. Yet, As soon as I was old enough to get my own room, I knew the architecture layout of the house was rubbish. It made no sense. The kitchen was small and on the wrong floor, the bathrooms were embarrassing even for the 70’s, and there was no closet space anywhere. I couldn’t understand why my father was so proud of his hôtel particulier, and as a child I would take advantage of any birthday invitation from friends to explore their own living conditions. Needless to say, theirs were no better than mine!

Paris Haussmann buildings look very chic from the outside, but their interior organization is completely unfit for modern living. During the late 19th century, when most of them were erected, bathrooms were not yet a thing, neither were large walk-in closets, and kitchens were back offices for maids. It’s only after WWII that parisians began installing “proper” bathrooms. And by “proper” I mean a minuscule water closet gained upon the bedroom space. As a result, you often find today tiny bedrooms with ridiculously small bathrooms, even in expensive listings in well to do Paris neighborhoods.

Paris flat floor plan
A typical Haussmann flat in Paris, sold recently for 1.500.000 €. One tiny water closet for 4 bedrooms. A prime House flipping candidate

It is probably this quest for proper living conditions that pushed me to pursue interior architecture as a career. And today, I cannot enter someone’s home without thinking how I would transform the space for the better. It is my calling, my contribution to the flawed world we live in !

Flipping should add quality. Flipping should solve problems. Flipping should create design efficiency. Flipping is not about adding a room and using cheap materials to just bump up the price!

Whether it is an old historical building, or a modern one, build by promoters more interested by profits, than providing decent living conditions, most homes are deeply flawed, and would benefit from some sort of architectural modifications of the existing layout.

Some flippers, or as we call it in French, “Marchand de bien”, only interested in quick returns, like those you see all too much on YouTube or TikTok, are only here to make things worse.
Flipping should add quality. Flipping should solve problems. Flipping should create design efficiency. Flipping is not about adding a room and using cheap materials to just bump up the price!

Flipping is understanding volumes. Without proper architectural volumes you have nothing. If you don’t understand the correlation between each living space. If you don’t understand circulation. If you don’t understand flow. If you don’t understand the importance of light. Then you have brought nothing to elevate the space. You just wasted materials – cheap or expansive – and your actions were, more often than not, counter-productive.

Flipping is also understanding your market. Your job is to give people what they want. They want space, comfort and security. Or as Josh Flagg of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles would say; Kitchen and bath !

That right! Kitchen and baths. To stay with my Parisian example, the main idea behind reconfiguring layouts is to create what they lack; decent modern kitchens and bathrooms. If you manage to find sufficient closet space, you then have a winner. Winners in today’s market are rare. And with rare comes a premium, called high return on investment.

Old kitchen in Dubai flat for sale
Prime candidate for a house flipping program. the standard kitchen in a One bedroom flat in Dubai, was our starting point for a successful flipping project.
New kitchen after house flipping remodel
The same kitchen redone by us in this house flipping exercise in Dubai.

Our job is to transform ordinary into rare. In Paris, Dubai, London, New York or else… It takes a good architectural eye, design skills to stage it right, good contractors, and real estate acumen. All of which we can bring to your projects.

Contact us to see how we can work together.