If you look at a lot of flipped houses in the under-$400K range, a pattern starts to emerge in the look and feel. In the sea of beige, you might occasionally see something unusual, but for the most part, flippers follow the “what will appeal to the largest audience and cost the least” formula.
So when we saw the work of husband-and-wife team Eddie and Tiffany Burns, two Collin County house flippers, we stopped in our tracks. They break the mold by buying and flipping houses in the $275-$350K range that have remarkable style, memorable amenities, and not a hint of boring beige anywhere.
“I do the design and I try to make it look like I would live in the home,” said Tiffany, who is a Realtor and broker with Keller Williams Frisco, as well as an interior designer. “If you spend just a little bit more, you can make it look so much nicer and people feel like they got something nicer than a standard [flipped house].”
Eddie is an adjunct professor of negotiation at El Centro and for the SMU Masters program, as well as a seasoned home remodeler. He has previous experience working for national new homebuilders.
“We’ve both been in real estate industry for 10 years and we’ve seen ups and downs and we’ve seen people be successful with this,” Tiffany said. “With the market the way it is, we thought we’d try it and it has become our main business.”
The couple bought, renovated, and sold their first Collin County house in September 2015, and have seven under their belt. Two are currently under contract, one is listing this week, and one will list in three weeks.
The goal? Twenty flipped houses this year. They’re well on their way.
“Eddie and I we like helping people—the first five years we were in real estate, we did primarily first-time homebuyers and we’re driven by making a difference in someone’s life, especially someone starting out or a young couple,” Tiffany said. “That’s part of the payback and most of our homes are in that price range.”
Eddie and Tiffany choose to work in Collin County because she is from Fairview, they live in Frisco, and they know the market in the area well. Plano is their main hub of operations now, and their company is called Monument Land & Investments.
“Here in Plano, we’re building a brand and people are getting to know us,” Eddie said. “The people who missed out on [one recent house] are asking us about our next house—they’re asking to add their names to a list of people who want to see our homes before they hit the market.”
That attention to detail and extra care in their flips is what makes them stand out.
“I walk through home multiple homes a week and to make sure everything is done as I envisioned it,” said Tiffany. “Now that our crew understands how I want things, it’s getting easier, but it’s time consuming.”
Another area in which the couple excels is in customer service. They’ve met almost all of the buyers of their homes and at one recent sale, the buyers ran up and hugged Tiffany when they found out they’d won the house.
“People are so excited—a lot of times , we get multiple offers and it’s stressful because they don’t know if they’re going to get the home,” Eddie said. “It’s a really rewarding experience to see them so happy.”
The houses are mostly done in a palette of grays and whites because that’s what selling now, says Tiffany, who strives to create a soft contemporary look.
“One of the houses we’re doing in Carrollton, we’re painting the brick on a ranch-style house and I’m going to do a bronze in that house and more of that rustic look because it fits the house,” she said. ”
The kitchens and bathrooms always have granite, though the couple is considering quartz in future renovations. Another “always” is a bright interior.
“I think the biggest difference in a house is light and I replace every light, including ceiling fans,” Tiffany said. “The most feedback we get is on our lighting and how much people like it because I always use bold and interesting fixtures, but ones that are appropriate for the houses.”
Flooring is another consideration.
“In the last three houses we’ve done hand-scraped, [solid] hardwood floors, including in the master, hallways, and living rooms,” she said. “That’s a big step up compared to what a lot of flippers have been doing.”
When asked what buyers will never find in a Monument Land & Investments home, Tiffany thought big.
“I like to thing you will never find boring, and I hope you never find anything cheap,” she said. “You will always find a very thought-out design, interesting light fixtures, and a slightly contemporary, but still somewhat traditional, interior.”
The Burns have a young family and that’s part of their motivation.
“We have a daughter who is three and a son who is five and my motivation is building a family business,” Eddie said. “They come with us, we’re teaching them, and there’s a lot of inspiration, too, in flipping a nice home and seeing homeowners who love it and think it’s the most amazing thing ever. That helps me focus and helps me do a great job.”