Over the last week or so we’ve been in the grips of another remodel. This time of a one bedroom unit in one of our triplexes. It’s a really neat little property, one of my favorites, so it gets a little bit more attention then other multiplexes in our portfolio, though I try to take good care of them all since they take care of me.
A few years ago we remodeled the two bedroom unit, top to bottom, including the bedrooms and bathrooms. The one bedroom is getting a face-lift in the living room and kitchen with the bedroom and bathroom at a later time.
One of the reasons it’s getting a facelift is, I like doing this stuff. Not physically, though I can do it all myself, but the design etc. and especially seeing the progress.
Since it’s on my mind, the most cumbersome and expensive things with such a remodel are the details: all that little stuff really adds up and can easily double the cost. Thinks like adding electrical contacts for new lights, moving the plumbing a few inches, knobs, valves, screws, dimmers, light bulbs, boxes and I can keep the list going way past a thousand words probably.
Another reason is that one of the previous tenants turned out the be a bit irresponsible with letting her ferret soil the floor leaving a distinct smell which bearable since it was occupied for 2 years with other tenants made me squirm each time I smelled it, so it was time to remove it.
Also the kitchen made the place dark and dreary.
The remodel, is still on going and will include a new kitchen from IKEA, a very nice gas stove, lots of modern touches, new laminate flooring and in the middle of the room a solar tube to suck in some more light.
What you see above is a photo after most of the kitchen cabinets were removed. Progress is much further now. There are really only a few details left so I should have the results for you in about a week.
What will this remodel get me? An easier to lease place. Most of the apartments we remodeled usually lease before they are vacated or shortly after: vacancy is much lower. The rent will probably be higher by 30-40% and my payback will be 3-4 years, including opportunity cost. Plus a higher possible sales price because of the higher income and less things to take care of so maintenance issues should be almost nil.
Each person run their business as they see fit. I like to run mine with better properties, longer term tenants, less calls about issues and happier tenants. It pays a little less, but it all depends on how much value you assign to the aggravation factor of owning multifamily properties. In other works, what are you willing to do to reduce the amount of maintenance calls you get or tenants issues you have. I’m willing to pay: others are not, but I thing they are wrong.