Yes, we’re into the ninth week of our six-week renovation on the Roadrunner house. How did that happen? Continue reading
Old brick is really thirsty. That’s something we learned again this week. The brick at Roadrunner kept drinking up the sealer and paint like a football player drinks Gatorade. Well, at least the house didn’t spit any of the paint back out. Other than getting some of the kitchen appliances installed, painting the exterior is pretty much all that happened this week.
I think the new paint colors go really well with the shingles. We’ll paint the top of the bay window red like the trim.
Tell us what you think about the color choices. I think Sue Ann did a really good job once again.
“Bathrooms sell houses” is a bit of a truism in our business. But now that I have your attention, I want to talk about something a lot less sexy: Toilets.
I see a lot of renovations where people reuse the existing toilets. Okay. You save a few dollars, but not that much when compared to your overall renovation budget. And think of your buyer’s reaction to walking into a beautifully redone bathroom, lifting the lid, and seeing a toilet ring from a decade of limestone accumulation.
That’s why we always budget to replace every toilet in every one of our projects. When we catch a sale—like we did with the Roadrunner project—we come out ahead. But even when we pay our regular price, new toilets make a good impression on buyers, and we come out ahead.
But toilets aren’t always inexpensive, as we found out on the Ash House. The architect who designed that house used modern wall-mounted toilets. Both bathrooms in that house had beautiful brick floors, which we wanted to keep. Replacing the wall-mount toilets with freestanding ones would have required jackhammering out the brick floors to rerun the drain lines. Worse, it could have required replacing the drain lines throughout the house.
Still, we didn’t have a choice. The toilets in the house when we bought it looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned in more than a decade. No way they were coming clean!—no matter how hard we scrubbed. As you can see if you follow the link on the picture of the toilet, the replacements were expensive, but I believe they were well worth the price when you see how beautiful the bathrooms ended up.
So the bottom line is simple. Budget to replace the toilets in all your renovations. They’re not sexy, especially not like a jetted tub is sexy. You’ll never hear a potential buyer exclaim how excited they are about the toilets. But old toilets can kill a deal. Spend a few more dollars to make your buyers happy, even if they don’t know it.
We all agree that one of the main goals of real estate investing is passive income, and you can only generate that through owning rental properties. Rental properties can generate multiple income streams. But, assuming you don’t have the leverage to buy a multi-million dollar apartment community, how do you know if a house will make a good rental property? I have a few simple guidelines that let me know.
- The Affordability Guideline
- The 1% Rule
- The Appreciation Guideline
- The Market Appropriateness Guideline
In this post, I’ll go over each of these guidelines and then show you how we applied them to two of our current projects. Continue reading
Roadrunner is a big house, and big houses take time to renovate. But we’re nearing the finish line. This week’s update focuses on flooring and one more “invisible repair.”
We used a vinyl plank flooring system throughout the ground floor with the exception of the sunken family room. There we are echoing the carpet we used upstairs for a couple of reasons. First, carpet is more comfortable for kids to play on and lay on while they’re watching TV. Second, we wanted something to visually tie the ground floor to the stair case and second floor. The carpet serves that function very well. Continue reading