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Improving a property doesn\'t always involve major changes and a huge expense.\nSometimes, it\'s the combination of smaller fixes that can really pull a property together. To access more such knowledge resources, visit our website. \nhttps://jakeandgino.com/downloads/ \n

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improving a property

IMPROVING A PROPERTY

Improving a property doesn't always involve major changes and a huge expense.

Sometimes, it's the combination of smaller fxes that can really pull a property together.

IMPROVE OR REPAIR

Te changes you make will be classifed as either an

improvement or a repair, and while both make the

property more appealing to tenants, repairs typically

aren't very expensive and are tax deductible for the

year in which they're made, while improvements are

more costly and are depreciated over the course of

several years. Repairs, such as a leaky faucet or a

broken doorknob, keep conditions livable but don't

add much in terms of value to the property, but

improvements, such as replacing a roof and replacing

the electrical wiring, do add value.

INTERIOR FIXES

Once the outside is taken care of, we tackle the inside. We start by working on any vacant units that need to be

“turned” as it's vital to get these units up and running to generate revenue. To start, these units need to be painted,

carpeting and fooring should be replaced if it's old, worn, or damaged, all unattractive light fxtures need to be

replaced, and all plumbing must be in working order.

FROM OUTSIDE IN

When it comes to what we fx on the property, we

always start from the outside and work our way in for

the pure fact that the outer appearance is what

potential tenants see frst. If their impression is

negative, they're not even going to make it through the

front door. Change the perception of the property, and

you increase the interest of potential tenants.

THE HEART OF THE HOME

Te heart of the home is the kitchen, and it's where we focus much of our efort. We replace countertops, change

out sinks and faucets if need be, and update appliances if they're old and not working properly. Rather than replace

entire cabinets, we try to repaint or reface them if possible.

COMMON AREA

On to the common areas, which include the basement, hallways, and laundry room. We install fuorescent lighting

to reduce the electrical expense, and install photocells outside to control electricity usage.

20 items to fix

20 ITEMS TO FIX

To follow is a list of the top 20 items that are benefcial to fx in order to make the property more

appealing and retain quality tenants. Keep in mind while reading the below information that you only

have one chance to make a great frst impression, so any changes that can be done are extremely

benefcial.

Mailboxes

Tey're usually one of the frst things

potential tenants notice when they pull

up to the property, so ones that are

damaged or rusty aren't going to be a

very good sign. We suggest replacing all

the mailboxes to maintain uniformity.

Tey cost around $25 per mailbox, but

can be priceless in terms of making a

positive impression.

DUMPSTER

Te last thing you want is potential

tenants pulling up and seeing an

overfowing garbage dumpster that not

only looks unattractive, but also smells.

It's certainly not a positive impression.

Our solution is to put fencing around it

so it's out of sight yet easily accessible.

We match the color of the fence to the

exterior of the buildings to give the

property a uniform look.

Gutters

You don't want rainwater puddling up

against the building where it could

eventually fnd a way to penetrate the

foundation and create havoc in the

basement, which is where gutters come

in handy. Keeping gutters clear of debris

can prevent water from pooling near the

structure. Because gutters are so visible

on a property, they're also one of the frst

things that a potential tenant notices.

We install white PVC gutters, but you

can match the gutter to the color of the

siding.

landscaping

Trimming the trees and shrubs, mowing

the lawn, and trimming the weeds can

not only revitalize the property and make

it more attractive, but it can also let more

natural light in to the units. We also

install inexpensive shrubs around the

property and water the lawn so the

exterior looks clean and vibrant without

2.

1.

costing a fortune.

Paint

3.

One of the easiest things you can do to

massively increase the value and

appearance of your property is to paint

the facade. You'll be amazed at the

transformation of your building once

you've applied a fresh coat of paint. We

begin by power washing the exterior to

remove any dirt or rust from metal

structures, then we add paint to stairwells,

doors, and siding. We also add

budget-friendly shutters to the windows

to add a bit of contrast and decoration.

Te vacant units get painted in a

two-tone color scheme, the trim and

doors get painted with bright white

semi-gloss, and the walls get painted

shaker beige. Tenants love the fresh clean

look, and it's one of the least expensive

ways a landlord can increase the

perceived value. We've even had tenants

move from their apartments that were

lower in rent to newly turned higher rent

apartments all because they liked the new

4.

5.

paint job.

driveway sealing the driveway doesn t increase

Driveway

Sealing the driveway doesn't increase the

value of your property, but it does add a

fresh new look. It lowers the deferred

maintenance on the property if

performed every few years. Sealing adds

a layer of protection from the elements

and improves the appearance while

increasing the life of the asphalt. Before

adding sealer to the driveway, be certain

to patch any holes. Once the sealer has

been applied, you can re-stripe the

parking lot.

signage

Tis is one of our favorite items to

implement once we've assumed

ownership. We like to change the name

of the property to announce that the

property is under “new” ownership. Tis

is critical when repositioning a property

that has a sub par reputation.

Re-branding makes the new ownership

ofcial and shows the tenants that things

are about to change for the better.

Signage includes relevant information

such as the ofce location and phone

6.

NEW

OWNER

7.

number.

common

areas

Revitalizing the common areas is essential.

Some landlords neglect these spaces,

which include laundry rooms, club

houses, hallways, stairwells, parking lots,

and store rooms, because they think they

lack importance. We view laundry rooms

as a necessity for tenants, especially if the

competition has them. We contract the

service out to Coinmach and sign an

agreement with them to service the units

for a split of the revenue. Te company

ofers an up-front incentive to solicit the

business, and the landlord receives new

machines and one less headache (and less

expense) to worry about.

maintained for liability reasons as well as

for aesthetic purposes. We appreciate our

tenants and the the business they provide,

so it's only fair to ofer a clean, safe

environment. It will also be easier to rent

to prospective tenants if they see that the

common areas are well maintained.

outdoor

Lighting

Before you take over the property, take a

trip at night to observe if there are any

areas that are not well illuminated.

Tenants feel much safer if the property is

well-lit, and it will reduce a landlord’s

liability if someone were to fall at night.

We like to install photocells, which are

lights with sensors that turn on in the

evening and shut of in the morning

when the they sense sunlight. It reduces

the amount of electricity used and

there's an assurance that the lights do

turn on and of properly. We've used

timers in the past, but found them

problematic because they have to be

re-programmed as the days lengthen and

shorten. We install sensors in the

hallway that turn the lights on when

tenants enter, and shut of after a couple

of minutes. You can even install sensors

in the laundry rooms so the lights will

shut of automatically when the rooms

are unoccupied. Tis simple change

means saving big when it comes to the

8.

9.

Tese areas should always be

fences &

Railings

We're still surprised when properties that

are on the market have rusty railings or

dilapidated fencing. Tese are easy repairs

that cost very little yet yield substantial

returns. A little paint, a little rust removal,

and some power washing can do wonders

for the aesthetics of a property. We start

out by using a pressure washer to remove

any rust from railings, then go on to paint

the railings, doors, and shutters.

Depending on the property, we may also

install fencing.

10.

electric bill.

cabinets te kitchen is the most expensive

cabinets

Te kitchen is the most expensive, yet

most advantageous, room to rehab in an

apartment, so trying to fnd ways to save

money is vital. It all depends on the type

of properties in which you're investing.

If you're investing in A or B properties,

then you may be forced to install new

cabinets, but in C properties, not so

much. It's not usually necessary to

replace cabinets, but to repaint or reface

them instead.

We either reface the cabinets or paint

them white and change the knobs and

handles. It results in a whole new look

for the kitchen at a fraction of the cost.

One of the biggest mistakes a new

landlord makes is over-fxing a property.

Our goal is to keep costs down while

ofering clean, safe, and afordable

housing that doesn't break the bank.

flooring

When you acquire a property, every

apartment should be assessed to see if

the fooring needs to be repaired or

replaced. Unless the carpeting in the

bedroom is in good condition, we replace

it with vinyl wood fooring. If we decide

to go with new carpet instead, we shop

at the factory outlet to get it for a

fraction of the price.

Our long term goal is to replace all of

the carpets with vinyl wood fooring.

Tenants love the look and feel of it, and

it's easier for us to maintain every time

the unit is vacated. Carpets need to be

steam cleaned and, over time, are more

likely to get damaged. You'll typically

fnd that tenants are willing to pay more

in rent if the unit has vinyl fooring

rather than carpeting.

11.

12.

door

ceiling fan

exhaust

Bathrooms that don't have exhaust fans

to remove steam from showers are a

breeding ground for mold. Installing

exhaust fans will remedy this problem

and add a modern look to the bathroom.

Te installation process is inexpensive,

and most tenants appreciate it, especially

during the summer months. Tese fans

can also double as a light fxture.

13.

14.

hardware

Tis is one simple area that most

landlords overlook. After we fnish either

re-facing or repainting the kitchen

cabinets, we move onto replacing the

hardware. Te knobs on cabinets show

the most wear and tear and take a lot of

abuse. For a few dollars a piece, your

cabinets will look brand new.

Considering doorknobs are used on a

daily basis, replacing them can create a

dramatic improvement.

Window

Treatments

In addition to providing your tenants

with added privacy, incorporating

window coverings will allow you to

collect more in rent. Coverings also add

relief from the sun, protect the furniture

and fooring, and instill a homey feeling.

Tis is one improvement that will allow

for a quick return your investment. We

can charge an additional $10 to $15 per

month for a unit with window coverings,

yet they only cost around $150 to install.

We recoup our investment within a year,

and we have a happy tenant as well.

15.

countertops tenants spend a great deal of time

countertops

Tenants spend a great deal of time in the

kitchen, which is why it's so important to

have stylish, sturdy, and functional

countertops. We'll only change the

countertops if they're damaged or

extremely unattractive. A and B properties

will need to be furnished with granite or

marble countertops, especially if the

competition ofers this feature. In C

properties, we can install inexpensive

Formica tops. You'll be amazed at the

quality of Formica tops that are currently

light

fixtures

You can often tell the age of a property

by the outdated light fxtures. Tis is

another simple fx that most cheap

landlords overlook. Go to a lighting

store and select modern light fxtures for

the kitchen and bathroom. Your tenant

will thank you.

16.

17.

on the market.

Garage/

carport

Tenants are more likely to favor a

property that ofers them additional

storage and/or parking room. Not only

do they have a place to properly store

their items or park, but as a landlord, you

get the added beneft of having junk

stored away instead of strewn all over.

Te property will rent quicker and will

always have more long term value.

Practice frugality if you're reconditioning

these structures. Te goal is to accentuate

the exterior while providing security for

the tenant’s belongings.

Washers &

Dryers

Tis may seem like an obvious fx, but

many landlords allow their laundry

machines to fall into such disrepair that

they become inoperable. Older machines

tend to break down quicker, and most

landlords don’t want to sink any more

money into an old unit. Our solution is to

sell all the old machines and bring in a

laundry service company, such as

Coinmach, which will furnish us with new

machines and pay us an upfront

commission. For around 50% of the

revenue, they're responsible for

maintaining the machines and emptying

out the change on a monthly basis. We

love the arrangement; it frees up our

maintenance crew to tackle other jobs and

we don’t have to worry about replacing

machines when they decide to stop

19.

18.

Utilities

Our frst investment property that we purchased, a four-plex, had one electric meter that

serviced the entire property. We would drive by and see the lights left on and the air

conditioners running while the windows were ajar. We quickly realized that if someone

wasn't paying for a service, conservation was the last thing on their mind. My solution was

to have an electrician split the utilities and install separate meters for each unit. It was a

painful solution in the short run, but we recouped my investment within three years. All

of a sudden, the lights were being turned of and the air conditioner only ran on the

hottest days.

working.

20.

A property where the landlord pays for all utilities is called All Bills Paid. We've learned

to try to avoid this situation, unless the utilities can be split or the landlord can institute a

Ratio Utility Billing System, which is a system where the landlord bills the tenants for

their share of the utilities. Studies have shown that once tenants begin to pay for their own

water usage, consumption drops by as much as 40%. Te arrangement, however, typically

depends on the area. If the apartment complex down the street is paying for tenant’s

utilities, chances are you won't be able to push of the utility expense to the tenants.

Unfortunately, utilities such as water and heating oil seem to be increasing every year and

results in a substantial percentage of a landlord’s expense. As a business owner, it's a huge

risk when you have no control over those escalating expenses

renovation inspection checklist

RENOVATION INSPECTION

CHECKLIST

To help you determine what needs to be done, look over the below Renovation Inspection Checklist and

check items of as you walk around your own property.

EXTERIOR

Good

fix

Replace

Doors

Windows

Brick/Siding

Paint

Landscaping

Walkways

Driveway

Curbs

Garage/Carport

Fences

Roof

Drainage

Lighting

Signage

Gutters

Balconies

Chimneys

Garage area

Foundation

Mailboxes

slide8

Good

fix

Replace

Interiors

Carpet

Ceramic tiles

Doors

Drapes/Blinds

Smoke detectors

Electrical

Water heater

A/C unit

Paint

Good

fix

Replace

kitchen

Cabinets

Countertops

Stove

Refrigerator

Sink

Dishwasher

Garbage disposal

Flooring

Light fixtures

Good

fix

Replace

bathroom

Cabinets

Floors

Tub/Shower

Vanity

Lighting

Wall tile

Wall paint

slide9

Good

fix

Replace

living area

Walls/Ceilings

Doors

Floors

Light fixtures

Outlets

Windows

Good

fix

Replace

common areas

Lighting

Floors

Washers/Dryers

Doors

Keep in mind that all of the aforementioned doesn't need to be done, but the more you can

complete, the better it's going to be for increasing the value of your property as well as attracting

new tenants and retaining the ones you have.