An investment property can be a highly lucrative opportunity for all kinds of investors. Even so, these types of investments do require a bit more hands-on maintenance than other investment vehicles. Fortunately, it is quite easy to increase the value of an investment property. To do so, homeowners must only complete minor upgrades that will significantly improve the overall aesthetics of the property in question.
To get started with your upgrades, first look for minor cosmetic improvements that can be made. For instance, the flooring within many rentals often becomes quite damaged over time. By simply regrouting and deep cleaning tile flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, you may instantly improve the overall aesthetics of your property. This goes for the rest of the house too. Renters love clean properties. The cleaner are you able to make every surface found throughout your property, the more desirable will it become in the eyes of discerning renters.
A fresh coat of paint on interior surfaces may also go a long way towards convincing renters to occupy a property. Fresh paint can instantly cover up any scuff marks that were created by past tenants while also allowing you to customize the property’s appearance. Try to avoid choosing paint colors you would personally enjoy having in your own house, though. When selecting a paint color, it’s essential to use a color that is widely accepted so that your property may appeal to the highest number of potential renters.
The same principle may be applied to the exterior of your property as well. Dirt and grime build up over time on the exterior of every house. By simply washing down the exterior of your property, and giving it a fresh coat of paint, you can make the entire house look just like new. If you also make the wise decision to add some color through the addition of a few new plants here and there, you will undoubtedly be rewarded for your efforts.
While minor, aesthetic improvements will definitely help to boost interest in a property, they are not the only upgrades that should be made. To ensure your renters will want to occupy your property for many years to come, it is also important that every aspect of your property be in good working order. Replacing hinges on doors and upgrading the hardware on kitchen cabinets will provide renters with an excellent experience that will keep them satisfied for many years to come.
As a real estate investor, making your property appealing to potential buyers or renters is a step in the right direction towards getting a return on your investment. While you might want to stray away from full “fixer-uppers” (at least until you gain enough experience), there are some renovations you might want to consider to add value to your investment property.
The floor throughout your property plays an important role in the renovation process. Is there carpet throughout? Or, can you find the hidden gem of original hard-wood? Figure out what interior look you’re going for, or look into current trends. If you want to keep the originality of the flooring, you can have them sanded and refinished for a fresh new look.
Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms
As we’ve mentioned, a full flip is a significant challenge unless you have the experience and resources. But, rest assured, there are a few great ways to update a kitchen without completely breaking the bank. Kitchen cabinets are often a focal point of what potential tenants or buyers are looking for. Cabinets are great to work with; if they have a good base and minimal damage, a quick sanding and fresh stain or a new coat of paint can go a long way. Finish them off with new hardware to complete the updated look. For countertops, you may want to consider replacing them if the current ones are dated.
Paint, Paint, Paint
A fresh coat of paint in each room goes a long way in “sprucing” things up a bit. Choose popular colors that are surrounding what’s currently trending. This is where you can have a little fun and figure out what potential renters or buyers are looking for.
Your focus shouldn’t just be directed toward the interior of your property; exterior matters just as much. Make sure your investment property is appealing to anyone that might be interested. Keep the grounds maintained well and consider a few different landscaping or garden options. The property being well kept on the outside is a great first impression.
Television reality shows, like Flip This House, give a skewed impression of the reality of flipping a house. Unfortunately, many new investors jump right in, believing they will make those big paydays. They often end up disappointed and taking huge losses. While every house won’t sell for as much as reality television implies, there is still money to be made, if you act wisely.
How Much of a Profit Can You Really Expect?
It’s difficult to give an accurate estimate because the only way to measure this is by looking at all home sales. The sales in a given region within a specified time frame provide the general home sale price for properties in that area. For instance, ATTOM reports that housing sales averaged $65,520 in the second quarter of this year, but that number doesn’t differentiate between fix and flip investments and other residential sales.
When going directly to investors for information, it’s estimated that they make an average of $30,000 on each fix and flip. This is acknowledging that some investments may bring in less, while others may bring in more. It depends on the overall value of the home, the resources invested in its renovation, and the health of the market in that area.
How Can You Maximize Your Potential Profits?
While you may not be able to do much about the health of the market, you can act to affect the home’s value
by renovating wisely. The real trick is to spend as little as possible on repairing the property and getting it back on the market quickly. As a general rule, the more time you spend fixing up a property, the bigger the chance that something major will eat up your resources.
One thing to keep in mind is not to update features that won’t boost the home’s resale value. When a buyer is interested in the property, their lender will send an appraiser out to inspect the property. If the appraiser doesn’t agree with your estimate of the home’s value, you’ll likely lose money on those upgrades. It’s a good idea to consult a realtor, or a private appraiser, for insight into the upgrades you want to make.
Overall, you will want to keep upgrades simple and cost-effective. Bear in mind that major upgrades may not appeal to homebuyers, who will likely remodel to add their own style, anyway. Look for properties that can be made sale-ready with just some simple and relatively cheap improvements to maximize your return on investment.
Mark Twain famously advised, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” For most of modern history, this has been sage advice. Now, more than ever, following this advice can often lead to big investment returns.
The stock market has seen a nine-year run up. Many experts expect a correction. Cryptocurrency has been hot, but it’s speculative and risky. Bitcoin and its brethren are no place to park money you are counting on for the future. What if you want more safety but a decent, predictable return?
Real estate investing provides the perfect solution. It provides real returns without the risk of a chunk of your cash disappearing overnight. However, many potential investors fail to realize that you can get started in real estate with as little as a few hundred dollars.
As noted in an article on Penny Hoarder, real estate starter portfolios, such as the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, have investment minimums of just $500, at a time. Investors buy shares of a diverse real estate portfolio that encompasses rental properties, land investments, commercial real estate, and other large projects. Investors have access to a dashboard that shows the properties they are invested in and their performance. The Fundrise Starter Portfolio pays a quarterly dividend and enjoyed an 11.44 percent gain in 2017.
For small investors who want direct ownership, raw land offers big opportunities. The price is generally cheap, and so is the ongoing costs of ownership, as explained by Fortune Builders writer JD Esajian. Property taxes can be as little as $100 per year. You are free to develop the land or sell it at a profit. Many raw land deals can be funded with just a few thousand dollars or less. Buyers should always beware if the land comes with any covenants or restrictions and consider only buying land unencumbered by a homeowners’ association. For example, a neighborhood association could restrict certain types of development or require development by a certain date. They can also prevent you from selling your land or force you to sell it.
Those enjoy being hands-on do well with fix-and-flip investment properties. Many lenders provide loans based on the after repaired value, which, if you find the right property, can mean $0 down and even cash in your pocket to fund the improvements. If being this hands on doesn’t interest you, you can get in on the lending side. Many private lenders are seeking investors with investment minimums of just a few thousand.
House-flipping has become a trendy and exciting career for many hungry professionals looking to establish themselves in the housing/real estate market. But in an attempt to chase after a truly promising career, far too many people repeat the same mistakes.
To help remedy the recurring problems that come along with house-flipping, below are two all too common pitfalls that seem to perpetually plague real estate moguls longing to turn a passion into a paid project.
What is Flipping?
First, we need to establish what constitutes “house-flipping” in the first place. “Flipping” is a type of real estate strategy in which the buyer purchases a house for the sole purpose of renovating and selling the property. The way that profit is made in this business is by purchasing low and selling high.
For instance, investors who flip properties might buy a property in an especially “hot” market, renovate it, and then sell it at a price that makes sense with its newly added, state-of-the-art upgrades. This is also where the true work comes in, too. House-flipping doesn’t just require smart investment purchases, it also requires home renovation and remodeling skill.
Mistake #1: Poor Time-Management
Renovating and flipping can often be a time-consuming business. Not only do you need to find a property, but you have to have enough time built into your project to account for inspections. After that, of course, you need to play the waiting game that comes along with listing. It takes a lot of confidence in your skill to be patient through this whole process, especially if your goal is to make enough money to at least break even.
Mistake #2: Not Enough Skills
House-flipping isn’t easy, and the competition is certainly present. Many skilled plumbers and carpenters often flip houses as a side project. If you desire to excel in the industry, there’s a lot more to it than buying low, taking a sledgehammer to the bathroom, and listing it on the market. Like it or not, the real money in the house-flipping industry comes from what the professionals call sweat equity. If you’re comfortable (and skilled) with a hammer, hanging drywall, and laying a carpet, then you just may have what it takes to make it in the house-flipping industry.
In the end, patience and hard-work are equally as important as any other skill in the house-flipping industry. If house-flipping is a passion of yours, then going into the industry with research and guidance is imperative. It won’t be easy, but with the dedication needed to accomplish the task at hand, house-flipping and renovation can be a great career full of excitement and fulfillment.