When looking for a rental property there are a number of things to consider: neighborhood, price, renovations, potential, etc. You want everything to be perfect, but perfect often comes at a high price. So instead we look for good enough. Most new purchases are going to come with a certain level of remodeling. So how do you decide what problems are okay and which ones are deal breakers?
The following Ali Safavi Real Estate list is a guide on what to look out for when shopping for rental properties. Each building is unique, and your skillset for renovations is unique. None of these are must-follows, but they will get you thinking in the right direction.
- Ali Safavi Real Estate: There’s Something Rotten
When you walk into a house, and it smells like an old sock, most of us have the impulse to turn around. Ironically, bad smells are one of the easiest problems to fix in a property but one of the things that drives away 99% of the competition. Bad smells are generally caused by one or more of a few things, none of which are difficult to solve:
- Rotten Food
- Water damage
- Smoke damage
- Old socks
Most of this list is fairly easy to fix. Finding an easy solution may allow you to get a good deal when others where too turned off to make an offer. One caveat is bad sewage. That’s a problem that could be rooted in plumbing issues, which can be a hassle you don’t want to take on.
- Ali Safavi Real Estate: Finding Profitability In The Bedroom
Everyone once in a while you’ll look at a home that is listed as a 2 bedrooms, but hidden inside is potential for more. Some homes, for some reason, have an entire room that is listed for storage or other odd purposes. Do you know an extra bedroom can add as much as $25,000 to the value of the home? This means if you see potential for an easy switch from room to bedroom, jump on it.
- Ali Safavi Real Estate: Don’t Be Turned Off By Ugly
You’ve likely heard the phrase “kitchens and baths sell houses,” and it’s not an exaggeration! If you walk into a home and the kitchen looks like a dilapidated version of a 1950s movie set, don’t be deterred. As we have written about before at Ali Safavi Real Estate, often a fresh coast of pain will do wonders in transforming old to look new.
There are also a number of affordable options for new countertops. You don’t have to break the bank to bring a fresh aesthetic to these areas. Especially in the age of Pinterest. Do some online browsing to get ideas, then set a budget and go hunting.
- The Bad Roof
Roofs are tricky business. We’ve written before than a bed roof is a sign to say “goodbye” to a property. It really comes down to what you are prepared to pay for long term benefit. A leaky roof is a problem and needs to be addressed immediately. The cost of renovation can reach upwards of $20,000. However, if you take the time to do some shopping, I’ve heard rates as low as $7,000.
The benefit to getting a property with a leaky roof is that many people, as we have suggested ourselves, will not purchase a property with a bad roof. This means you are probably able to get a pretty good price. If you’re able to lay out the money up front (and find a good contractor) the long term benefits will overshadow the short term payout. I wouldn’t suggest only looking for leaky roof properties, but just allow for that to not be an automatic no.
- Ali Safavi Real Estate: A Moldy Solution
If you have a leaky roof, chances are you will also have mold. If you don’t have proper ventilation in your bathroom, you probably will have mold there as well. Mold is a scary sight. Seeing mold is like seeing a spider, we want to run away from it (or is that just me)?
The thing about mold is that it can be both fixed and prevented. Replacing the roof will eliminate the moisture causing the mold in the ceiling. Having better ventilation in your bathroom will do the same. The only place where mold should be a major deterrent is in the basement. Mold down there can be a sign of a bad foundation – and that is a problem you don’t want to add to your list.
- Ali Safavi Real Estate: Hoarders
Hoarders are an issue I have personal experience with. I used to live next to one and could see into their unit. The smell was so bad that it would waft out of the window and into my apartment. For the longest time I thought there was hidden feces under my bed until I realized it was that apartment. When that lady finally moved out, it took movers three days to clear the until. The look on their faces said it all.
As unpleasant as it was, the fix was relatively simple. Hire some movers and they’ll take care of the junk. Hire a cleaning service and they’ll take care of the smell and any stains. Once those two jobs are done you have yourself a unit that is attractive and ready to sell. Don’t let junk scare you, unless it’s piling up in your own backyard.
Author: Ali Safavi
Ali Safavi is a Los Angeles based real estate investor.
Ali’s impressive executive corporate experience stretches across several household name companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Sara Lee, Levi’s, Haagen-Dazs, P&G and Disney. While at Procter and Gamble in a key brand management role, Ali led the company’s most significant and successful brand launch in Febreze Air Effects – worth $200 million in profitable revenue. Ali Safavi’s passion is real estate investing. He owns multiple cash-flowing properties across the nation, allowing him to retire before the age of 40.