Fixer-Uppers and Investment Properties

I got the opportunity to list a home last week in a great neighborhood. The home was being previously used as an investment property and had been rented for years. The market here in Northern Kentucky is hot and it was in a great school district so I knew it would sell fast. All of my senses were spot on and the house was under contract in 36 hours. While it was in an ideal neighborhood, it was not in move-in ready condition and it had a lot of cosmetic updates needed.

Enter: a great blog topic. I’m going to use my listing as an opportunity to talk about what this house could become. First, if you haven’t thought about buying a home as an investment, you should seriously consider it. Buying properties for investment offers a big opportunity to build wealth. If you have a young child you want to send to college one day, it is a good rule of thumb that for each child in your family you should have one investment home to pay for this goal. Two children, two investment homes. So on and so forth.

Let’s get back on track. The main goal of my blog site is to get you and my clients to imagine the potential in opportunities and the potential in homes, whether they’re your own home or the one you’re looking for. To look under the surface and see what you uncover. This house I’m going to feature today is rich with opportunity. A blank slate, if you will.

What do you see, just from the outside? I see:

  1. New paint for the siding, shutters, and trim.
  2. If you really want to go all the way, paint the brick.
  3. Either paint or replace the front door.
  4. Dress up the porch, maybe add some railings around.
  5. I would plant a tree somewhere in the front yard, perhaps a tulip poplar which is lovely and grows quickly.
  6. Lots of new landscaping with bushes and flowers.

Let’s go inside.

What would you do with the kitchen? I see these 4 big changes:

  1. Either paint or replace the cabinets.
  2. Upgrade all appliances and sink.
  3. Replace and upgrade the countertops.
  4. Upgrade the flooring from laminate to tile.

In addition to that, depending on the budget, I would take the outside piece out of the “U” shape of the cabinetry and possibly add an island with lower cabinets. That would depend on the space available and what would be done with the breakfast nook. I would also consider having the same flooring throughout the entire first floor, so hardwood would work through the kitchen if that’s what was replaced the carpet in the family room.

This seems like an automatic for me, but may not occur to everyone. Change the lighting for something more updated. It is not as expensive as big renovations but can make a huge difference aka lots of bang for your buck. I have an upcoming blog that will strictly cover the topic of lighting. Speaking of easy updates, don’t forget- paint, paint, paint those walls.

What about this owner’s suite bathroom setup? There’s the bathroom AND an area on the other side of the bathroom wall for dressing, hair/makeup just outside of the bathroom. I stared at this configuration for awhile and I think I would knock out the wall where you see the bathroom door and extend the bathroom all the way out to the closet. This would give more space to add a tub, tiled shower, and a double vanity. Something more like this:

Photo by PickComfort on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To tie this to my last blog post about Pinterest, I constantly go to Pinterest to bring my imagination to life and to bring it to a tangible reality. I just went to Pinterest and searched “long, narrow bathrooms” and these two images came up. Easy peasy, right?!? Now my imagination is really rolling.

Here’s your homework, my readers. Look at these listing photos and tell me where your imagination takes you. What would you do if you had a healthy budget to fully update this home? Feel free to offer your feedback in the comments below.

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