What do I fix? What do I not fix?? - Posted by Jenn

Posted by DSmith on May 25, 2006 at 08:07:07:

When I do a rehab, my goal is to end up with the nicest house in the neighborhood, visually.

I always repaint every inch, inside and out, and add new flooring. That?s a given.

I also almost always replace the toilets, sinks and faucets.

Then I replace all of the light fixtures with nice (but not expensive) ones. This makes a huge difference.

I also like to add a couple of things that will set it apart. My favorite is decorative ceiling tiles in the kitchen.

And don?t forget landscaping. Most rehabbers completely ignore the outside of the house.

As for the house specific things, like adding stairs to the basement; do whatever needs to be done to sell at top price fast. Work the costs into your offer and it won?t be an issue.

What do I fix? What do I not fix?? - Posted by Jenn

Posted by Jenn on May 24, 2006 at 18:35:03:

Hi there,

I’m brand new at this whole real estate thing. My husband and I are looking at a property that is selling very low in a growing area. It needs mostly cosmetic fixes, all of which we are capable of.

I know I shouldn’t get emotional about the property…I can do that. Where I’m having a problem is that if I were fixing this property up for myself, there is SO much I would do! Definitely more than is necessary to just make it ready to live in. I need to find the line in making it just nice enough to attract the buyer without overdoing and wasting my money on upgrades that aren’t necessary and hurt the bottom line.

My question is, when buying a fixer property, what things should definitely be done and what things should not be done because they cut too far into profits?

Reading online, I see that switches, coverplates, doorknobs, light fixtures, paint, hardware are all important to update to make the place look great. I can get a handle on curb appeal, but I guess I’m just wondering what other “definite” things do you all do to your “flip” properties?

This particular house needs new drywall in the basement as its moldy. It needs a wall replaced in the bedroom (someone tore it out to make the house a 1 bedroom house), it needs siding in a very small area. The roof is new, the kitchen countertops are new, half of the windows are new, the rest are old metal single pane. The appliances are new enough. There is no carpet and the walls are orange! Paint is a given…so is flooring. I guess I’m just afraid I’ll start adding touches that cost me money that won’t reflect in the return. So what are the best fixes for the return? My husband wants to remove an addition on the front of the house that makes it less attractive and make that area into more front porch…I am thinking that maybe in the “unnecessary” list.

This is also a 2 story home with a finished basement (that needs refinished). There are no interior stairs though. You have to go outside and down the front stairs, around the house to a side door to get into the basement…where the laundry room is. I think it would be a good idea to add stairs…any comments? My husband and I have both done a lot of home improvement and remodel on our primary home. Both of our fathers are contractors so we will have no labor costs…just materials.

I hope that makes sense. The end all of it is this, where do I draw the line on making the property attractive to buyers?


Re: What do I fix? What do I not fix?? - Posted by Clint

Posted by Clint on May 26, 2006 at 24:22:59:

Spiral staircase, not too expensive, looks good, can take up 4 square feet of space in corner to basement…

I second what D Smith said.

However, be prepared; moldy basement walls mean water. Now you are into Drylock, etc. Possibly termites (they love the damp wood).

Good Luck!