Rejuvenate or renovate

5 days ago

Hello everyone,

I have just bought my first apartment! and i am quite excited, it was built in the late 70's and could definitely go for a more modern face lift, which i planned to do.

My dilemma comes in because i wont be able to move in straight away due to my current living arrangements so i am looking at renting it out for at least the first year until i am ready to get in.

Should i do some touch ups ( rejuvenate) to get it rental ready and renovate once i am ready OR renovate it and increase its rental value more.

my friends and family have mixed perspectives some of them being:

- tenants wont care for the new aspects like i would and i wouldn't get to enjoy the new appliances look etc

- its a bit of a waste of money to do it up and then redo it again in about a year

- if you increase the rental value you can make a good dent into the mortgage before you get in

Thanks for any input!

Comments (7)

  • Austere Hamlet
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    As along term renter I'll give you my perspective. When I go to find rental places I never look at the just done up places because they are typically too expensive on the rent. I always looked for the older places that were neat and tidy with good kitchens and bathrooms but otherwise were quite basic. It's not a matter of me not looking after new stuff, it was a matter of me not wanting to pay a premium rent for stuff I didn't choose and most of the time didn't want anyway. It was more important to me that my cost of living was reasonable.

    So if I were you I would have the place thoroughly cleaned and lightly freshened up. So maybe a fresh coat of paint on the walls, get the carpets cleaned and make sure the kitchen and bathroom are in good repair. It doesn't matter if they are older just so long as they aren't leaking and don't have tiles falling off. I would only redo these area's if you had something truly horrible like dark wood grain laminate in them and a 60yr old stove etc. And if I did have to do that I would only ever put a basic white laminate kitchen in to replace it, and basic white tiles in the bathroom.

    My renters motto was always....as long as the kitchens and bathroom are good the rest doesn't matter. I was always a long term tenant with my average stay around 5yrs in any one property.

    You are very unlikely to recoup any renovation costs on higher rent. Think about it, every place has a rent ceiling determined by other places on the market. There comes a point at which renters decide that shiney and new isn't worth an extra $ on top of market rate rent. Most of what makes a home personal is furniture and decorator items anyway, things your tenants bring with them.

    Tess thanked Austere Hamlet
    Best Answer
  • oklouise
    5 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    first talk to real estate agents to get an idea of rents and expenses and then to your accountant about the financial, tax and insurance implications of doing improvements to be rental ready and/or after the tenants have left ..we always aimed to have the property handed over in the condition we wanted tenants to hand it back minus normal wear and tear.. so, a safe, clean and comfortable rejuvenated property ready for a 12 months tenant would be my choice eg have a plumber and electrician make sure everything is in safe working condition, shampoo carpets, clean the stove, light fittings, AC and range hood filters, replace all the light bulbs and wash windows and curtains and replace missing hooks etc and save renovating for when you're ready to move in..keep in mind that a major renovation could mean months when the property can't be lived in and no rent paid but, once you begin to receive rent, the cost of replacing a heater or stove and/or repairing damage etc is different than replacing these items before or after the property is available for rent so choices and costs/profit can change over time and professional advice will be essential...make sure you take lots of detailed photos of every room and appliance, make a list of brand and model of all appliances, make copies of any appliance instruction booklets for r the tenant and keep originals and also make a scale plan of the apartment with accurate measurements (that you check personally with a tape measure) as this will help when you're dreaming about future renovations and you'll be able to work out new floor and window coverings or changes to the kitchen and bathroom and your "file" will also be useful to compare the before and after condition for your lease and bond.. whatever you decide, congratulations on your new investment and good luck with your decision

    Tess thanked oklouise
  • bigreader
    5 days ago

    Just make sure it’s super clean. Maybe some fresh paint and blinds if really needed. Otherwise leave as is (unless the Agent says otherwise). Congratulations on your purchase.

    Tess thanked bigreader
  • C P
    4 days ago

    I agree with the above but if any appliances aren't fully working then I would replace. I'm thinking rental stoves with ancient elements aren't great.

    Tess thanked C P
  • Tess
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    Thank you to everyone whose commented so far, your perspectives have been great and informative!

    I had a building inspection done when i purchased the property ( so i know its needs a couple small things done) , and i will take this to my future property manager so when we settle soon we can get this sorted, i think we will do a walk though and test all the appliances make sure they are up to date and give this place a new coat of paint the best clean of its life!

  • PRO
    Dr Retro House Calls
    4 days ago

    Renovations take time, and cost money in spending on the renovations, and loss of rent during the renovation period. You will be financially streets ahead if you do a quick refresh, maybe just a really good clean (and paint if needed) and get a tenant in there paying rent as soon as possible. In the next 12 months you can do your research and spend time to get your renovation just right for you, rather than end up with a rushed renovation to get a tenant in quickly. There are thousands of decisions to make with a renovation which will be based on your research and personal likes. A rushed renovation is usually a bland, generic renovation, often based on what suppliers have in stock on the day that your tradesman needs them.

    Best of luck,

    Dr Retro of Dr Retro House Calls/Dr Retro Virtual Visits

    Tess thanked Dr Retro House Calls
  • pottsy99
    4 days ago

    I don't know if you could do this for a 1 year rental , but I once bought an investment place that already had a tenant . Talking to them , they wanted to stay , but were 'annoyed' the previous owner had done pretty much nothing in several years .

    I asked THEM for a list of what needed doing , and any improvements they wanted , and even colours of paint and tiles . I bought some paint , they painted the kitchen and bathroom , I ( with their permission ) did the tiles . Over the next few years ( they stayed 6 years approx ) they bought some light shades that I reimbursed them for , painted skirting boards and wallpapered a couple of rooms . I reimbursed all expenses , they paid below market rent as they wouldn't take a 'lump sum' reduction accounting for their labour , and presumably had a feeling of involvement .

    Tess thanked pottsy99