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Property Refurbishment Diary

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  • Property Refurbishment Diary

    OK, here goes!

    In December we brought a Home and Income consisting of a 5 bed, 2 living area established home and 12 year old 2-bed stand-alone income. Both came tenanted at a healthy 9.6% yield.

    In Janurary, we returned from holiday to learn that the tenants of the larger house had given notice 2 days after we went away, and were due to move out in 12 days time, teaching us to learn how to check our messages when away from home!

    When we purchased, the intention was to refurbish the house when the tenants moved out - it is all just happening quicker than expected!

    The main issues with the house are:

    Roof leaking over bedroom in heavy rain.
    Old, outdated kitchen
    Single, small bathroom in sad state of repair
    General untidy look to decoration
    Numerous sticking doors, windows etc. (Even the front door doesn't lock, so I'm not telling where it is until the locksmith has been!)

    We have borrowed a builder from another investor, who has come up with a whole pile of advice and ideas already, and is going to take his electrictian and plumber around next week. We had another builder round, and I swear that it was news to him that renovating a rental was different to renovating your own place!

    At present, our priorities are:

    1. Perform remedial work on roof, windows and doors.
    2. Update bathroom with new shower and vanity
    3. Update kitchen with new doors/benchtop and stove (currently has a huge wall oven which looks ugly and takes up too much space for the modern cook!)
    4. Create a new bathroom, which will be created out of space currently used for the 5th bedroom, the overly large laundry a small toilet and a large what can only be described as a cave, its so dark! This involves messing around with walls, floors and drainage, and will be the biggest cost.
    5. Redecorate other areas as the budget allows for.

    As I said, these are the priorities, but we have no prices yet - my guess is that some of 1-4 will get done, and bits of 5 will be slotted in as we can.

    We don't intend doing much of the work ourselves, although some of the demolision and re-decorating may be within my scope!

    We have also decided to attempt this whilst trying to get some new tenants in, offering a lower rent for the duration, to keep the cashflow healthy!

    As time progresses, I'll keep you up to date with how things are going, but if anyone has any ideas, comments or questions, fire away!

    Happy renovating


  • #2
    Hi Cube

    Great posting.

    Thanks for sharing your renovation programme with us.

    I await an update with interest.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx


    • #3

      I'm getting a heachache just reading this...

      Good luck



      • #4

        Whilst waiting for the quotes to come back from the builder, plumber, sparky, cabinet maker......we decided that one of the bedrooms was in such a state that the application of a coat of paint or two was required.

        After much soul searching, we took the easy route and painted the wallpaper after re-sticking some curling corners. We were able to use some undercoat/sealer and light yellow paint left over from our own house-but-one, so that kept the costs down. Thanks to jas for the tip in http://www.propertytalk.co.nz/module...r=asc&start=15 about stain seal paint - works a treat.

        We have also replaced a broken element in the oven, dry-cleaned the curtains and 'shake-n-vac'd all the carpets. The transformation is quite remarkable! Oh, and the front and back doors now sport lockable locks!

        We also found a valuer who was prepared to spend 1/2 an hour discussing what to do to increase value and rentability - his advice was paint only. The rest was too major for his tastes, but it was great to find a valuer who is a PI and was prepared to give his time (we offered to pay, and he refused, but we know who will be getting next time we want a valuation done!)

        At this stage, its sounding like the quotes may be above our budget, so there will be a bit of prioritising to do when all is said and done.

        We have been unsuccessful in renting the place out, partly because of typos in the advert ($200 per week worth!), and partly because of the current state of the place, but we'll reduce the asking price, and keep trying.

        Happy painting (not!)



        • #5
          I was talking to my valuer today about a rental I have been renovating. I told him I had painted and recarpeted but wasn't going to replace the internal door handles that are looking a bit rough. He said it wouldn't affect the valuation, the biggest single thing I did to increase the valuation was to replace rotten weatherboards. I had thought doing little things like new handles would have an effect, but apparently it does not have much influence on valuations, they are more for impressing potential buyers.


          • #6
            OK, I'm back.

            We have the quote back, and sure enough they are about double what we anticipated.

            The builder came around last night and talked us through them, and made them seem like a bargain, but there is still the small matter of the cash!

            In the meantime, we have found some tenants, one of whoms first comment when I visited was "What a great shower", which is a shame, 'cos that was the first thing on the list to be refurbished after the repairs had been done!

            We will probably end up doing the shower, vanity and Kitchen, but have to do some serious analysis first.

            Will keep you posted (no pun intended!)