Managing Your Real Estate Investment – Part 2
Veteran Investor, Gord Lemon reveals how to deal with maintenance issues to keep your ideal tenants happy.
~ From Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine
3. KITCHEN AND BATHROOM
The kitchen and bathroom are the main sell¬ing features of any property. When renovating a kitchen there is no need to go overboard. Painting cupboards, replacing handles and if necessary, replace the cupboard doors. The kitchen countertop does not need to be marble or granite unless you are renting a very exclu¬sive upper scale apartment. Vinyl or laminate countertops are absolutely fine. Just makesure that they are cleaned of stains and cutting marks. If you don’t have a backsplash, is easy to install a few layers of tile that not only look great but helps prevent future water damage.
All appliances should be sparkling clean and in good working order. If there is any question about an appliance, replace it. If the appliances are yellow or green, they have lived the good life and probably should be replaced. Used appliances are inexpensive and often come with a warranty.
If you can’t fix it properly, replace it. For example, you can get excellent deals on all-in-one sink, mirror and cupboard from the major do-it-yourself box stores.
In the bathroom, water is your enemy and caulking is your friend. Do your best to peel off all the old caulking and reseal any and all potential places water could seep in. Make sure the fan in the bathroom is functioning well. This simple fact can save you thousands in future damage as a result of moisture buildup, not to mention mould issues.
Flooring is also an area that can enhance or take away from the desirability of your property. It is much easier and less expensive to maintain vinyl, laminate or even existing hardwood as opposed to continuously clean¬ing and/or replacing carpeting. If your unit is older and has carpeting, quite often there is existing hardwood underneath. My sugges¬tion is to rip up the carpet and sand then stain the hardwood. This will give your unit a very rich and elegant look.
If you have an older property that has windows with single-pane glass, it is always a debate whether to replace them, cap them or just seal and paint them. The determining factors here would be how long you plan on keeping the property and who is paying the heating bill. If you’re keeping the property for the long term, it may be worth investing in new windows, particularly if you are paying the heating bill.
On the other hand, if the tenant is paying the heating bill, it may be OK to leave the windows as they are however, if the windows are very inefficient, the heating bills may be too excessive for the tenant to handle. Therefore you must weigh these factors and determine your best course of action. These factors would also be applicable to any other major repairs such as the roof.
We will continue the unwritten rules of successful property management in Part 3 of Managing Your Real Estate Investment
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