OK so you have bought a property in the US. It ticks all the right boxes: it’s in a good neighbourhood, has excellent rental prospects and is within reach of a good property manager. The only problem is that the previous tenants weren’t so happy about having their home foreclosed and took out some of their frustrations on it. As a result it is in desperate need of renovation.
It’s not an uncommon situation - no one likes being evicted. But how do you go about making the home rental ready without breaking the bank?
Properties lacking curb appeal are normally cheaper, so you’ve already saved some money by buying a home in need of TLC.Just don’t expect to do all the work in one go.
Start off with the basic essentials: don’t put in new bathroom flooring before you put in the plumbing. Of course, multiple contractors require some logistical juggling to ensure everyone turns up at the right time. Also, be realistic and realise that some contractors are going to let you down, so allow for that when you create your schedule.
The quotations you receive are going to be rough guess estimates. Add on around 10-15% on top of your estimated costs to cover scope creep.
It is also important to be a little flexible with renovation time frames. It’s not just about getting contractors to turn up, but you must also allow for planning permits, building regulations and a variety of other speed bumps to be overcome.
When it comes to bathrooms and kitchens, go for durable items, rather than the cheapest. Rental properties can see a fair bit of wear and tear andtrying to save a few dollars here is going to cost you in the long run.
For those trying to manage the renovation project from Oz, there is just one simple piece of advice: don’t! Get a US based project manager to look after the renovations for you, or spend the time in the US and manage the project yourself.
The best solution is to have a trustworthy turnkey company renovate the property for you. Not only will they offer a simple, all-in-one solution, but they also allow you to draw on their considerable experience and knowledge to find the most cost effective solutions.
If you are adamant about renovating yourself, ensure you find efficient and trustworthy contractors, that you comply with all the building code regulations in the area you have purchased and that the materials you are using are the right ones for the job. Remember that the USA is vast and climates differ greatly, so ensure you are using the right materials for your area – not simply what you are familiar with back in Oz.
Matt Dunne is the director of House Buyers USA, a company that has almost 10 years experience in helping people find and renovate great properties in the US. Not only can House Buyers USA assist you in finding good real estate opportunities, but Matt’s team can also arrange for financing, legal assistance, property managers and extensive research to ensure your purchases are safe and hassle free.
Sign up for the House Buyers USA newsletter to receive more details, as well as free SMSF e-book entitled Controlling Tomorrow Today.
The above information is supplied by House Buyers USA.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by sponsors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.
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