As a home owner with no experience in renovating, is doing the home renovations on your own worth it when it comes to the potential risk of doing it wrong and all the stress?

The answer is…. It depends.

There are risks of doing home renovations on your own. Not just physical risks such as electricity, using power tools or using tall ladders, but also the risk of spending more than you would have if you had someone do it for you!

It’s safe to say that you will take longer than a professional will have and you’re probably going to make some mistakes. Those mistakes are likely to cause you to have to purchase (or repurchase) materials to fix those mistakes. But worst-case scenario is that you make a big enough mistake that you need to bring in a professional anyways.

Before you consider doing any renovation, be sure to be critical and honest about your level of expertise. This is critical to ensure you don’t get hurt or get in over your head. If you don’t know anything about it but still want to attempt it on your own, be sure to take some time to learn. YouTube or other educational sites such as Udemy can be a great resource!

Here’s some things you can try doing!

·         Any kind of painting or wall repair.

·         Basic plumbing work such as installing a new sink or toilet.

·         “Floating” laminate floor installations.

·         Any work that requires you to replace an existing feature (ie. counters, cabinets, tile, or trim).

·         Installing new light fixtures.

There’s some things you’d be better off not trying at home.

·         Replacing your roof or installing new gutters. (not because you could really screw this up – which you can – but because it can be incredibly dangerous).

·         Any work that adds a new feature to your house – such as a center island or a new window. These types of jobs require careful measurement and cutting that can be very difficult to get right.

Be sure to check with your municipality before doing any big renovations. There might be a building permit that you will need to have, and you might have to bring parts of the home “up to code” before you can begin. Be sure to check the laws as well… some things are illegal to do yourself (ie. some types of plumbing and electrical jobs).

Everyone’s different and has different knowledge and experience. So if you decide to do your home renovations on your own, be sure to do so with your eyes wide open!

It is said that the best philosophy in residential real estate is to “target the worst home in the nicest neighbourhood and add value through renovations.” So does this same approach apply for multifamily housing? That depends.

If you’re looking for an immediate return on investment for a real estate investment, you’re better off to look for an older property in a nice neighbourhood that simply needs a few upgrades or a straightforward repair. A quick, multifamily property flip like this makes it easy to charge top dollar for your rental units.

There is no magical list of repairs and renovations that will outline what will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck. There are so many different factors that are involved in determining a realistic rent amount, including the location of the property, the property’s age, condition, and current amenities, the profile of the tenants in the area as well as the rental values of comparable, competing units.

Here are a handful of renovation efforts that investors often recognize as good investments as they are very likely to show substantial rental increase.

  •            Exteriors: They say not to judge a book by the cover, but let’s be serious. We do this all the time – especially with houses. Upgrading the landscaping, signage and common areas can revive and refresh the property’s curb appeal.
  •            Flooring: By replacing the standard carpet with tile, vinyl or wood flooring offers two advantages. It gives the space a more modern and clean look, and its easier to maintain. This is something tenants recognize and assign a lot of value.
  •           More Space: If you have 12 small units, consider taking out a few walls and turning a few into larger units! You can also remodel the kitchen or bathrooms.
  •            Amenities: By adding a washer and dryer (or at least the hookups) to a unit, it increases worth and convenience as it eliminates a tenant’s need to leave to do laundry. Just as a non-carpet flooring offers value, amenities hold a high value to tenants.
  •            Thinking Green: It might be a popular trend, but  we’ve heard a lot about this in the past special years. People are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint. Having ‘green’ features in a current multi housing isn’t a trend that will go away anytime soon. And it can even save on utility bills!

Final thought… Keep your expectations reasonable. Many experts agree that a ten to thirty percent bump in rent is attainable after a renovation.

 

Are you a first time home owner looking to do significant renovations on your home? This week’s DIY Friday could help you get started!

If we define ‘significant’ renovations as transforming the home to something not comparable to the original home. This is more than just the surface cosmetics such as refinishing walls, floors, ceilings or replacing cabinets and appliances that people do when flipping a house.

You will see a similar benefit with a basement finishing project, however, you will see a lower value increase. There is a higher return on investment though if you create a true walk-out basement with a full-sized patio door and windows. You should complete the project by adding a bathroom.

With older homes or homes with older kitchens, baths and layouts, you can transform a home to look more modern by updating the amenities and designing a new layout that is consistent with the market expectation for a new home.

Kitchens are a very significant renovation. There’s many reason to do this!

1.       You can save more energy.

There are ways you can lower your energy consumption and save money on utilities in your kitchen. You can install a skylight or add more windows that will give you more natural light during the daytime to reduce the electricity costs.

2.       Your special needs will be addressed.

We’re not talking about a wheelchair-accessible and senior citizen friendly kitchen (although both of these are good ideas). We’re talking about adding that granite benchtop you’ve always wanted or new cabinets with better storage and organization features.

3.       Make it a place to enjoy!

You’re going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Make sure you enjoy being there. Signs of deterioration – peeling paint and broken tiles – are not attractive. New decoration and newly replaced tiles, cabinets, etc. will give you that fresh start you’re likely searching for! Looks matter!