One of the main errors that new Huntersville rental property investors make is to over-improve their rental house. It is reasonable to want your rental to be in good condition and to appeal to quality tenants. Nonetheless, improving the property too much can cut or even eradicate any profits you hope to make while you recoup your remodeling costs. Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid this mistake is to think strategically and address obstacles to profitability upfront – before you even buy the property, if likely. When you start with your ultimate objective in clear view, you will be less likely to find yourself in a financially shaky situation from over-improving.
A lot of experts recommend starting by planning the end of your investment’s life – your exit strategy. When you buy an investment property, you need to feel confident that you will be able to refinance or sell the property at a given point in time and make a tidy profit. Otherwise, what is the point of obtaining in the first place? Thus, as you are crunching the initial numbers, think about what you will need to get out of your property for more than a few years down the road – counting any improvements you have planned. Talk to a few lenders to learn about mortgage products, costs, and whether your goals align with your financials. A good lender should be able to explain what barriers you may face and whether your strategy is solid or not.
Another critical piece of information you need to avoid over-improving your Huntersville rental property is your After Repaired Value (ARV). To ensure that your investment is profitable, you need to know what the house will be worth once you finish improvements. Using this figure, you can then be sure that you will not be too big with your remodeling plans. By means of good comparable properties, calculate your ARV. Then, talk to real estate agents, other investors, and your contractor. The more data you have, the more confident you’ll feel that your improvements are enough – but not too much.
Finding that balance can be a real challenge, especially if you are a first-time investor. Erring in either direction can cost you big time. But one way to find the right improvements for your rental house is to turn to your comparables again. If you know what the other rental homes in the area look like – and what they rent for – you can improve your property up to the point that it will allow you to charge market rents and no more.
One of the worst things you can do is to make your property nicer than others in the area. If most neighborhood houses have tile floors and composite countertops, don’t install hardwood and granite. While everything you upgrade should be of good quality, most of the time, luxury materials and high-end products are a complete waste of money. There are exceptions to this rule, especially if your rental is in a high-end neighborhood or certain upgrades would give you a big boost in a property. However, even in such cases, you should aim for mid-grade materials and nice but not too nice improvements.
Finally, avoid over-improving your rental house by remembering not to get too attached to the house. Try to view it as an investment, not a home. When you get emotionally involved in your rental properties, you may start to make renovations that you like but will not do much to improve profitability. It’s natural to want to take pride in your rental properties, but that pride should come from being the owner of profitable and well-run investment and not how much you spent on improving the property.
Would you like some expert advice on how to improve your rental property to maximize profits? We can help! At Real Property Management Charlotte Metro, our team of Huntersville property managers can help you find comparables, calculate your market rents, and much more! To learn more about what we offer investors like you, contact us today online or call us at 704-919-1344.
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