How much to fix up

4 Replies

We're selling a duplex in a bad neighborhood. We're trying to decide how far to go fixing it up. It looks pretty shabby outside, roof is so so, coolers and electric not great. But the inside is good. We had to rehab one unit extensively last year and installed new vinal tile, bathroom tile, and paint inside the other unit. If we just do the minimal necessary repairs and factor in appreciation, expenses, and taxes, if we don't exchange, we'll come out with about $40,000. Also one unit is empty and the other will be vacant end of the month. Any suggestions. Thanks

It would help to get tenants in the duplex so that it would appeal to a new investor. Have you considered your carrying costs in your calculations of expense?

We renovated a condemned house in Nashville years ago and it was snapped up because it was the only house on the block with central heat and air. I've always remembered that it's good to make the property attractive and safe fundamentally so someone will buy it or rent it.

I agree Dal1.

Putting a tenant in the property makes it much more attractive to an investor, with assurances of revenues right away.

Additionally, having a tenant protects your property from vandalism and theft. One of my properties in Houston was vacant, was broken into, through a bedroom window, and they smashed the bathroom window. The 220 plugs stolen along with my AC unit. It cost me $1000 to replace.

Hard for us to tell specifics from a distance, but you knew that. So I'll throw in my two cents.

Yous said the roof is "so-so". Does that mean just old, or broken and missing shingles, or "some" leaks? The minimum any buyer expects is a roof over their head. Is is comp shingles, or a flat roof. If it NEEDS a roof I'd do that, but then for me roofs are just materials cost, my own labor.

Curb appeal is necessary even on investment property. I'd probably do the minimum, paint the trim, spruce up the landscaping. Just enough to give it some "pop".

A duplex, by definition, is an investment property. Even if the buyer is living in one side. I'd have both units occupied before marketing it. If it's something that would mainly appeal to an owner/occupant then I "might" just rent one half. But I'd never consider trying to sell it empty.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

all cash

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