General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Ronny Varghese
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countertops that last - condo rental

Ronny Varghese
Posted Jun 27 2022, 09:24

Purchasing my first rental... excited! Purchasing a condo that needs flooring, paint, some countertops and probably fixtures/trim. 


Will probably do carpet in bedrooms, and vinyl waterproof planks throughout the rest of the house. Countertops is what I'm stuck at... would like to get something that allows for a "top" appraisal but not something that will be ruined by some dumb mistake by a tenant. 

I know Formica countertops CAN look good but afraid it will hurt my appraisal - additionally, i think with nicer countertops will yield better rent rates. 

Should I go with white Quartz? the comps which sold for 180k all had formica (I'm picking this up for 140k and it's in "slightly" less comparable condition. Would like this to appraise at least at 200k ideally. 


Thanks in advanced for all your input!

    

Nashville, Tennessee

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Bjorn Ahlblad#5 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
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Bjorn Ahlblad#5 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 10:14

@Ronny Varghese  Find out what the comps are offering. Easily done via internet and pics. Renovating is good over improving is money down the toilet. Remember it is for renters-not buyers and things like carpet may need redoing every few turnovers. Go with comps don't rely on your own judgement.

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Julie Hartman
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Julie Hartman
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 11:47

I would NOT do quartz in a rental, especially not white quartz. Quartz is beautiful but not as forgiving as granite. It will scratch easily and if they are not careful with what they use to clean it, it can be ruined. Plus granite is cheaper now that quartz is all the rage. 

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Johann Jells
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Johann Jells
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  • Jersey City, NJ
Replied Jun 27 2022, 14:30

Granite all the way! Relatively cheap, and bombproof. I used to DIY granite tile, but slab has gotten so cheap. I have a tile top that's 17 years old in a rental that looks brand new. Don't use light porous colored stone, it can show stains. My own 'Brown and tan' counter has had bottles of oil broken on it and looks perfect. 

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Mike Smith
  • Boise, ID
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Mike Smith
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 15:22

@Ronny Varghese I agree with the posts above.  DO NOT use any type of quartz.  Light color quartz can be stained with coffee spills if they are left to sit and a bigger issue is that they will be damaged by hot pans.

Obviously, laminate can also be damaged by hot pans, but the problem is that quartz looks very similar to granite, which is impervious to heat damage.  So tenants can mistakenly damage your quartz quite easily.

Granite is the way to go.  It's extremely durable and cheaper than quartz.
  

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Manny Vasquez
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Manny Vasquez
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 15:36

Go with granite buddy.  Granite will last for a very, very long time and it can take a beating.  I would stay away from formica as it can be damaged, stained, and warped.  If you are looking to save money, find a local granite dealer (i.e. flooring-tile-kitchen companies) and visit their store.  Often time, these guys have a "clearance section" where you can find some pretty cheap granite deals.

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Johann Jells
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Johann Jells
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 16:10
Quote from @Manny Vasquez:

 Often time, these guys have a "clearance section" where you can find some pretty cheap granite deals.

Problem is that at this point much of the cost is labor in cutting, delivery and sink installation. So even a free piece of stone can still cost quite a lot by the time you're done. The whole market can be weird. There's a place here that advertises "free installation", meaning they build it into the per sq ft price.  I usually tell them to show me their remnants, since my counters are relatively small and as long as it's dark I'm not really picky.

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Nathan G.
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Nathan G.
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ModeratorReplied Jun 27 2022, 20:23

Quartz is actually more durable than granite. Go search google for "quartz vs. granite" to see the evidence.

What you install really depends on the quality of the home. It doesn't make sense to spend $7,000 on quartz countertops in a C-class property.

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JD Martin
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JD Martin
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ModeratorReplied Jun 27 2022, 20:25
Quote from @Nathan G.:

Quartz is actually more durable than granite. Go search google for "quartz vs. granite" to see the evidence.

What you install really depends on the quality of the home. It doesn't make sense to spend $7,000 on quartz countertops in a C-class property.


 No doubt - at the price point mentioned it sounds like formica all the way. Which can look amazingly well done these days.

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Ronny Varghese
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Ronny Varghese
Replied Jun 27 2022, 22:19

Thank you all - very thoughtful responses! 

Yes, I just walked it today for the first time. I work in the investment space as as wholesaler, flipper, agent, and now, buy/hold investor. While I'm familiar with the 'dont over-improve' concept, I also recognize I will have this condo at LEAST for 8ish years, and while I own it, I do not want random crap going out on me. Plus I want it to appraise for max value = get better countertops (but not QUARTZ, got it;)) Bathrooms / rest of the house = LVP. 

Should be able to pull about a 1% rent rate. I'm excited to add to the portfolio and hopefully these granite counters last much longer than formica!

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Bill Brandt#3 Home Owner Association (HOA) Issues & Problems Contributor
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Bill Brandt#3 Home Owner Association (HOA) Issues & Problems Contributor
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 22:38

In Las Vegas. Quartz is now as cheap as granite. Both we super durable without any coatings, treatments, sealing. And with the invention of 8’ counter depth slabs, they are both SUPER cheap. A couple hundred dollars per 8 foot section. An average kitchen costs under $2,000 including removal of old counter top, any needed plywood, all cutting, new stainless sink, but no faucet, or plumbing work. 

I installed granite in every unit I own between 6 and 20 years ago. Not one chip, stain, nothing. And that’s in rentals with no sealing, coating, anything. 

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Henry T.
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Replied Jun 27 2022, 23:08

Why even supply one, let the tenant bring their own, maybe they'll treat it better.  I saw this one youtube landlord who does just that. Sink only.

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Johann Jells
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Johann Jells
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Replied Jun 29 2022, 09:40
Quote from @Nathan G.:

Quartz is actually more durable than granite. Go search google for "quartz vs. granite" to see the evidence.

It may be more stain resistant in the lighter colors, but you can't put a hot pan right on it like you can granite since it's really just stone particles cast in plastic resin.

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Jared Hottle
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Jared Hottle
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Replied Jun 29 2022, 09:53

quartz will certainly look better and stand the test of time however I still use mostly formica just because it is soooo much cheaper and basically no turn-around time. I like the idea I can update down the road and keep the place modern. That being said if you have a way to find it cheaper or it gives you a better appraisal to justify it I definitely would do it. Just hard to justify in my market with my strategies. 

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Craig J.
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Craig J.
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Replied Jun 29 2022, 10:12

If you are not too picky on granite choices you can get granite for around $25/sq ft from a granite company in Clarksville..  I believe the are World of Granite.