Opinions on keep or replace

12 Replies

Hello all.  I am posting some pictures of a house in a nice middle class neighborhood  where houses usually rent for around $1k a month.  It is a little outdated so I need opions on if I should rent as is, or replace/cover the existing flooring and siks in the bath.  The house was built in 1958.  Here is the kitchen linoleum.

This is the overall kitchen 

This is the bath sink.  It is pink, but it works fine.  Should I replace?

This is the overall bathroom

These questions are hard to answer, because it depends on what your market requires and your competition.  If it was me, in my market, the floors, the wood looking door, and sinks would be changed.  But, all my rentals are $1,200+ a month so I make changes to attract the best applicants.  

I just want to know if most of you would be very turned off by any of it.  The linoleum in the kitchen is VERY green.  Is it too much?  Too 70s ?  The sinks are not that bad.

What is it going to cost for the updates? Compare that to the difference between your rent rate as-is and your rent rate with updates. If you are not ahead after 60 months then don't do it.

I wouldn't assume that old finish materials will make a renter not value your house. I think the opposite is true, renters are grateful to have found a place in the area they want that is a little below market.

Another thought, old cabinetry and flooring is pretty bombproof. Lots of cheaper new materials are puff-board junk. You may upgrade yourself into a much shorter depreciation cycle. 

I was thinking of putting Allure over the green linoleum if too many people thought it looks bad.  Allure looks great and works wee, but it is expensive. 

Hi there! Josh from Atlanta. I'm pretty new to investing (seven doors in the metro region), so I offer my perspective without a lot of experience to back it up.

My places rent in the 750/mo. range, and if I had these sturdy, functional items in the house, I wouldn't touch them. Sounds like a different set of circumstances in your neighborhood though.

If I were in your position, I may try to rent them as-is, and if I didn't have much interest after 2-3 weeks, I might go ahead with the repairs and new market photos.

I wish you all the best with your ventures. Cheers!

So, it does not seem that many of you are all that bothered by the colors or the "70ish" look of the house?

It's not about being bothered by the colors.  Are the old features fairly standard for that area to where you can get the $1000 a month without replacing them?  If the nearby homes that are renting at $1000/month have all been upgraded, then you'll likely have to upgrade as well or take less in rent.        

We bought a house 10 years ago and have rented it three times with the bathroom walls kept the original color... PURPLE! And the kitchen is still it's original color "Disney Yellow" - think the color of Mickey Mouse's shoes! The tenants, both male and female, haven't minded the colors. When things wear out, that is a good time to upgrade. Ditto what others have said about the durability of the older materials and fixtures.

In general, renters are less picky than buyers. You may not need to upgrade to the level you see on HGTV, depending on your market. I've even had renters say they were looking for something less modern, with character, and that's why they rented from us!

Marcia Maynard, Fischer Properties | Podcast Guest on Show #83

It sounds like you are in a neighborhood where the updates might not get you a higher rent, but might make it easier to rent.

We are upgrading our triplex, nasty dingy vinyl tiles and curling linoleum are now a nice vinyl floor.  We have 2 units with painted wood floor which we are putting new flooring over once the tenants move out.  Last time I rented the studio apartment out, I showed it to probably 12 prospects before finding a tenant, this time I have shown it twice.  I think the flooring in the common areas and kitchen of this unit made a big difference!

Kelly