I recently purchased my first property in the form of a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath 1500 sq foot single story with a slab foundation. The property has a 1.5 car garage and .3 acre yard.
My goal with the property is to live in it for two to three years until I have enough equity to refinance so I will no longer have to pay Mortgage insurance. At that point I would like to rent it out to students from Oakland University.
The interior is dated. I have already planned on replacing the carpet with laminate flooring replacing the trim etc. I have a few questions in terms of renovations that would give me the most bang for my buck in the eyes of renters within that demographic. I have a few ideas of things I've considered doing and I would like any opinions on the subject from people who have been down this road.
1- of the three bedrooms one of them is a master bedroom with a closet. The second bedroom appears to be a den of some sort as it has two doors entering, both from the hallway and from the living room. The third bedroom is the smallest and has no closet. I had envisioned putting a closet in the smallest bedroom, and walling off the living room door to the second bedroom and to create more privacy, but I was also given the idea of turning it into a library type study room. I'm leaning towards the first idea personally but I wasn't sure if sacrificing the bedroom would be worth it.
2 - There is a large evergreen right smack in the middle of the front yard as well is multiple large shrubs against the front of the house. They basically obscure the house from the street. I am tempted to remove them but I again I am not certain how renters would feel about it.
3- Installing a privacy fence in the backyard to provide my tenants some privacy and help prevent issues with neighbors.
4- The kitchen is a galley style with dated cabinets. They could probably be painted without much issue but the kitchen would still not look modern, is a remodel worth it?
5 - Adding a small standing shower to the half bath, is it worth the headache?
Any input is greatly appreciated. I am eager to get this journey started, but I would like to temper myself with guidance from those more experienced than myself.
Once you no longer live there, the place becomes a rental property and not your home. So whatever you are going to do is either going to give you the most bang for your buck or save you money down the line. Since you are going to turn it into a college rental there 3 key things to keep in mind:
1. You charge college students by the room, the bigger the bedroom compared to the other bedrooms the more you charge.
2. College students are not clean, so KISS (Keep it simple stupid). Do not do any glamorous makeovers because its only going to get broken anyway.
3. College students don't like to do any chores (i.e., mowing lawn, shoveling snow, cleaning gutters), so a lot of stuff will be on you.
So now lets get to your ideas.
1. The more privacy the better. If these students want to study, there is a library at the university they can go to.
2. If the evergreen adds good curb appeal, keep it but just know that is you that will be needing to keep it well trimmed, not them. So if you don't want to be trimming it here and there, get rid of it. If does add great curb appeal then I would keep because it helps attract the students.
3. Yea why not. Like I said in #1. The more privacy the better.
4. KISS, paint it over, put new hardware if need be but don't dare think about a remodel, because after one bad party, you will regret you ever remodeled.
5. Its worth the headache. You want as much full bathrooms as possible in a college rental, well actually, in ANY house you want as much full bathrooms as possible. If one of the bedrooms has access to that 1/2 bath, jack up the price of that bedroom to another $200 once you install that standing shower. Who doesn't want their own private master bath?
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