I have just bought my first rental duplex. My goal is to live on one side and rent the other side. Any suggestions about how to remodel in a smart way that would attract tenants and increase home value but not overspend? My current budget for renovation is $15,000 - but would prefer to spend less if possible. For example, I was thinking of doing 3 renovations:
1) Change out the old 1958 original glass windows to newer plain vinyl energy efficient windows. Is this a good idea? I think this will definitely save the renter and myself a lot of money in the long run as far as our bills go.
2) There is a very large return grill on the floor in the living room leading to the hallway to the bedrooms. I understand this is common in old homes. The house was updated prior to me purchasing it and this return grill is obsolete and is non-functioning. I worry about tenants (children or animals) putting something down there or getting injured. The surrounding floor is original hardwood. What would be the most efficient cost-effective way to fix this problem? Do I have to redo all the floors? Can it just be patched and then maybe restain the floors so the color will match?
3) The outside has a very dated look due to the awning - any ideas about updating the look, or should I just leave it? Just a side note, there are 2 different entrances facing different streets, that's why there are 2 pictures.
The windows look good, I don't know that I would replace them in a rental.
I don't think you will get any more rent by removing the awnings and reworking this area.
I think a flooring company should be able to patch the hardwood floor and match the stain very close. Even if it wasn't a 100% color match it would look better and be safer than leaving the old AC grill.
I don't think you need to put 15k into your duplex. I'd do a few things and get it rented.
@Evina Nonato I agree with John, none of those ideas are great ROIs for a rental. You might even be able to get a faux decorative grate to put over the hole instead of trying to patch it. If secured properly and reinforced underneath you shouldn't have an issue with tenants falling in or messing with it. If you have to spend money it should be on mechanical systems, safety, or something that will allow you to raise rents.
You "think" replacing windows would save a lot of money? You should research and find out. Maybe the utilities are already reasonable and replacement windows would take ten years to pay for themselves. Just because something is old doesn't mean it is non-functional or obsolete.
I would certainly consider replacing the grate. A good flooring person can get pretty close to matching so it's safe and would be less visually obvious than the current grate.
I would also do what I could to ensure the renters had their own space so it feels like a home. Private back yard for their kid or dog, designated parking, clear boundaries for landscape responsibilities, etc. Maybe a small patio for a grill and furniture?
Look at what your competition looks like and see how much they charge for rent. Im in the same boat as you are and im focusing on the kitchen and the bathrooms.
Try to repair/reseal/insulate windows when possible.... you get pretty close to the efficiency of new without the cost. New windows get expensive unless you do the labor and have a horrible ROI.
The other 2 problems seem like non issues. You could shrink the return with a patch if your floor guy is good. But I wouldn’t touch it until they need refinishing.
How are your kitchen and baths? Those are big questions that you can spend a lot or a little to upgrade.
What about some quick color on the outside trim and door? How are the appliances, dishwasher, washer/dryer? Central AC? Smart home features like a cheap ring doorbell? Some cool light/plumbing fixtures? Maybe a few chosen outlets with usb connections? These are the things that (I think) drive rents for me and many of them are in your budget.