Our first deal - buy and hold rehab in Kennesaw, GA

40 Replies

We closed on our first deal (buy and hold) Nov. 10th.  Here are the details:

Purchase price: $92,000

Closing Costs: $1,200

Rehab budget: $7,500

ARV: $125,000

Rent: $1,100 - $1,150

The house is in Kennesaw, GA in a great location (minutes to interstate, mall, outlet malls and other shopping and Kennesaw State University.)

The house had been rehabbed back in 2010 and from the pictures, it looks like they had done a nice job fixing it up.  Unfortunately, the last tenant left the house absolutely filthy.  The dog odor was awful, carpets disgusting, bathtubs filthy, etc.  Now with the carpets out and fresh paint on the walls (done after the pictures below were taken), it smells much better :)

This is a picture from an MLS listing from 2010:

Here it is today, after my husband demo'd the wheelchair ramp:

We're planning to paint the exterior trim Greek Vanilla (SW) and replace the shutters with black vinyl.  We're also *hoping* we can restore the front porch back to it's original condition (a small rocking chair porch, no screens or doors, and spindles where the lower siding is).  

We're repainting the entire interior (walls - Revere Pewter (BM) and trim- White) and replacing carpet in the 3 bedrooms with laminate.  

Here are the before pictures of each room (except the 2nd bedroom - guess I forgot that one).  


We're keeping the flooring in the kitchen, and all appliances except the dishwasher (it's white so we're replacing with a black one).  We'll paint the cabinets, replace the countertops with a nicer laminate and keep the flooring, which is still in good shape.

Guest bath:

Replacing the vinyl with vinyl tile and replacing the vanity top (this one has significant cracks near the drain)

Master bath:

Keeping the vanity and fixtures.  Replacing vinyl with vinyl tile.  And cleaning the bathtub :)

Master bedroom:

Replacing fan and installing laminate

1st bedroom:

Replacing fan and installing laminate

Living Room:

Replacing the fan.  Keeping the laminate that was already here because it's in good shape.

I'll update with after pictures soon!

@Julie Kern 

Congrats on the purchase! 

Yeah prices are tight in Kennesaw because of the great area.

I remember those days on small houses like that with dreams of equity after pouring in countless hours of work.

Just remember to be very careful and selective of the tenant you place even if it means not getting rent for a few months. Hopefully you have accounted for it not getting rented right away with your reserves in your budget.

You are basically at  a little over 1% of rents but that is good for that area due to demand.  


Thanks @Sibbir Noman  and @Joel Owens  .

Joel, no kidding about prices being tight in this area. Everything we have looked at from the MLS that meets our criteria is going fast at prices that wouldn't work for us. This one I actually found on CraigsList - it was an FSBO - and it fell right in our target area.

We're planning to use a PM.  We paid cash for the house, so we're in a position to be selective and wait on the right tenant.  After seeing what the last tenant did to this house, we're keenly aware of the need to be careful with who we rent to!

Thanks for the advice!

@Julie Kern   that's a cupcake, all it needs is a good cleaning and to carpet the plywood and it's a ready to go!   Congrats on your first!  By the way, if you to spend a little extra, those interior doors can be replaced with 6 panel doors (like the front door, but hollow) for about $50 each from Home Depot or Lowes.  It's a small thing, but looks a lot nicer. 

The house looks wonderful julie....Congratulations

Hey @Julie Kern  that sounds like a good first deal.  Your annual yield is around 13% based on $1,100 monthly rent and $100k investment.  That number is very consistent with what we are seeing for good areas.  We just finished a rental acquisition and rehab in Acworth ourselves.  We put it on the market and had a nice selection of tenants to choose from after the first two weekends.

Thanks, everyone!  

@Stan Butler  , I would love to see what you did on the house in Acworth.  If you have any pictures, links, etc. and don't mind sharing, please send them to my inbox.  I'm trying to learn as much as I can about investing in this area and it really helps to see what other investors are doing.  Once we get this one rented, we're planning to do it again, adhering to the same model.

UPDATE 11/19/2014: 

Here are pictures from the 1st bedroom, painted, with the laminate flooring laid.  The laminate w/installation is costing us about twice what carpet would have been - IMO, totally worth it from a durability and aesthetics standpoint.  After reading a bunch of posts on flooring for rentals on BP, we decided to stay away from carpet and I'm really glad we did. 

@Julie Kern  Looking great!  Have you found a property manager yet?  The one we use for our rentals in Cobb and Cherokee does a GREAT job!

A couple INEXPENSIVE things we do for our rentals to give them that "special touch" is carriage door hardware on garage doors and installing Howe Casing around the plate mirrors. Both about "20 bucks-ish" each.   I've gone away from installing hanging mirrors in our rentals as they have a way of finding their way off the wall with tenants.

For Laminate Countertops we use Milano Quartz 4726-52, looks FANTASTIC and hides USE/ABUSE very well, be sure to get the -52 "Quarry Finish" as it holds up better than the standard laminate finish -60

congratz on your first purchase! Totally agree with laminated floor. Damaged pieces can be selectively removed later on and they just look very nice as well.

@Todd Whiddon  and @Jeff Chi  

 Thanks!  Todd, I appreciate the tips.  The new countertops have already been installed (WilsonArt Typhoon Ice) but I'll check out Milano Quartz for our next one!  And thanks for the other tips - the carriage door hardware is a great idea! Amazing what a difference something small and inexpensive can make.  And we do have a property manager, but please send me yours.  So far, ours has been great to work with, but we are obviously very early in the process and I like having options for the future, especially if they come highly recommended!

Kitchen looks great.  Black appliances are cheaper than stainless and look great.

Rehab is done. We turned it over to the PM today. We ended up spending a little extra to redo the porch and I think it was worth it. Total all-in a little over $103K. 

Congrats on your first purchase. Great decision with the flooring. We have converted most of our investor clients to wood flooring over carpet especially for the renters. The rehab came out Awesome!

Have to love a house with a big porch in the south!! 


@Julie Kern  Rehab looks FANTASTIC!   Cabinet color looks great!  Is the Pomeranian a sign that pets are welcome?

Also a Quick-Tip from my wife about staging / listing pics...  CLOSED toilet seats show MUCH better. :) 

Thanks @Todd Whiddon  !  The pomeranian (Samson) kept getting in my pictures.  He's a sign that pets less than 30 lbs are welcome :) Going to try to stick with smaller breed dogs initially.

Thanks for the tip on the toilet seats - I will make sure we close them!! I would have never thought of that.

Congratulations on your first rehab property it looks great!

@julie Kern. The flooring looks amazing! Everything looks great! Thank you for sharing!

Really nice house. It almost looks too nice to rent. I wish for you a super long-term tenant.

How many  square feet is that little gem?

Thank @Jacque Duckett  , @Val Garrow  and @Jeff S.  !

Jeff, it's 1300 sq ft.  It also has an unfinished basement with tons of storage space.  It went on the market Monday.  We're hopeful that we'll get a tenant in place some time in January.  We actually have our second property under contract as of this past Sunday.  I'll be posting info and pics soon in a separate thread.  We basically followed the same model as this one, although the next one has more work to be done (new roof, and repair/paint exterior).

Cute dog! Beautiful Rehab! All the best.

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