Rehabbing & House Flipping

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Robert Kohnfelder
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Pittsburgh, PA
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Tips & Tricks for Higher BRRRR Appraisal?

Robert Kohnfelder
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Pittsburgh, PA
Posted Jan 13 2022, 11:24

Hi All,

As I enter the rehab phase of my latest BRRRR (Pittsburgh PA), I'm always wondering what we can do to add value to the appraisal when it comes time to refinance in a few months. I am looking for any tips or tricks that could help fetch a solid appraisal value without going overboard on a mid-tier rental/location. Keeping in mind that BR/BA count, square footage and neighborhood are all going to be main appraisal factors (none of which are easy to change), are there any other "minor" improvements that you make for your BRRRR properties? Any that increase rental potential but not appraisal value, or ones that increase appraisal value but maybe not rental potential? I will name just a few that we are considering for the current project...

- Central Air Conditioning: This one feels like a no-brainer, since there is existing ductwork and the place won't be ready until spring/summer, when tenants are in search of rentals with A/C around here. It also would increase the appraisal value without a doubt, right?

- Off-Street Parking Pad: I'm a bit less sold on this one, because the parking pad would have to be in the back yard, with no clear path to enter the house. Parking isn't easy on the street, but if there was a parking pad in the current setup, a tenant would have to walk up the back yard and enter the back/basement door or even walk around to the front door. When the alternative is parking/walking from a few doors down, I'm not sure a renter would pay extra for the pad. However, is that something that an appraiser would look at and immediately add value for, even if it's not an ideal setup? Torn on that idea but leaning towards "no" on this instance.

- Stainless Steel Appliances: I've gotten various opinions on this one, both from online articles and local realtors. Renters and buyers seem to want stainless steel appliances to the point that they'd prefer used stainless over brand new white/black... So my question is, do stainless steel appliances add to the appraised value? For this rehab, there is a newer white (gas) stove and range hood, but old/outdated dishwasher and refrigerator -- so those two need replaced regardless. My question is, should I shell out the extra money for all-new stainless steel appliances, or just clean off the white stove/hood, and save $600-800 by only buying a new white fridge + dishwasher? The entire kitchen (cabinets, sink, counters, etc.) will be brand new, if that makes a difference. My gut says stainless will appeal to renters, but I'm unsure about how it might impact the appraisal. 

Any ideas or opinions are welcome and appreciated!

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