7 Replies

Hello Rehabbers Good Afternoon,

Can you tell me about some of the mistakes you made as a rehabber, so they can be avoided, if you don't mind taking a trip down memory lane?

How about some information on some of the big ticket items.

Biggest mistakes I've made is worrying about fixing houses the way I would want to live in them, rather than how the renter sees the property. This has caused me to spend extra money occasionally on things that no one else seems to care about, and if you are a long-time homeowner and aficionado of making your environment nicek, like I am, it can be hard to see a house through a renter's eyes. 

OK, another mistake I've made before: not spending money on better constructed kitchen cabinets. I'm not talking about fancier cabinets, I'm talking about cabinets that have plywood construction, solid wood doors. The off-the-shelf pressboard junk from HD/Lowes doesn't hold up well to renters long-term, and any kind of water leak/spill starts deteriorating the sides. It's easy when a kitchen needs to get in, and there's a lag time on waiting for good cabinets, but I wouldn't use them cheap cabinets in a kitchen again. 

I haven't rehabbed anything (yet), but one advice that stuck with me from listening to one of the BP podcasts was to look for materials/fixtures that you would use on all your rehabs. That way you won't be stuck with some extra paint and/or fixtures that would only look good at the previous house. The BP podcast guest (sorry...can't remember who it was around show 50-60 I think) said he uses the same materials for all his rehabs. Same light fixtures, same paint, same towel/toilet paper holders, same carpet/flooring, etc. Good luck! 

Always do a hydrostatic test!

My last property I had the foundation repaired and they did the leak test after.  They explained to me I could not get my foundation warranty with the leak.  Surprise Surprise, I didn't even think about under the slab plumbing and thought I knew the BIG ticket items.  It turns out there were corroded pipes and roots from large trees that had really done a number on the pipes.  I had bids from $6500-$25000.  Most were in the $17000 range.  I had to replace all of the plumbing which was cast iron to PVC.  Very large lesson learned that I hope you can learn from me and not while doing a rehab.  

I'm relatively new to this, but I'd say don't get emotional about your assets. Others have mentioned this, but it's really about making the asset look good. Easy and quick sell. It's not about what you want. It's about what will sell. Take a look at your comps and see how they look. It's not about buying a 5 and making it a 10. If all the homes around you are 5-6, maybe make it a 7. I think you get the idea.