BRRRR Rehab Options for Higher Appraisal

6 Replies

I just bought a single family house with a finished basement suite. I didn’t buy this for a BRRRR but I think I could swing it. The basement is in good shape and upstairs is also not bad the kitchen could use some updates or painting etc. It is 2 bedrooms up and 2 bedrooms down. It is already appraised about 10K higher then my mortgage. What could I do for Rehabs that would get me a higher appraisal without doing any major work? I know this depends on specifics but I’m looking for help.

What do you define as major work? How out of date is the property? Are the bathrooms current-looking with good fixtures? High impact work is kitchen and bathroom work but the kind of work that will get you a higher appraisal will cost more than just a coat of paint. Some easy things you can do is put new matching door hardware throughout the home, new bathroom fixtures, light fixtures, etc and paint. But I don’t know how much that will get you on an appraisal. Not nearly as much as a new bathroom or fully updated kitchen (new backslash, painted cabinets or new, granite countertop). Surprisingly, granite countertops are a big deal for appraisal value so if you don’t have that maybe consider adding. I always balked at the cost but an appraiser friend of mine who also flips says they are well worth the money.

Thanks Heidi for your answer. The upstairs is pretty out of date. It really could use some kitchen renos. Just was curious if I could just get new doors or paint and change hardware to improve appraisal or if i would have to start over. I would still do some backsplash and counter tops tho.

Thanks for your input.

Paint is by far the easiest and most cost effective improvement you can make to update a property.  Everything really depends on the current condition of your property, and what's desired and currently available for sale in that neighborhood.

Is it possible for you to view similar properties in the area with the desired value that you are hoping to achieve? For instance, find a comparable property listed at a higher value and schedule a preview/attend an open house to see what kind of upgrades are included to warrant the higher price. Or review interior photos/upgrade remarks of sold comparables to see what the area supports. Since these comparables will likely be included in your appraisal, they a good indicator of necessary condition upgrades to obtain a higher value.

Unless the place is really run down, I think you're going to be hard pressed to do any kind of cosmetic rehab that will increase the value of an appraisal.

For the most part, as long as your current rehab was decent, you're somewhat locked in to what you're going to get on an appraisal.  For the most part, they really consider square footage.

Now if you can add a bathroom or a fireplace. Or even a deck or patio, you'll get a minor bump. But painting walls (unless your walls are green or something today) is not going improve your appraisal very much. 

I appreciate the input guys. One thing is to find a comparable property is tough because this is the first house that has came up since i have been actively in this market (2-3 Years) that has had a basement suite up to fire code and fully permitted to todays standards. But I guess looking at each unit separately may give me some hints. Like i think giving the kitchen some updates in terms of cupboards and painting the house (in/out) and changing all hardware and fixtures may get it up there some. I'm not looking for a huge bump but if i could pull 10-20K out after a refinance I'd be happy. My current mortgage is a flexible plan meaning all i have to do is ask for a new appraisal (and pay for it) and they will change the mortgage amount without going through the approval process etc (up to a certain amount). 

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