Durable Rental Rehab Strategy

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I am going to do a full rehab on one of my units and I want to use it as a template for all rehabs in the future. I am looking for ideas and best practices for low maintenance materials that are relatively cheap and timeless. I want these rehabs to last a long time, and I want to attract great tenants who will pay more and take care of the property. 2 bedroom units will rent for $1200-$1500 in my market depending on location and quality, most buildings are 1900-1950s built.

Here are some of my strategies, any others you can recommend?

-natural maple cabinets will look good even after being banged up a bit

-quartz or solid state countertops are durable and relatively cheap

-refinishing wood floors and tile in kitchen and bathroom, no vinyl or carpet

-tile shower, no plastic surround

-pedestal bathroom sink, vanities tend to get water-damaged and gross

-grey walls, white trim, white ceilings

-I have never had stainless appliances myself, do you think they last as long as white before they look worn?

-any thoughts on glass block vs vinyl for shower windows?

-any thoughts on chrome vs brushed nickel fixtures? seems like brushed nickel will last longer.

-thoughts on plumbing fixture brand? I've had trouble getting replacement parts for cheap fixtures so I'm planning on going with Moen.

-anything else I should be thinking about?


Stainless steel appliances are hard to keep clean, it shows every finger print it also scratches and are a bit more expensive than white appliances.  The same is true for brushed nickel fixtures, chrome is timeless.  Moen is a good brand but you need a special tool to remove the cartridges if the shower fails, Delta or Price Pfister may be better choices for that reason alone. I think from a desirability stand point a pedestal sink in a mistake, at least in the main bathrooms.  People need places to put their stuff so unless you are installing medicine cabinets, shelving and linen closets a pedestal sink is a drawback. Also, if you are truly in a pre-1950's building you may want to consider solid wood cabinets painted white.  Natural wood cabinets weren't commonly used until mid-century so the look may be discordant, especially if you have wide craftsman trim and doors that have have already been painted. Nicole Curtis from the Rehab Addict is going to be who most people in your market are going to look to as the design guru for the type of property you are describing.  Look to her to guide your finish choices.