Best time for renovations

8 Replies | St. Louis, Missouri

I am looking to start out soon, investing in Saint Louis.  Specifically South city multi family homes. My question, is there a time of year that is better or worse for renovations to happen? I live in Phoenix so all year round here is an okay time for it. I am not familiar with the seasonality of Saint Louis. Like is starting in the winter going to lead to a lot of down time? Or is the perfect time since contractors will be slow and want the work etc..?

Just curious if there is a sweet spot on planing renovations to occur or if it doesn't matter.  

@Samuel Glantz only thing to consider would be the weather. if you have a lot of exterior work and the weather is cold, icy, wet or unsafe due to high winds that will impede what you can get done. I am from Pittsburgh PA so we work around the the weather especially in the winter. Not sure how St. Louis weather is. Best of luck

There is no real sweet spot as far as predicting the weather in St. Louis.  In particular the winter months.   Most of the solid general contractors can maneuver through any weather conditions that St. Louis has to offer.   If you have any other questions, I would be happy to point you in the right direction.  Best of luck!!

@Samuel Glantz Equally important, if not more so, is when your renovated units will be completed and on the market for renters.  I bought my first STL property last year and started renovating 4 of the units in the fall.  They were completed in January, and then they just sat there for 2 months.  We had to drop the rent a couple times just to get renters in there for below-market rent.  

Like you, I'm from a warm weather climate.  In L.A., moving in January is no different from moving in August.  Market rent is market rent.  But as my property manager pointed out: "Would you want to move furniture when it's 22 degrees out and snowing?"  Kinda makes sense now.
By comparison, we finished renovating 2 other units over the summer so that they were ready in late July.  We got market rent in two or three weeks.
Re GC, I had a lot of trouble finding a good GC who wasn't booked out for months. Ended up switching to a new property management company that also has a construction arm of their company.  Ended up working a lot better.

Good luck!!

@Andrew Robbins , I personally would rather move when its 22 degrees out than 98 degrees, but I'm very hot natured.  I can't speak for the rest of the country, but around here, people usually don't like to move during periods when school is in session, because they don't want to uproot their kids and have them start mid year in a new school.  Our busy rental season starts in late spring and runs through the end of August.  I agree with you that winter is the slowest time to rent.  We even try to stagger our leases to end in the Spring instead of Fall.  @Samuel Glantz , if you can get renovations done in Winter or early Spring, I think you would set yourself up to take advantage of the prime marketing and rental season.  Don't forget your marketing pics will be more attractive on bright sunny days with flowers in bloom, than dreary snowy one's.  Best of luck.  I hope this helps.  

It is not necessarily the weather that keeps people from moving during the winter months. Anyone who has lived in St Louis for an extended period of time knows that you cannot predict the weather with any degree of certainty. You should consider the lifestyle of your clientèle. If you are hoping to rent to college students, or graduate students, you may consider trying to have your apartments toward the end of summer. If you're apartments cater toward families with kids, you should try to have your apartment available toward the end of the school year. My rentals in south city are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, they never sit vacant for more than 1 month. My tenants are mostly young professionals, the time of year usually doesn't matter much to them.