I have been on this site for a little while and until now have just read posts. I bought my first place last September. I am in the Colorado Springs area, and I was wondering what is a better idea. I bought a foreclosed condo for %30 under the appraisal. I would like to rent it out eventually when I move (military) instead of selling it. From what I have read, I should renovate the place in the style of the other condos in the complex. My cabinets are sort of out of date, I am wondering if it would be better to re face them or to replace the completely. Thanks for any feedback!
@Alexander Arietta How old are they? Personally for a rental, reface is fine, if it's quality on quality. Tenant worthy cabinets are not cheap. Many older cabinets are better built. On the other hand if they are really cheap to begin with, a replacement would be in order.
In general, newer, nicer, better rents quicker and for more. There is obviously a point of diminishing returns. Watch and look at units for rent. See what they are getting, and what condition they are in. That will help make your decision.
It's my experience that new cabinets are a poor investment in terms of added rent vs cost. At the same time mama picks the house and she wants the nice stuff. Usually if an improvement that will not pay for itself in 4 years it's not worth doing. So if a new kitchen rents for $100 more per month you have $4,800 to redo the kitchen. Very tough to do a good job for that money. At the same time it sure is easy to rent a property where people walk in the kitchen and say ooh awh.
Have fun deciding what to do.
I just renovated a condo I bought in foreclosure in the Springs. The cabinets were water damaged. I stained them the same color. I lightly sanded them, stained them, and then covered them with poly. They came out great. The parts that were damaged took the stain, and the parts that were not didn't. It blended well. They looked new when I was done. It cost me one pint can of stain, and one pint of poly.
One thing to consider is whether you need to change the kitchen layout. Refacing works if you intend to leave the kitchen, dishwasher, sink and refrigerator in their existing locations. Sometimes remodeling requires some changes. For example, maybe you want to replace a range hood with a microwave or replace a tall double oven with a single oven to get more counter space. In these cases you need new cabinets, but otherwise refacing works well if structure and shelving in the cabinets is in decent shape. Refacing's still not cheap, though.
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