Renovate a kitchen for profit

Renovate a kitchen for profit
At every party, no matter what size the crowd, there’s always a second mini- gathering happening in the kitchen. That’s because kitchens are magnetic: they draw us in, bring us together and create a sense of home and family. Get the kitchen right in a house and you make it exponentially more appealing and liveable.  “Think!” says Mark Trafford, owner of Maintain To Profit. “Don’t just go in all guns blazing. Don’t get personal about it.  You need to put in the right kitchen for the right tenants.” The first step is considering your target market. A million-dollar house will need a smart kitchen to attract a high rent. A house at the bottom of the market won’t need such a fancy kitchen. It’s also vital to consider your time-frames. Are you doing up the kitchen to sell the house? If so, you might be less concerned about longevity of the finishes. But if you’re going to own it for another 10 years, choosing cut-price finishes could be shooting yourself in the foot. “Do you see it as an expense or an investment? If you see it as an expense you’re going to spend as little as possible, but if you see it as an investment, it’s not a lot of money to get lasting finishes,” says Nelson Tkatch, owner of Kitchenmakeover.co.nz. He says he sees people taking the cheap option and finding themselves having to do the job again a few years later, spending more than if they’d done it properly the first time. Take a hard look at the kitchen – how bad is it? Does it...

Hit The Deck

Hit The Deck
IT’S HARD TO GO WRONG AS A LANDLORD either by enhancing and maintaining an existing deck, or by adding one to your rental property. Tenants of all ages; students, families or working couples desire indoor-outdoor flow especially in summer. As long as it’s well built small or large – it will not only add value but could also improve yields. One West Auckland landlord reports that after renovating one of his properties recently and including the addition of a deck, he was able to increase the rent from $350 to $480 per week.“I definitely believe that it helped me get a better class of tenant,” he says. “A deck can also make a property seem bigger.” EXISTING DECKS A simple safety inspection can pick up most potential issues. Ensure the deck is firmly bolted to the house, never nailed or screwed. Ensure all fasteners are secured tightly and none have rusted. Uncovered decks should haveflashings where they meet the house, so it willpay to check these out too. Look for signs of rotting wood, not only in the decking but in handrails, steps and all other timber parts. Use a screwdriver. If it penetrates the wood easily, without splintering the surface, you may have a problem and the board, or other component, must be replaced. Next, you should check that all railings, banisters and steps are still solidly constructed, with no loose parts. Bear in mind that the boards on the deck may have been replaced while the underlying structure could be older. SURFACES Mould on a deck’s surface can also compromise safety by making it slippery and mould in general is bad for human health. Resene’s Karen Warman points out that you can’t just wash moss and mould off the surface; you actually have...

Get Right Consents To Make Garage A Home

Get Right Consents To Make Garage A Home
To do it legally — and you’d be crazy to spend that money and not have it above board — can be tricky, thanks to the hoops owners must jump through with their council. There are two types of garage conversions. The easiest is where the room just adds space to the existing home, but can’t be let as a separate tenancy, says Mark Trafford a project manager who runs Maintain To Profit. For this you need just building consent. Bathrooms are allowed if they meet the rules, but you can’t put a kitchen and laundry into a basic conversion. However, it is sometimes possible to add a sink to a simple rumpus or art studio conversion without falling into the resource consent regime. The second kind of garage conversion is a “minor dwelling”, which is a self-contained unit with its own kitchen and laundry facilities. A legal attached or detached minor dwelling can be let to tenants, but requires resource consent as well as building consent. The first type of conversion can be straightforward, says Trafford. The actual building work for a simple garage conversion into warm dry space may only cost $5,000 to $10,000, says Trafford. Older 1970s properties may not be properly lined, which means they need a damp proof course added and additional concrete laid to the slab, says Ian Penniall, director at Harbour City Plans. Where some owners make a mistake is not realising they need building consent for all conversions “from non-habitable to habitable space”, says Penniall. The tricky bit in getting that consent is that owners need parking for two cars on...

The Quick Lick and Flick Reno

The Quick Lick and Flick Reno
Jen Gautier is a passionate property investor who has been building a buy and hold portfolio since 2002. Two years ago she decided to try her hand at trading. “It was scary at first,” she says, “after all those years of ‘don’t sell, never sell’ as my mantra.” It also meant putting herself on a fast learning curve in renovation skills. Gautier set up a separate GST registered company to undertake the trading operations. Over the last two years she has bought, renovated and sold five properties. This house, situated on Blake Road in Mangere, was her most recent project. The house was a three-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling of 90m2. She was drawn to the house for its great bones – a solid weather-board home in original condition. A lined and carpeted garage was used as an extra bedroom; Gautier saw reconfiguring that as an opportunity to add value. Born and raised in Pukekohe, she is a great fan of the South Auckland suburbs, appreciating the value this part of the city offers and the pool of potential first-home buyers. The house, in the Middlemore area of Mangere, is close to the hospital with great rail transport links to the city and road access to the airport and motorway. Gautier managed her earlier projects, co-ordinating subcontractors and taking a DIY approach when swinging a crowbar was needed. This time she hired a project manager and renovation team, which she thought was her biggest lesson. “It worked really well and, honestly, didn’t cost a great deal more. I still remained involved, but could relax a bit and enjoy the process. I set up good channels...

Renovation How To $30k Budget

Renovation How To $30k Budget
Property Details: Knights Rd Rothesay Bay A 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom brick and tile standalone house, approximately 100 square metres, with a basement garage. The house is in a premium Auckland North Shore location, with stunning views of Rangitoto. Objective: This house has been owned by Larry Robbins for 15 years, and with its popular location, has tended to attract stable long-term tenants, the last ones were in place for 10 years. “We knew it had gotten shabby,” says Larry, “and asked our tenant to let us know when they next planned to go on holiday, so we could make some improvements. As it turned out, that suggestion encouraged her to give notice.” To complicate matters, Larry and his wife were overseas, doing volunteer service on Mercy Ships, the world’s largest charity hospital ship. Clare Seed from Rentex Property Management, has managed the property for as long as the Robbins had owned it, so was charged with the project.  Her goal was to give the house a modern refresh, to bring it up to date with the current rental market expectations, and maximise the rental return. They wanted to ‘do it once, and do it right’, with a job that could be expected to last another 15 years. Planning: In her property management role, Clare had overseen the odd bathroom tidy up or maintenance tasks. She began the planning of this project, with a view to gathering three quotes from each of the required tradespeople. She soon realised the scope of the task. “Honestly,” she admits, “In a very short time, I realised it was going to be just...

Step By Step Guide To Renovations

Step By Step Guide To Renovations
“We have completed over 600 renovations, averaging around 120 jobs per year,” says Mark. “With a small budget, you’ll need to prioritise carefully, expect to do some of the work yourself, or undertake a plan. If you only have $20,000 perhaps it means you do the kitchen this year, but make an agreement with the tenants that if they are still there in 12 months, you’ll tackle the bathroom then.” How to Guide Step 1: Setting Goals – why are we doing this renovation? A renovation for a buy and hold rental will have different goals from a property you intend to renovate and trade, or one day live in yourself. “Tenants can actually be put off by high end fixtures and fittings,” Mark says. “They are concerned that if these things should get damaged they will be expensive to replace. Go for tried and trusted brands on things such as tapware and appliances, so you can easily source replacement parts.” For a buy and hold property, are you trying to increase return, in which case can you add another bedroom by turning a large laundry or sunroom into a bedroom, or can you extend? Is it generally tired, in which case you may be after ‘redecoration’ which is a cosmetic refresh using existing cabinetry, and adding touches such as a new coat of paint, as opposed to ‘renovation’ where you are removing walls and putting in whole new kitchen cabinets or shower units. At the very least, renovations should safeguard you from tenancy vacancies and allow you to keep up your rent at a good market rate. Barry...

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