February 29, 2020
This update is long overdue! I had a few issues early on with late or non-payment, and as a result I went into the eviction process back in the fall. We wound up losing the eviction (turns out my property manager didn't file any of the documentation properly and therefore we lost), but in the end the issue up front seemed to stem from a miscommunication with the property manager and we shouldn't have attempted to evict in the first place.
Ultimately they stayed, I made modest improvements to the unit, and we increased rent from $350 to $650. You can see some of the changes in the pictures below, and can see additional posts/pictures on my Instagram page.
The general feel of the tenant from seeing the condition of the property was that they don't take the best care of things. I took this into consideration when I updated the unit, opting not to put in extra money in places I otherwise would have simply due to the fact that I didn't trust it to stay taken care of.
Aside from some general painting (including trim throughout and the previously filthy stairwell), I focused my efforts on two areas:
Kitchen - the primary change here was flooring. The kitchen was small to start with, and the floor was just exposed plywood. I laid laminate flooring, which was my first experience with click-lock installation and it was easy! Sure I messed up a few cuts, but it didn't take too long and it looked great. This is a place where I opted not to replace the cabinets; I'm looking forward to doing so in the future, but there was no ROI from doing it at this point and I didn't trust that it would be taken care of
Bathroom - this was the most impactful change and still didn't take that much. It was a disgusting green color with some horrible linoleum flooring. I painted the whole bathroom and installed luxury vinyl flooring. The tiles were even easier to install and work with than the laminate, and it looked fantastic. I again opted not to replace the vanity for the same reason as the kitchen cabinets, but I did paint it and that alone made a world of difference!
The end result was that I spent about $800-900 on the materials, spent a couple weekends working on it, and ended up increasing rent by $300. Not a bad ROI!
Biggest lesson learned from this one:
-Pay close attention to your ROI on your updates! Sure I could've put more money into this place, but I was already getting rent up $300 by the updates that were agreed to. Was it really going to be worth it to put in an extra $800 in cabinets to increase rent by $50-100? In this situation, no. I'll save that for when the unit goes vacant and I update everything!