It is finally time to share our second real estate investment we took the plunge on – our first rental! For those of you who may not know, I will give you a little back story on how our first rental investment came to be and today is all about the makeover that has taken place the last few months since we closed on it.
In the summer of 2017, Matt and I bought our first flip project (I wrote many posts about that project and I have them all linked at the bottom of this post so you can read about that adventure). After that project, we really wanted to cross another thing we have had on our goal lists – a rental property. We wanted to dip our toes in the rental investment pond. I am going to be totally honest and tell you that rental properties have always scared the hell out of me. It is something that many people in my family do and have great success with, but the entire thing was still intimidating for me. The flip project was not as scary because we were selling it. We didn’t have to worry about renters and all that other stuff. We fixed it up and we sold it. Investing in rental properties is a whole new beast.
After we sold the flip house, I started actively looking for a rental. We closed on our first rental at the very end of October. The rental property is a duplex with two apartments; an upper and lower unit. The tenant that was in the bottom unit when we bought it decided to stay so we didn’t have to renovate his unit (although we did need to fix his sink, put in a new furnace and a new ceiling fan). So, we were able to put our full attention on the upper unit.
Just like the flip house, when we were thinking about the changes we were going to make, we thought they would be pretty minimal. Then, when we actually got in there, we found out we were wrong. Our biggest dent in the renovation budget was that we had to replace both furnaces as soon as we got it! UGH! We thought we were going to get by with just one, but after further inspection, we weren’t able to salvage either one. HUGE DENT IN THE BUDGET RIGHT OFF THE BAT. We were heading into winter too so we couldn’t wait to get them done. They had to be done ASAP. Before any of the fun “makeover” could start, all of our attention was on the bones of the duplex. Once both furnaces were done, we started tackling the cosmetics.
Since the furnace for the upper unit is in the attic, we had to cut a bigger hole in the ceiling to get the new one in. I thought this was going to be a big issue, but Matt was able to make the hole bigger and then trim around the opening nicely and it wasn’t a big deal. PHEW!
The first thing we did was pull all of the nasty carpet and started painting the walls and the ceilings.
After we got the painting done, we started talking about the windows. Just like the flip house we did in the summer, we weren’t planning on replacing them but as we were working inside the apartment we just knew we wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t replace them all. They needed it. They weren’t in great condition. UGH – real estate investment at its finest – another unforseen expense, but we were prepared for that this time (see the tips and tricks we learned while flipping our first project HERE).
Once we had all the windows in and replaced all the trim around them with new trim, we were so happy that we did it. It made the apartment so much brighter and it looked so much better.
After the windows, we concentrated on the kitchen.
The sink in the kitchen needed repaired and a few of the drawers needed fixed. To make the cabinets looks better, we sanded them all down and restained them. We found a like-new stove at Restore to replaced the old one that was there. That alone made the kitchen look a lot better. We removed the old fan that was full of dust and dirt from the eat-in area and replaced it with a new ceiling fan.
Then, we laid a new laminate floor throughout the kitchen. (When I was taking these pictures, I couldn’t believe how much natural light comes through this upper unit!)
After the kitchen, we focused on the bathroom. The good news was that the washer and dryer inside the bathroom still worked! We had to replace the duct on the dryer and we took down the old shelves they had in there and added a wood shelf instead.
The bathroom needed: new flooring, a toilet, mirror, light fixture, paint and the tub and surround needed changed. You can read all about how we saved tons of money on the tub and how we saved the tile to make it look brand new for next to nothing HERE.
Another Restore haul gave us all new light fixtures in the apartment, cute hooks for the bathroom and the new vanity light. My aunt was getting rid of the mirror so I painted it and it fit great in the bathroom. (More photos of the bathroom before, during and after the makeover can be found in the post HERE.)
We did a few things on the outside of the duplex, but colder temps put a halt to that so we will pick up that work this spring.
The final thing that went into the apartment makeover was the new carpet.
This is my favorite part because I know all the work is almost done and new carpet always makes the space look clean, fresh and pulled together.
My mom was getting rid of some curtains and they were the perfect fit for the bigger bedroom in the duplex. I am on the hunt to find curtains for the rest of the unit.
This real estate investment has been a roller coaster for us. It is uncharted territory so we have been on a learning curve from day one. Investing in rental property looks so much different from flip projects. The end goal is different so that makes the entire process different. We are finally in the process of finding the best-fit tenant for this real estate investment. I am not throwing the towel in yet on rental investments, but let’s just say, I am actively looking for our next flip project. 🙂
You can see a live tour of the duplex about a month after we got it on my Facebook page HERE.
PIN THIS POST!