How to Rehab a Single Family Home

Rehab Single Family HomeSo you have purchased a single-family house that needs work and you’re all set to rehab it so that you can resell it. You have just one little question: “Where do I begin? I don’t know how to rehab a house!” When you first took on this project, the idea of rehabbing a single family home didn’t seem like that much work. But now that it’s yours, it looks like there are a million things to do.

First things first… rehabbing is just like anything else: you need a plan. Let’s make ours!

If you are new to the rehabbing business, you need to make sure you’ve purchased the right kind of house–in this case, a property that needs cosmetic rehabs. That means you want to stay away from houses that have structural issues with the foundation or floors; fire damage; dry rot or termite damage; and the like. The same goes for systems: electrical, plumbing, and heating. These can be complicated and costly. For the newbie, there is no sense biting off more than you can chew.

Although properties with such defects can often be purchased at a better price, the estimate and cost–not to mention the experience necessary–to make such repairs can quickly eat up the novice investor’s profit margin. And then there’s the stress! So let’s keep it easy.

Now, after you have a good home that needs cosmetic improvements, where should you begin? Here’s our plan for rehabbing single-family homes:

1. Start with the outside: You’ll want to make the property presentable from the street. This includes the major details, like picking up any junk or trash, clipping back overgrown shrubs or trees, and generally making the house pleasantly visible from the street. Save the small details, like planting flowers, for later. For now, just get it cleaned up!

2. Evaluate the interior work that is needed: You are going to be concerned with the three primary regions of the house, including the kitchen, baths, and living areas. Depending on the amount of work each needs, the kitchen and baths will be the most expensive rooms to fix. They will often also be the major selling points of the house. Determine what you want or need to do to each, and create a budget. Stick to it.

3. Clean it out: Like you did with the outside of the house, make sure you get rid of everything inside before you start working. It’s much easier to get things done when you don’t have to work around leftover boxes, furniture, or piles of garbage!

4. Make sure you or whomever you hire to do the interior rehab does a quality job. Don’t overlook the details, such as replacing ALL the outlet covers and switch plates, and carefully masking any trim as you paint. Trust us: If you gloss over the little things, buyers will notice.

5. Add the finishing touches and start marketing your house for sale. Actually, you can start the marketing process sooner–oftentimes even while you are still working on the interior rehab (it’s one of the reasons we cleaned the outside first). Then pay attention to the little things like planting flowers outside and replacing the house numbers (curb appeal). Think: “Would I want to buy this house?”

6. Whether you decide to market it yourself or enlist the help of a Realtor, make sure you have priced the house correctly based on recent comparable sales. Starting with too high of an asking price can cause a house to languish on the market. Too low and you won’t maximize your profit.

And that’s really it. Once you’ve sold the house, you’re ready to begin again. Have fun!

One deal to financial freedom? Luis Roque invites you to get access to ask the real estate experts who are mentors to millionaires today! Attend the next free commercial real estate webinar with some of the nation’s leading real estate experts: Real Deal Commercial Webinar.

Luis has over 10 years of real estate and lending expertise working for the largest lending institutions in the U.S. Luis has also worked for investment companies as a consultant to oversee the investor relations, and residential real estate acquisitions departments. Luis is a managing partner of HIS Real Estate Network residential and commercial buying group.

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