first time rehabber

I am new at rehabbing and have just purchased my first project-a 2 story 3 bedroom 2.5 baths(1684 sq feet) with an unfinished basemnt(834 sq ft)…was a foreclosure deal bought it off a home owner for $157k …my appraiser’s comps the property at $238k…i got a interest only loan for $180k the mortage company taking 3% ($5400)and the homeowner $6000 to walk away.The house needs yard work …kitchen rehab(cabinets and tiles)…bathroom(tiles,bathtub)…carpet…exterior and interior paint work…Its has an unfinished basement which i was thinking of finishing for raise in value…upto $265k… I plan to invest $8k in rehab of the house but don’t know if $8k would be enough for the whole rehab and what i would spend on the basment to finish it…please advice…

I don’t know where you are but $8K sounds a little thin to do all of that work…I would say that you should expect to spend a bit more (I am assuming that you are doing the work yourself, not hiring it out). I would recommend that if you are going to resell as you indicate that you do a nice job in the kitchen and bath(s) specifically. Don’t go “on the cheap” completely. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to save money but don’t buy the cheepest/cheeziest either.

As for the basement, the costs are dependent upon what’s there now (e.g., is it framed/rough plumbed at all?) and what you plan to do with it (e.g., bedrooms, baths, family room, etc…)


Stop! Economically, speaking, finished basements do not bring a good return for money spent. Updated kitchens and baths are the money bringers. If you feel a need to do something in the basement, stud the basments the buyer can visualize thier own plans for it. Personally, I wouldn’t finish it.

In CT, even if it’s finished we can’t include it in the square footage of the dwelling which can impact the appraised value.

Just my opinion.


$8,000 for kitchen and bath rehab is not realistic unless you are buying your supplies off a truck and installing them yourself. Give up the basement altoghter, IMHO, the return on your investment won’t be there.

What kind of yard work are you talking about? I have learned from my mistakes and now stay away from properties with tons of pine trees – I have had to spend $5,000 to bring down “only the dangerous trees,” 13 total and had the other 25 trimmed way up (30 feet). Then there was the drive way, damaged by the trees LOL. Exterior work can be very expensive.

If this is a flip, I’m with Keith put your money in the kitchen and bathrooms. Be very careful of your exterior expense – you want curb appeal but it can break your bank.

Good luck to you.

Yes, what everyone has already posted is very true.

Make 100% sure that you learn everything that you need to know regarding basements. If there is no fire exit then it will not fly. You must get permits and you may not be able to add the square feet to the homes total.

Don’t listen to me, check with others, including the city for permits.

Take care,