Question regarding finish level when rehabbing a rental....

I’m rather new here and had a quick question regarding how to rehab a rental. I’m looking at buying foreclosed properties, some of which need some work. Do you experienced investors just rehab enough to make it habitable, or do you go an extra step or two? Is this something that you research other properties in the area to get a feel for and rehab accordingly? I just want to make sure I don’t dump too much effort into something that has the possibility of getting destroyed by tenants. Thanks to everyone who shares their knowledge around here, it’s all been incredibly useful!

Clean and functional is the key.

and durable if I may add…

Of course, it depends on the class of the tenant. If you’re renting a luxury home on Cape Cod, then I would fix it up very nice. If you have a typical low-income rental, then Clean and Safe are what I do. Used appliances, paint the floors, etc

Good Luck,


Anything that the tenants can’t get their hands on easily, I spend enough money to get good quality, sturdy stuff. I do not want to do the same repair over again just becasue I bought cheap shoddy goods.

If it is something that the tenants are going to be handling every day, I try to spend as little as possible without getting down into stuff that will self destruct all by itself.

Hunter ceiling fans, not the $20 ones. But no granite countertops. Most tenants don’t hang on the ceiling fans (a few do, but most don’t). But all tenants sit on the kitchen counters, set hot pots and lit cigaretttes on the counters, spill oil on the counters, and let their kids beat on the counters with heavy toys.

Roofs are 30-40 architectural shingle, because most tenants won’t be up there. Carpet is as cheap as I can get that will still look marginally decent, since all tenants are extremely hard on carpeting. Carpet will be ruined by stains and tears long before it wears out. It isn’t worth buying good carpet.

Faucets are good enough that I get metal insides, but no unit gets a $450 kitchen faucet.

I buy good paint, because it is easier on me to paint and it cleans up better, so I get more years out of it.

Now… I always find some place in the unit to put is a small and noticable luxury. Maybe a very nice tile entry with extra nice tile. Because it is small, even good tile doesn’t cost much, and it really makes a big first impression.

I have a couple of places that have bay windows (how much renovation are you doing?). The tenants love them, an d so far, so good, they haven’t broken them. They shouldn’t be any different than any other window to repair.

Get all matching accessories for the bath. You can get matching sets of towel bars, tp holder, etc for not too much money.

I like a tile (or stainless steel) panel behind the stove. Do something with large tiles on the diagonal, and it will look fancy, and you can clean the grease splatters off it really easily and not have to paint the kitchen. Also, it will be just a little more difficult for your tenants to set your kitchen on fire when they go to sleep and leave a pot of oil heating on the stove.

Always buy self-ceaning ovens. Most tenants will actually use them, and if they don’t, you don’t have to clean baked on crapola out of the inside of the stove between tenants.

I hope this helps,

Good Luck!

I agree with clean and functional unless your working with high end rentals.

Structural I do quality and cosmetic no so much whatever I can find at a good price.

Luxury homes on Cape Cod…heheh, not a bad place to invest with the way the rental market has been lately! :beer