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Real estate markets are on fire in many if not all, cities in the US right now. When markets get white-hot, investors start rushing things and cutting corners to speed up the selling process.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s review a few tips to make your renovation projects go smoother and avoid headaches.
First, Always use licensed contractors and be sure they have good reviews and lots of them.
Be clear on what the expectation is, prepare a specific statement of work. This means you will list out each of the items to be completed by the contractor or vendor in a very specific way to include quantity, size, and color.
If anyone discourages you from pulling permits for a specific job be sure to interpret that as a red flag and NOT a money-saving opportunity. This is a common gimmick by unlicensed people who pretend to be legitimate contractors.
When choosing colors, stay generic/neutral/ mainstream, don’t “experiment” or let anyone else do so on your behalf. Be sure the colors you choose will appeal to the masses. Wall paint? White / Off White or Egg Shell, avoid any daring colors.
Hire a project manager with experience in renovations to keep an eye on the job, they should be checking on all of the vendors and even the GC if one is used. This is especially beneficial if you are a long-distance investor. Perhaps your property manager would be a good fit for this task.
Never pay in advance of work performed, ever. Only pay as the job is completed. You can set goals of progress and then possibly make small draws if absolutely necessary but still do your best to avoid these if at all possible.
Lastly, always begin with the roof. If you are selling a home, the age and condition of the roof will be heavily scrutinized by the lender and the insurance company. Know the age of your roof, if it has 5 years or less life in it, replace it. There’s nothing worse than rehabbing a house and then have it all ruined by a leaky roof. Well, maybe having a buyer be forced to back out of a contract over the roof would be worse, you decide.