house with many structural ladders and wood to represent renovation

How to Give a Fixer-Upper Rental Property an Overhaul

• Assess what needs doing in the fixer-upper rental property and prioritize accordingly to plan out the budget and timeline.

• Bring in professional help when necessary, such as house extension builders, plumbers and electricians, painters and decorators, and pest control experts. 

• Shop around for materials to keep costs down and track expenses to ensure everything’s accounted for when invoicing.

• Be honest with potential tenants about any areas that may still need attention or things that are still work-in-progress.

If you’re an investor or landlord, you may have come across the occasional fixer-upper rental property. These properties can be great investments because they typically come at a lower price and with the potential for higher returns. But, of course, there’s work to be done before they are rent-ready. Here’s how to give a fixer-upper rental property an overhaul.

Assess What Needs Doing

First up, take stock of what needs doing and prioritize your list accordingly. This will help you plan out your budget and timeline for the project.

When assessing, consider things like structural damage, plumbing, and electrical issues, as well as cosmetic fixes such as painting, carpeting, flooring, and countertops. Once you know what needs doing in order of priority and urgency, you can start planning how to make it happen.

If possible, enlist the services of a qualified professional who can inspect the property and provide an accurate assessment of what needs to be done in terms of repairs or renovations. This way, you can better determine the scope of work and what budget you need to allocate.

magnifying glass on top of miniature paper house with calculator on the side

Bring in Help When Necessary

If the task list is beyond your own capabilities or comfort level—it’s crucial to bring in professional help. This will cost more, but it could save you time and headaches in the long run by ensuring everything is done the first time correctly. Here are some examples:

House Extension Builders

If you’re looking to extend the rental property or even just do some significant renovations, it’s best to bring in the services of professional house extension builders. Look for one with experience in the type of project you plan on doing and good reviews from past customers.

Plumbers & Electricians

Plumbing and electrical work should be left to qualified professionals. There’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong if it’s not done correctly, so make sure to hire someone who is up-to-date with their training and certifications.

Painters & Decorators

You’ll want to hire painters and decorators for a top-notch job, both inside and out. Not only will they help you choose the right types of paints, wallpaper, and finishes for your project, but they’ll also be able to suggest creative ideas for how to best showcase the property.

Pest Control Experts

If the property is particularly run-down, you may want to consider calling in a pest control expert to ensure there are no critters in the walls. This can save a lot of headaches down the line and help ensure your tenants’ health and safety.

smiling male builders painting a house white

Stay on Budget & Timeline

It’s easy for renovation projects to become costly quickly if not managed properly. Likewise, timelines tend to get extended when unexpected delays arise.

To keep costs down, shop around for materials (a lot of big box stores offer discounts) and keep track of all expenses along the way so that nothing slips through the cracks when it comes time for invoicing. For instance, if you’re doing a lot of painting, buy enough paint for all the walls.

Regarding timelines, try keeping regular communication with contractors so that everyone involved knows what’s going on at each step of the process. This will help reduce delays due to miscommunication or misunderstandings.

Be Honest When It’s Time For Marketing

Once all the work is complete, it’s time to start marketing your newly renovated rental property. No matter how much work you’ve done, it’s important to be honest about any areas that may still need attention or things that are still work-in-progress. 

For example, if the flooring still needs to be done or the kitchen counter just needs a deep clean, let potential tenants know so that they can make an informed decision. This will save you from dealing with any hefty back-and-forth at a later date.

Furthermore, if you’ve made any changes to the property, make sure they are all up-to-code and that you have the necessary permits in place.

Fixer-uppers can be great investments, but they do require extra attention upfront before they become profitable rental properties—and taking on these tasks yourself can be daunting when faced with a long list of repairs that need doing quickly and efficiently while staying within budget. By following these tips, however—assessing what needs doing, bringing in help when necessary, and staying on budget and timeline—you should be able to transform even an outdated property into something both beautiful and lucrative.

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