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Property Focus: Townhouse Renovation

October 21st, 2020 |

Ready to renovate? Join the plethora of investors who are snapping up Boston townhouses. The sweat equity of a townhouse renovation makes this type of rental property an attractive and affordable option for supplemental income.

Finding the Right Townhouse

When you are looking for a fixer upper, your first priority is price. Taking time to renovate existing housing benefits the community by keeping buildings vibrant and well cared for. Investors are breathing new life into city neighborhoods with renovation schemes.

  • Budget
  • Purpose
  • Location

First it is important to decide on a budget. Think about what your maximum price point is. How much sweat equity (doing jobs yourself) can you feasibly complete? Have an objective third party help you evaluate your home renovation skills. Decide which jobs you can complete at a high level of competence. Hire out jobs that are beyond your capabilities. Once you know what your threshold is, you can start looking for a townhouse.

Secondly, what is your purpose for renovation? Do you plan on renovating the entire home, or just a basement that you intend to rent out? Deciding clearly on your purpose will streamline the renovation.

Purpose will direct where the majority of your renovation budget will go. Investors have many options when it comes to renovation. Whether a property will be entirely for rental, or if it will be both a residence and a rental, are things that must be decided upfront.

Location and primary purpose of the townhouse go together. These are important criteria to consider when deciding which fixer-upper to buy. Once your purpose is clear, location will naturally become more important. Commuters will want a place near work, and short term rentals will be more profitable if they’re near city landmarks and transportation hubs.

Beware of Renovation Pitfalls

First-time investors and renovation veterans alike are susceptible to certain pitfalls. Details like forgetting to account for state and federal taxes on profits if the property is renovated and then sold can affect your budget. If the property is rented, know which category it will fall under when registering with the city of Boston. Contact us for more information on successfully completing a Boston townhouse renovation.

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5 Split Level Remodel Ideas for Your Investment Property

September 24th, 2020 |

A lot of the homes from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in the Boston area and its suburbs are split-level properties. Upgrading these properties is a challenge with its traditional layout as well as limited and divided spaces between two or three floors. If you have an investment property and are considering remodeling it, these five split level remodel ideas are highly recommended by the experts:

Facade and Front Entry

Strategic landscaping helps to balance the look of the home from the front. Consider constructing raised garden beds to hide the slope of the property.  Add decorative elements like siding, tiles, and stones to enhance its appeal.

To divert the attention from the garage in the front, add an eye-catching front door entry. Painting the home in neutral and earthy colors is a single most strategy to spruce up the exterior of your home.

Adding Spaces Or Open Up Spaces

You can add more space to the entry by extending the front roof. Consider removing the closet in the entryway to another place as another option.  Get rid of some existing walls, arrange furniture and plants strategically for an open and functional feel.

Some split-level homes have multiple small rooms. Merging them can create a more open and bigger space.

If it fits your budget, construct a new garage as a backyard extension and convert the existing garage into a living space with proper permitting and code. With more space in these homes in the backyard, consider building a deck or patio for outdoor entertaining.

Adding Storage

Extra bedroom in the house can be converted into an office space with cabinets for storage.

Small hallways connecting living space to the garage can be made into mudrooms with shelves for storage.

Relocate the closet or coat hanger from the front entry to the top of the stairs to make space in the entryway.

Improve Lighting

Some homes are quite dark with smaller windows. Adding extra LED lighting (energy efficient) will brighten up the space significantly. Skylights are a great way to bring the natural light in. If you are able to add extra windows on the sides, those are awesome investments. 

Improve Air Circulation and Temperature

Even out the temperature in the house by installing furnace fans all around the house and running them at low speed. Having multiple thermostats allows you to control the temperature in the surrounding spaces as needed. Remodeling a split-level rental is difficult, but not impossible. Extensive projects has to be permitted and planned so the functionality is not compromised between the floors.

If your investment home is a split-level structure and needs updating, it is recommended that you consult with the professionals right from planning to execution. Please contact us at R.H. Blanchard for more split level remodel ideas and so we can guide you step by step in this process.

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Property Focus: Apartment Remodeling

July 9th, 2020 |

Whether you’ve taken the leap into real estate investing, or are still shopping for your first Boston-area investment property, you’ve likely come across a listing or two that would be an ideal investment “If only.” If only it had an updated bathroom, if only it had a more efficient kitchen layout, if only it had more natural light…etc.

Luckily, turning an investment property from “almost ideal” to “practically perfect” is possible if you keep these apartment remodeling tips top of mind:

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How Beginners Succeed at Real Estate Investing

April 23rd, 2020 |

Why invest in real estate?

Real estate investing for beginners is usually a safe road to future financial security. Beginners investing in real estate will notice that real estate is a less volatile market than other forms of investing. Rental properties provide additional income with few day-to-day requirements. Investors can qualify for many tax breaks making their investment more lucrative. In the long run, real estate investments tend to bring positive returns.

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Why Are Boston Home Renovations Worth the Investment?

April 2nd, 2020 |

Shrewd residential real estate investors know how to choose effective home renovations for their properties. A new kitchen, new bathrooms, or a window upgrade – all these generally add considerable value to the property, while also improving your monthly cash flow as an investor. Wondering whether Boston home renovations are worth investing in? Keep reading to learn the advantages of putting your dollars into this particular market.

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Pros and Cons of a Boston Home Remodeling Project

March 5th, 2020 |

Despite the fact that Boston has the third-highest rental costs in the US, demand for quality rental housing is perennially strong. There are many factors to consider if you’re deciding whether to renovate an investment property or start home remodeling in Boston, and these pros and cons can help you consider such a project.

Con: Remodeling Cost Is High

Especially in an area with expensive housing costs like Boston, a remodeling project can feel like an unending list of bills to pay for contractors, materials, licenses, carrying costs, and of course, unexpected expenses. This can be especially true in remodeling an older home or doing extensive renovations. Some remodeling projects can also be very time-consuming depending on the extent of the work being done. That doesn’t even take into account added time due to supply delays, contractor and labor scheduling issues, and even weather problems. In addition, you may face unexpected expenses as a result of issues discovered during the remodeling process or changes in the original plan of work to be done.

Pro: Strong Return on Investment

Because housing costs are so high in the Boston area, an owner who does a smart, careful job on a remodeling project should see a return on that investment in a short time. Renters and buyers are choosy, even in a tight market, and your investment in quality remodeling should pay off in higher rental and sales rates. Buyers and renters are willing to pay more, however, if remodeling choices result in designs and amenities that appeal to them.

Con: Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels Can Cost the Most

Because of their function and complexity, bathrooms and kitchens can be the most expensive rooms to remodel in a home. These spaces require skilled workers across many of the trades including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tiling, and more. This results in more workers and associated costs. These are also spaces that require a lot of specialized materials and supplies, all of which add to the total expense.

Pro: Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels Add the Wow Factor

Time after time, results show that good bathroom and kitchen remodels can be the special features that make a property move. There’s something really delightful about a clean, fresh kitchen and bath that gives an entire home some added appeal.

Con: Remodeling Costs Can Outweigh Earnings

It can be easy to let a remodeling project get out of hand, adding more and more to a project until it’s become an overly expensive money pit. It’s often tempting to keep finding additional upgrades to make during a renovation project, adding time and expense overall.

Pro: Careful Planning and Quality Contractors Can Save You Money

Working with quality contractors and carefully planning a remodeling project can save you money upfront, increasing the odds of a strong profit in the end. Of course, there are unexpected problems that can turn up during renovation that require attention, but the scope of a remodeling project should be well defined at the start and changes carefully evaluated.

Con: A Remodeling Project Can Be Stressful

A remodeling project can be a very stressful time. A lot of money can be at stake, and there are many unknowns including the time required to complete the project, the possibility of encountering unknown problems, and worries over successfully renting or selling the property when work is completed. In addition, coordinating the work, workers, schedules, and expenses can be an overwhelming task.

Pro: A Good Contractor Can Reduce Stress

Hiring a quality contractor to oversee a remodeling project can provide you peace of mind while the work is done. Experienced contractors can identify small problems and resolve them before they become large issues, are used to coordinating complex projects and have the knowledge to make sure every detail is taken care of.

Contact us at R.H. Blanchard today to discuss remodeling your investment property and home remodeling in Boston.

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What Are the Best Types of Rental Property Investments for New Investors?

February 6th, 2020 |

For those who are looking for their first rental property investment, diversity in the market only serves to confuse them. There are just too many variables to the equation that leads to a successful investment. However, fret not, because we are about to show you some of the best types of property investment opportunities in the rental market. Buying a property at the right price and in the right location ensures that you’ll receive a steady stream of passive income monthly while assuming the lowest risks possible.

Single-Family Units

These homes are especially attractive to young families. A recent report by Forbes showed that single-family homebuilding rose 11 percent in December 2019, the highest ever since 2007, which was before the economic crisis.

To be more profitable, pick homes that have sound structure but require a bit of renovation. These homes will be priced much lower than the current market rate. This is to provide you with a protective cushion in case the market value takes a dive. Once renovated, this type of home can bring you steady income for years to come, provided you pick an established neighborhood that provides values to the renters.

Single-Tenant Triple-Net Properties

This type of property is perfect for investors who don’t have the time to actively manage the property. Basically, you’ll lease out your property to a single tenant. Most of the time, the tenant will be a company and they will be responsible for all expenses related to the property. The typical lease terms are from 10 to 25 years, renewable. If you have KFC, FedEx, or Ford as tenants, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Middle-Class Apartments

For those with more ample funds to invest, middle-class apartments are synonymous with security and prosperity. These apartments are often in their best conditions with little management required, and they attract well-behaved highly-educated tenants, which is a landlord’s dream come true.

To learn about the best types of property investment opportunities, contact us at R.H. Blanchard today.

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8 Tips and Tricks for Real Estate Investing

January 16th, 2020 |

Investing in real estate can be a rewarding experience if done correctly. While there are no specific guidelines that can guarantee you success, there are certain tips that will surely set you on the right path. These are real estate investing tips and tricks that have been garnered from the years of experience of professionals in the field of real estate investing.

Read on to learn more about 8 useful tips and tricks to help you in your journey of real estate investment.

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