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Property Focus: Old House Renovation

May 21st, 2020 |

Renovating an old home can be a daunting task. On the one hand, the promise of a revitalized older house is tantalizing, bringing with it increased property values and a better quality of life for residents. On the other, an old house renovation can be a stressful and costly endeavor, further complicated by the unique challenges and needs presented by an older home. But don’t let this fear stop you. Renovating an old home doesn’t have to be a grueling or painfully expensive project so long as the right guidelines are followed. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you move to upgrade an older property.

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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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Best Remodeling Services for Your Money

February 26th, 2020 |

Unsurprisingly, recent reports confirm exterior remodeling projects provide the most value. Upgrading the exterior is an excellent strategy to have the property make a good first impression on potential tenants or buyers. Since you’re probably spending the bulk of your remodeling services budget on big-ticket exterior improvements, finding ways to make the most of your interior remodeling budget is a must.

Remodeling Services that Improve Curb Appeal

In New England, the best remodeling services for return on investment are projects that improve curb appeal according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. Replacing the garage door is the top-performing remodeling project with a 95.5 percent ROI.

A close second is replacing the bottom third of the facade’s siding with manufactured stone veneer (87.8 percent ROI). Third place went to replacing vinyl siding (76.6 percent ROI). Nationally, a new roof is the remodeling project that provided the biggest ROI (107 percent) according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

In the event your property doesn’t need the already-mentioned remodeling services, you may want to consider other ways to improve curb appeal such as:

  • Having the exterior painted
  • Power washing the driveway, walkway, and porch
  • Adding or upgrading exterior lighting

Saving on Interior Remodeling

There are many ways to help you save money on interior remodeling services. Some of our favorite tips include:

  1. Use stock products rather than custom ones. During the design phase of your project, it’s important to use standard dimensions for everything to avoid the need for custom products later.
  2. Put new plumbing fixtures in the same locations the old fixtures had. Moving toilets, sinks, showers, or tubs can add thousands of dollars to the project’s cost.
  3. Increase natural light with solar tubes. They’re a less expensive alternative to adding a skylight or a new window.
  4. If the property needs new floors, consider installing luxury vinyl plank (LVP) for rentals. It’s affordable, durable, and looks much nicer than the vinyl floors of decades past.
  5. If you’re selling the property when the remodel’s complete, engineered hardwood is an attractive and budget-friendly alternative to hardwood floors.

Boston Remodeling Services

We have years of experience remodeling properties for Boston area investors. Contact us when you’re ready to remodel your next investment property.

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7 Bathroom Remodeling Tips for Investment Properties

February 20th, 2020 |

When you’re remodeling a bathroom in an investment property, the goal is to create a visually appealing and functional space to increase your return on investment (ROI). Completely overhauling the bathroom is usually not necessary to reach that goal. Here are bathroom remodeling tips to help you maximize your ROI.

Research What’s in Demand in Your Market

To create your remodeling plan you need to know what the local market expects. Are most investors doing entirely new bathrooms or modest updates? Find out what features are typical for bathrooms in your neighborhood. You don’t want to invest in high-end bathroom fixtures if every other house in the neighborhood has midrange fixtures. Your real estate agent and other local investors will know what people expect to see inside bathrooms in your community.

Stick With the Existing Floor Plan Whenever Possible

If the existing floor plan is functional, keep it. The cost of moving plumbing and wiring adds up quickly.

Repair or Update Instead of Replacing

It’s possible to update a dated bathroom without replacing everything. If the fixtures are in good condition, new faucets and a new showerhead may provide the look you want. Resurfacing a bathtub with minor stains is often far less expensive than replacing it. Instead of getting new bathroom cabinets, consider refacing them or giving them new hardware.

Choose the Paint Color with Care

Since painting is inexpensive and can transform a space, a new paint job is a must. Neutral colors have a broader appeal than trendy hues.

Make the Bathroom Memorable

Every bathroom renovation should include one unforgettable feature. For example, radiant heat floor mats are practical for bathroom remodeling in Boston. Best of all, you can add the wow factor of heated floors by buying the mats at a big box store for less than $150 each.

Don’t Neglect Tiny Details

Dirty grout and caulk can make otherwise wonderful bathroom look very unappealing. It’s worthwhile to have the grout and caulk cleaned or replaced.

Decorate with Coordinated Accessories

New bathroom accessories are inexpensive yet they can create a big visual impact. The new towels, shower curtain, bath mat, and other accessories should have complementary colors, but they don’t have to be a set.

Do you need a contractor to remodel the bathroom for your Boston investment property? R.H. Blanchard Contract & Design offers the highest quality bathroom remodeling Boston has to offer, specializing in the area for over a decade. Contact us to discuss your project.

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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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