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How Long Should a Rehab Really Take?

Aug 17, 2007
Whether you're rehabbing to sell or rent, you should plan your work and work your plan. When purchasing property you should have your estimates in writing prior to closing. In fact, you should have a clause in your contract stating that the seller will give buyer access to property for purposes of estimating.

Make sure you always pick neutral colors. For instance: exterior colors should be trendy colors appropriate to the neighborhood, yellow, beige, and gray tones with white trim work well. Interior colors should be flat white or off white with semi gloss on trim, doors, kitchen and bath. Carpet colors should be neutral as well in either beige or the gray family. Sometimes you can upgrade to a Berber for pennies.

If you're doing cosmetics only, your rehab should not take longer than a few weeks. When you get into more involved projects (i.e. roof) you can expect it to take longer. Some municipalities are easier to work with than others regarding permitting. Much of the problems are related to the people not doing the work in a timely fashion.

Someone I know just built a 1200 square feet house from top to bottom and got a certificate of occupancy in less than 90 days. If he can accomplish such a feat then even the most complicated rehab should not take longer than that. Having done all levels of rehabbing, I still run into snags.

It's the nature of the beast. Remember to always put in a fudge factor for those unforeseen expenses. Good crews are hard to come by. If you have someone you know who does good work, make sure you keep him or her happy. I have a long-standing relationship with people such as my handyman, carpet person, tile installer, tile supplier, roofer and so on.

For your rentals, keep in mind you might be better off cleaning your carpet and/or dying it than replacing it. You should have a rental unit turned over in less than 1 week.
Here are a few appropriate cost guidelines: re-roof with shingle $1.50 per square foot or $150 per "square", interior painting $.85 per square foot including walls, doors, trim and ceilings, toilets $150, windows $150 each installed, exterior paint $.50 per square foot of surface space, exterior doors $300 each installed, carpet $10 a yard installed over new pad, kitchen cabinets $950 to $1500 installed.

Most important is to get your rehab estimates in writing with both a labor and material and time estimate. Make sure you cover issues such as having workers carry insurance and work comp. Do not give a hefty deposit before work is started.

It is a good idea to bonus if they finish early and to penalize them in increasing amounts for every day they are late. Please keep in mind it is not the best use of your time banging nails. Your local investor club/association can be a great resource to find everyone you need to do a great rehab.
About the Author
Richard Reichmann is internationally known as a millionaire maker. He's a leading consultant in real estate and internet marketing strategies that are profit proven.

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