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Real Estate Renovation Results in an Elevenfold Gain over the Investment

When my client called me a few months ago, she had a unit with severe wear and tear from a previous tenant. During their 15 years of living there, the tenant never complained, yet all the while had neglected to inform my client of needed repairs. When she saw the unit upon his move out, she was at a loss. The unit was unlivable.

The kitchen cabinets were coming away from the wall, the drawers and cabinets doors didn’t close, and trails of bugs were evident.

Kitchen Damage Before Renovation
Kitchen Before

The toilet seat had been broken and was being held together with tape, to flush one had to use a pulley system that the tenant had rigged up, lights were missing, dirt and grime were everywhere.

Bath Damage Before Renovation
Bath Before Renovation

Plaster was missing in the bathroom caused from a leak from above that was never reported by the tenant to my client.

Bath Damage Before Renovation
Bath Damage Before Renovation

Chunks of plaster and other large cracks were in the closet.

Bedroom Closet Damage Before Renovation
Bedroom Closet Damage Before Renovation
Bath Damage Before Renovation
Bedroom Closet Damage Before Renovation

The radiator covers has been severely damaged likely because of windows being left open which allowed water to enter and rest on the hand make covers.

Damaged Radiator
Damaged Radiator Before Renovation

The unit had been left in a total mess at the most unfortunate of times---she was ready to sell

The damage was so bad that to put it on the market in its current condition we would have to market it “As Is” and at a below—extremely below—market price.

I proposed a better solution.

A small investment (relative to the potential gain) to revamp the entire unit so a more proper market price could be placed on the unit once we went to sell.

My client lives out of state, so I offered to design, select, plan and oversee the entire process. She agreed and the demo began.

We stripped the unit to the bare bones. We removed all of the old tile in the kitchen and bath, removed all of the kitchen cabinets, the vanity, medicine cabinet, broken toilet, light fixtures, damaged radiator covers, and old window blinds. We repaired all of the plaster walls and replaced all of the dry wall in the kitchen, refinished the hardwoods, added crown molding in the living room. Removed the unneeded door to the kitchen from the living room and replaced all of the interior door hardware.

Kitchen Demo
Kitchen Demo in Progress

The result was a beautifully new and neutral palette. I focused on selecting simple finishes and refurbishing the good bones of the unit—beautiful original hardwoods, original moldings, and historic radiators.

Living Room After Renovation
Living Room After the Renovation and Staged for Market

First, we refinished the original hardwood floors, repaired all walls and repainted the entire unit. We added new light fixtures or a ceiling fan in every room.

Bedroom After Renovation
Bedroom After Renovation and Staged for Market

I chose oversized custom cabinets and shelving, quartz countertops, new appliances and fixtures, and tile flooring for the kitchen.

Kitchen After Renovation
Kitchen After Renovation

Adding bigger cabinets with molding at the top draws the eye up and shows off the high ceilings that are a wonderful feature of this unit.

Kitchen After Renovation
Kitchen After Renovation

The bath remodel including reglazing the tub and restoring the wall, adding a beautiful simple vanity, adding new lighting, new toilet and hexagon porcelain tile floor.

Bath After Renovation
Bath Vanity Area After Renovation

Bath After Renovation
Bath After Renovation

I had the radiators restored—they were hiding under bulky and damaged radiator boxes. The result was a beautiful base that can work with the new owners furnishings whether contemporary or classic.

The financial result was an elevenfold+ gain over my client’s investment in the real estate renovation --- which was a sales price twice as much as she would have realized selling "As Is." And a contract in under 48 hours.


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