Football is a contest of teams trying to out plan and out execute the other.
Coaches spend hours analyzing the tapes of their opponent’s prior games.
They are looking for weaknesses they can exploit.
If you are coach, you want the strongest possible defense.
But more than that, you want a defense that doesn’t have significant deficiencies in any given position.
For example, you don’t want to have a level 9 defensive line, but only have a level 7 defensive secondary.
The opposing team is going to kill that team in the passing game.
The coach would much prefer level 8 players across the board.
It’s much harder to find weaknesses in a team like that.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about because you don’t know the first thing about football, stay with me.
The central idea of getting a property ready to rent is much the same as skill on football team, a baseball team, a hockey team, etc.
On those teams, you want to have uniform skill across the team, not one or two star players and the rest not so much.
In an Oklahoma City rental property, if your house is a level 8, you don’t want to have a level 5 heat and air system or bathroom.
For example, if you are going to do a remodel but your budget is getting tight near the end, don’t skimp on the heat and air system if everything else in the house is really nice. It’s going to cost you when you try to lease that rental property.
You want that whole house to be a level 8.
Notice that I say level 8. It’s a mistake to think that you need to have a level 10. And that leads me to the first of three types of properties that you might be getting ready to rent.
Newer, Modern Homes
In this group, I include homes that were built within the last 15 years.
In the OKC metro area, here’s generally what I’m talking about is pictured in the photo at the top of this article.
These are mostly brick with at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage.
I can’t think of anything I’ve had to update in house like this except occasionally the paint and carpet.
And, that’s only if the occupants were hard on them.
If there aren’t obvious smudges on the walls, don’t repaint them just to change the color.
If the carpet doesn’t have stains that won’t come out or is some other way damaged, don’t think it needs to be replaced, and don’t do it.
Any unnecessary expenses are just that.
Take that money you might have spent repainting and save it for some unforeseen maintenance expense. Or, for the next time the tenant moves out and you DO need to repaint.
The real estate investing game is more of a long game than a quick buck.
You should think about it that way.
The key is that the OKC rental property should be clean and ready to move in.
It should smell fresh.
I think it’s a good idea to include a refrigerator.
Washer and dryer and nice bonuses, but not necessary.
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Older Home that Needs Updates
There are properties that might be older, say 40+ years old (built prior to the 1970’s) that haven’t been updated in a long, long time.
For example, a home that an elderly person lived in, and a family member inherits.
Or, they sell it “as is” to a landlord.
If you wind up with a property like this, you have a choice to make.
How far are you going to take the remodel?
Chances are, the kitchen and bathroom are very dated.
You could do almost nothing on the minimal end. On the high end, you could tear out the entire bathrooms and kitchen, including all the cabinets, bathtubs, sinks, plumbing, etc., and replacing them all.
I usually end up in the middle ground. I’ll usually save the cabinets, and redo the counter tops, sinks, plumbing fixtures (facets, etc.), and bathtub surrounds.
You can also resurface a tub.
As above, the house needs to be clean and smell fresh.
You need to fix a mildew smell or pet odor before you put the Oklahoma City rental property up for rent.
Tired Old Rental Properties
It seems like once a tenant has lived in an Oklahoma City rental property for more than about 3 or 4 years, you always end up having to do a complete repaint. And, replace at least some of the carpet.
It’s not always necessary to do a total repaint. Sometimes it’s possible to do some touch up painting and call it good. It depends upon the type of paint used. If it’s flat paint, you usually can’t scrub off scuff marks or do touch up painting.
That’s why I like to paint trim, baseboards, doors, and walls with semigloss paint. You can scrub walls that were painted with semigloss paint. And, it’s easier to do touch up painting.
The reason I’m going on and on about painting is that it can be a very big expense item.
If you are going to do a total repaint, it’s nice to use contemporary colors. I’ll usually change to a light gray for walls and almost white for the trim, baseboards, and doors.
Depending upon how long you have owned the rental property, you may end up having to do some of the updates to the kitchen and bathroom discussed above.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to weatherization. If you notice plastic over windows in a house with wood frame windows, you know there are issues with air leaking out badly. And, the utility costs for the Oklahoma City rental property are on the high end.
Are the walls insulated? Many of the homes built before 1965 don’t have insulated walls.
It’s also a good idea to take a look into the attic to see at how much insulation there is. I’m always surprised at how much I forget about properties I’ve owned for more than a few years. It’s a good idea to double check the amount of insulation in the attic.
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