As an owner of rental property, you’re no doubt aware that getting the unit ready to lease can become rather expensive when dealing with any number of contractors, such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC, painters, etc. Most, if not all, property owners have certainly had their share of expensive work done to get their units ready. The quality of work itself, can range from good, all the way to the not so good. And most times, you’re left waiting for their schedule to open up . But, you can bet all of it was paid for with cash out of your pocket.
One way to help keep some cash tucked firmly in your wallet, is simply, to do-it-yourself. That’s right. Roll up your sleeves, get in there and do the work yourself. Your reward? You not only save time and money, you also gain some measure of satisfaction knowing you’ve done a job well done.
Now, I’m not talking about the mechanicals, such as electric, plumbing, and HVAC. That work is certainly for skilled tradesman, and well worth the price.
There is one thing, however, that many people can do, and that is paint. I don’t mean really intricate, detail-type work, but simply painting walls, ceilings, and a little trimwork. If you’ve got the time to do this, I think you’ll like the results.
Let’s say, for example, you have a normal 1-2 bedroom apartment to turn. You could spend a little, or a lot of time painting. It all depends on how much the unit needs painting, and how fast you can paint. Ask yourself this: Is the unit in reasonably good shape with little more than just a touch-up here and there? Or does it require a total repaint from floor to ceiling. Your answer will probably fall someplace in the middle.
In my experience, ceilings tend to stay somewhat clean, and only require only minor touch-up. If a repaint is in order, paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. Your goal is to save time and money, so do the things that will let you move fast, with minimal repainting for future turns.
Walls, however, are a different matter. These surfaces are where the traffic tends to happen. Kids, pets, you name it, this is where the abuse can really be sustained when dealing with rentals. More often than not, entire wall space in any given apartment require total repainting from floor to ceiling. Touch-up problem areas only if original paint is on hand. If not, repaint entire wall surface to avoid looking “spotty”.
If the woodwork has a solid base coating, touch-up can be easily accomplished. If not, clean, and repaint woodwork in it’s entirety. This will assure easier touch-up for future turns.
By painting your rental property yourself, you’re going to put a little more TLC into your work. As the owner, this will reflect positively on how you are perceived by the tenant (and others) with the condition of the property you present to the public. This, in turn, will reflect very well on your professional attitude toward your property, tenants, and the real estate industry as a whole.
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