Making a property move-in ready can seem pretty daunting, especially if the previous lease ended with an eviction. We are on-location, today, visiting a property with Pete Neubig, Regional Director for Houston Mynd Property Management. Pete is going to walk us through what a property manager or investor can expect when making a property ready for new tenants, particularly after an eviction.
Steve Rozenberg: Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Mynd Property Management. I'm here in Houston, Texas. And I'm here with my good friend Pete who is the Regional Director of Texas for Mynd Property Management. We are here today, Pete, in a property that is vacant, but this is isn't a normal vacancy, this was an eviction.
Evictions Can Be More Work
Pete Neubig: Correct. Eviction, you have a little bit more work. In this house here, we're sitting in the living room. We're in a house on Crescent Cove here in Houston. We're in the living room and the first couple things here is obviously this wall will need to be repainted. These holes will need to be patched up. Right? Along with the whole thing, this whole deal. The blinds look good. You just have to replace the wands on the blinds.
Steve Rozenberg: From an investor's perspective, this is not that bad right now. The floor is not bad, right? It's not that damaged.
Pete Neubig: The floor's in good shape. Your ceiling's in good shape. In this one here all you have to do, it's a full paint, it's patching some holes.
Steve Rozenberg: Patch and paint.
Pete Neubig: Full paint, and most likely replacing the blinds. It's easier to replace blinds than to fix them.
Steve Rozenberg: Let's take a walk through we'll go look at some more stuff in the house.
Pete Neubig: All right, we're in the kitchen now. Steve, notice in the kitchen we have tile here. Which again, as an investor in the kitchen, wet areas, we like tile.
Steve Rozenberg: High traffic, you don't have to replace it.
Pete Neubig: You can also do vinyl here but we like tile better. Now notice in this case, tile's in really good shape. The kitchen, when you first look at it, it’s like, "Oh my goodness, it's in really bad shape." But if you notice, the cabinets are in really good shape, the granite is in good shape, the appliances are here. Which is good, especially on eviction, which is really good. Here you need a thorough clean, replace the blinds, and really that's it in this.
Steve Rozenberg: Yeah, it's not bad. Once you clean the windows and clean it up it would look like a whole different place.
Washers and Dryers
Steve Rozenberg: All right, so now we're in the utility closet. You see we've got washer and dryers here. Pete, what's your take on having washer and dryers in this rental?
Pete Neubig: A couple of things, Steve. One is, I like providing washer and dryers. Now here's the thing though, it doesn't increase the rent—
Steve Rozenberg: You're not going to get more money.
Pete Neubig: —but it allows you to get it rented quicker. What we do in our leases here in Houston to get ready to rent and how it that is we omit them. We'll give them to you. If they work, great, if not we don't fix or replace. What we will do is we will remove.
Steve Rozenberg: Would you remove these like right now, for the make-ready? Would you remove these out of the property?
Pete Neubig: We would test them, if they work we would keep them. We would tell our owner, "If you want to, you can replace when something happens,” but per the lease and legally, you don't have to.
Investing in Hardwood Can Save You Money
Steve Rozenberg: All right so now we're at the stairs. We're going to go up to the second floor. Obviously, if you're looking at the carpet on the stairs, it's going to have to be replaced, right?
Pete Neubig: Yeah, it looks in pretty bad shape. It's dirty. Again, if we could, I would spend a little bit more money and I would put laminate or some kind of hardwood and just build the stairs. If we can't, also know Steve, that when you do carpeting, it's a little bit more expensive to do stairs.
Steve Rozenberg: Again, you're probably going to have to replace it more often than if you just spent a little bit more money and put the laminate in and then you're done with it.
Pete Neubig: I'm a big fan of capital improvements, spending money upfront if you have it.
Steve Rozenberg: Then you don't have to worry about it.
Pete Neubig: Then you don't have to worry about it as much.
Steve Rozenberg: All right, let's go upstairs.So now we're in the master bedroom. We're upstairs. It doesn't look bad. Again, on the surface it may look bad but, in reality as we know, this is basically a replacing of carpet, and fixing the holes in the walls, just like we saw before. What else?
Pete Neubig: One thing about the house that I don't like, it's that the carpet is dark, which means that it makes the room smaller. We like tan carpets. I do like carpet in the bedrooms. I do see a lot of people moving towards planking, even laminate, even in the bedroom.
Steve Rozenberg: And then just a rug.
Pete Neubig: Now this carpet here, there's a couple of stains in there, but if we can get them out, we keep the carpet.
Steve Rozenberg: This is actually clean. Yeah, this may be cleanable.
Pete Neubig: It might be cleanable. The walls, just like the living room, have to be painted. With this house, the big cost of this house is going to be painting. The blinds are going to need to be replaced. If this was my house, I would have a fan light. A ceiling fan just, even though they get more damaged, they bring in the client.
Steve Rozenberg: Yeah, exactly. It just looks more inviting if you have the ceiling fan in the bedrooms. It's not very expensive to have, as well.
Pete Neubig: Now if this wasn't an eviction, most likely this would be cleaned, there would be a couple of touch-ups on the wall that would have been needed to be done, and maybe a paint in one wall.
Steve Rozenberg: But because it's an eviction, they're going to leave it.So now we are in the master bathroom. What are your thoughts, Pete?
Pete Neubig: A couple things here, Steve, obviously you want to make sure you have light bulbs. If this is rusted out, it looks like that's the color so it looks in pretty good shape. Again, the main thing with this bathroom here, is it just needs to be cleaned.
Steve Rozenberg: Yeah, it's actually not bad, or in bad condition.
Pete Neubig: What I like about this bathroom too, it's got a tub. Families like tubs because that's how they bathe the children. So again, I don't even think you need to repaint this, maybe wall, but not the whole thing here.
Steve Rozenberg: Yeah, it's not that bad actually.
Pete Neubig: No, not bad at all, especially for an eviction. If this wasn't an eviction it'd probably look very similar, to be honest with you, in this room.
Cleaning Someone Else’s Mess
Steve Rozenberg: Yeah. Now we're going to go take a look at the other bathroom because that has a little different look to it.
Pete Neubig: We're in the secondary bathroom. As you can see here, evidently the tenant who lived here, thought they were a plumber. It looks like they were trying to fix something and obviously this is not the way it's supposed to look. In this case here, obviously we need to put in the tile, we need to put in new commode in, new toilet in. The bathtub is in good shape.
The paint is in decent shape. If you're going to do all this new work, you're probably going to repaint. This is a lot of work in this bathroom, for sure. Paint is the first step when making any home move-in ready. And from moving furniture and hanging pictures, it is also often the post obvious repair that needs to be made. Blinds are also a fairly obvious repair, though replacing blinds is often cheaper than getting broken ones fixed.
Owners can often save money in the long run by investing in the house, from the beginning. By replacing vinyl or carpet with tile or hardwood flooring, an investor can insulate themselves from having to replace a carpet or vinyl tiles, should they be damaged by a tenant. They are often easier to clean, as well, which can save time as making a property move-in ready requires cleaning the property thoroughly. It can save money, as well, as a prepared investor with a solid team of professional vendors can have a property back on the market following the end of a lease within a few days.
Steve Rozenberg: Okay everyone, so we just saw what our property looks like after a tenant is evicted. I think you and I both agree that actually was not that bad of a property, considering it was an eviction.
Pete Neubig: For an eviction, that property was not terrible. Obviously we had the issue with the one bathroom, but other than that, it's a really deep clean and some paint.
Steve Rozenberg: Yeah, so not too much, not too bad, it could be turned very quickly. In a couple days, it can be back on the market ready to lease and get new money again.
Hopefully this helped you. If you want to know more, obviously you can go to our website, mynd.co. M-Y-N-D.co, or go to our Facebook group, MasterMynd Real Estate Investment Club and you can get more information there and talk with people like Pete and myself about your properties and your challenges.