Last week I purchased a condo for investment purposes. It was a short sale and it had multiple offers when I bid on it. We see this daily in our market. The lower the price, the more competition there is. The thing is, even on some of these short sales if you pay a little over the listing price it’s still an undervalued property. Having patience is the key to getting a short sale to go through as we all know, because it’s anything but short.
With this investment property, I wanted to clean it up, add fresh paint and new carpets and put it back on the market. I know it’s fun to be thrilled by a nice new house, but why not go for the ugly duckling and put your own sweat into it? This simple step alone should get you close to a 20% return on your money. It certainly has for me over the years and I know it can for you too. With the economy the way it is today, there’s a lot of hired labor that is very talented and willing to work for a fraction of the cost they used to charge in the heyday of real estate. If you want an even better return, do the work yourself.
It can be fun to have friends over for beer and pizza and have a painting party. Save your cash for other expenses you’re bound to incur. Landscaping and curb appeal is one of the biggest areas that will increase value to your home. Spend an afternoon at Lowes or Home Depot and pick out your flowers and mulch and go to town on it by yourself. There’s no reason to spend thousands of dollars on something you can do by yourself.
Don’t cheap out on the air conditioning. This is one area I see owners let go all the time. Treat your A/C like a car that needs routine oil changes. You should have your unit cleaned and serviced at least twice a year and change the air filters regularly. This simple maintenance will save you potentially thousands of dollars in repairs and hopefully lower cooling costs! Most companies offer service contracts for only a couple hundred dollars where they will set you up on auto pay and just take care of it for you. It’s a great system and less hassle and frustration for you!
Don’t be afraid to put some work into it and do it yourself. It will be rewarding for you and your wallet! Good luck!!
Gabe Mellein was voted a Top Real Estate Agent – Exceptional in Service and Overall Satisfaction by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2012. He is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, Inc and has over 8 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate. Please contact Gabe at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com