income property Remodel

What brings a landlord higher rent and better tenants? It might surprise someone who is not familiar with remodeling for income property. If your ideal prospective tenant is 25 to 32, college-educated, and working their way up the career ladder, here is what you might consider:

  • A bike rack in the garage will really catch their eye if the apartment you are trying to rent is up three flights of stairs.
  • Inside the unit an 80-amp sub-panel providing dedicated circuits for computers, HDTV, hair dryers, and microwaves will draw a better clientele than tile in the bathroom - not that a nice bathroom won’t be a benefit, but the type of finish is second to the function of the room.
  • A vanity with a bank of drawers might be less expensive than a pedestal sink and be of more use to your tenant.

House and Home has averaged $300,000 per year for the last five years in income property remodeling. These have been projects as large as six figures for 3500 sq. ft. Pacific Heights flats, ranging to a few thousand dollars of targeted upgrades and repairs between tenants in studio or one-bedroom apartments.

Income property should look good, the work should be as professional as work you would have done in your own home. However, cosmetic items seldom result in higher rent. Added or upgraded appliances, better lighting, storage space, windows that work, or an intercom/entry door system should bring in more rent than an apartment with new hardwood floors and granite counters that lacks a dishwasher, and where the tenant’s guests need to call them from the front porch to announce their arrival.

House to Home Remodeling can provide you with the expertise to maximize your property’s income potential.  We are able to turn the property around so the time that the unit is vacant is as short as possible.


TIC PROPERTIES, Tenants-in-Common Conversion

Here in San Francisco we are leading the nation in a new form of Real Estate partnership. Small two to four-unit apartment buildings (and some even larger) are bought collectively by a group of owners with the intention of taking the buildings through the city’s eternally-evolving, constantly-changing process of condominium conversion. Leaving out the lottery process, owner occupancy percentage requirements, and the various other requirements, if you as owners have made it to the Building Department’s inspection report, you have entered the home stretch of individual home ownership.

Those of you with the report, or those of you who have read the report on other buildings know that the city requires the owners of a building to bring it up to code standards for plumbing, electrical, heating, and life safety systems. The city looks at all the work done through the years without the benefit of permits and requires owners to make that work comply (all the more reason for income property owners to have their work permitted),

It is rare that any of the work that is on the inspection report has any real curb appeal. It is unusual for much of the work to seem to require a general contractor. Owners think that they can hire a plumber and an electrician. To many owners this seems to be the perfect project to act as their own contractor. The city allows owners to pull their own permits.

Why pay the mark-up for what seems like a list of repairs? Well, because Building Inspectors get nervous in this circumstance about amateurs. It is not in a contractor’s financial interest to cut corners about code requirements. It IS in the owner’s interest to spend as little money as possible. At House to Home we bring in a team of subcontractors who have worked together for years. The inspectors have seen our work over and over again. They do not question our judgment. They accept our explanations. They have typically fifteen minutes to complete an inspection. They have problems in their district on other projects. They run late. The contractor they have inspected for years, whose work always passes, are the jobs that they tend not to scrutinize. That is just human nature. It is not that we “get away with anything,” it is just that the reports are frequently less than complete. Old permit issues can involve an interpretation of what would correct the “fault.”  With the owner/contractor the inspector is likely to go by the book. When an inspector does one of my projects a favor, he knows that I will not brag to my friends at a cocktail party about the fast one I pulled. He knows that I appreciate his help getting my project complete.

When inspections and city bureaucracy are at the heart of your project, and whenever the careful sequencing of multiple trades are what the project requires, that is when House to Home delivers the greatest value for our service. Let us take that building you all own and turn it into an individual home for each one of the TIC members.

go to top of page


© 2015 • House to Home Remodeling • All Rights Reserved