Curious to find out how to increase your property value by $10,000 in a weekend? Today, we break down exactly how we did it. We cover everything, including what we did, how we did it, the materials for the project, the cost, and breaking down the added value.
When we found out about Financial Independence and Early Retirement, we began looking for easy ways to lower our cost of living. We quickly became tired of living in a super fancy condo. Don’t get us wrong, we love nice stuff as much as the next person. The problem was, a significant amount of our money was going to the mortgage and the ridiculous HOA just to be in this ritzy area.
Consequently, we began looking for a property that we could move into. Our goal was to live there for a little while and then convert it to a rental property after a year. We knew that we wanted to do some projects to increase the property value, we just didn’t expect to do it in a weekend.
During the search for a new home, I stumbled across a “Make Me Move” listed on Zillow about 5 minutes up the road. The owner lived out of state and was interested in selling her current rental property. Since we weren’t looking for a rental, but a home for ourselves, we let the discussion fizzle. However, a few weeks later her tenant turned in his notice and she became incredibly motivated to offload this out of state property. After plenty of back and forth, we ended up snagging this cute little place for just over $40,000. Now that we had the place, it was time to get started on making it our own.
3 Ways to Increase Property Value in a Weekend
The property was dated. Like more dated than your grandmother’s curtains. Additionally, after years of being a rental, it wasn’t in the greatest shape. However, it wasn’t shitty by any means. This just made it the perfect candidate for an opportunity to increase the property value with a few simple projects. The easiest and quickest, way to improve the property value was to give the kitchen and bathroom a little “refresh”.
1. Updated Appliances
First order of business was to get rid of the old appliances. They were cream-colored, old, ugly, and inefficient. Rather than toss them out, we decided to sell them to offset the cost of newer ones. Due to our listing techniques on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, all of them sold. Despite their age, they all sold pretty quickly too. The fridge and oven sold for $80 apiece, while the dishwasher and microwave also sold for $50 apiece. So, for the mathematicians out there, you’ve worked out that we made $260 off of our old appliances.
As we sold the appliances, we began looking for replacements on Facebook Marketplace. We found a stainless-steel oven for $100, a dishwasher for $100, and microwave for $100. The only issue with our replacement strategy was the fridge. The space for the fridge was an unusual dimension, and it made finding used options that would fit very difficult.
Instead of looking for weeks we went ahead and bought a new one that was slightly undersized. *To make up for the size difference, we installed a pull-out pantry between the fridge and the wall, but that was another project for another day.* The fridge was on sale, but the one delivered had a small dent in the side. After a quick call to customer service, they gave us a discount, and we ended up paying $380 for a new stainless steel fridge.
Again, the number crunchers are probably ahead, but the total for the updated appliances is $680.
New Appliances $680 – $260 = $420
2. New Flooring
Next up on our weekend project to increase the property value is new flooring. The vinyl sheet flooring that was in the kitchen was not going to be featured on HGTV anytime soon. On second thought…maybe as a before picture. Looking to change your flooring? There are so many options. Hardwoods, laminate, tile, luxury vinyl plank, and more. Similarly, all of these options also have hundreds if not thousands of different styles, colors, quality, etc.
After extensive research, we have decided that luxury vinyl plank (LVP) gives the most bang for your buck.
- Easy to install
- Looks good.
Hard to beat those benefits.
We found these Tivoli Vinyl Floor Planks* on Amazon which had good reviews, and we could install them right over our old flooring. Because the kitchen space is small, it went pretty quickly. We used a knife and a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the planks the appropriate size. From there, they are just like thick ass stickers. First, you peel the paper backing off and place it on the floor. Above all, be sure that the floors are as clean as possible, and that it’s going down in the exact right spot.
Three boxes of flooring = $65
3. Painting Cabinets
The last of our three easy ways to increase property value in a weekend is to paint the cabinets. Painting cabinets is a simple, easy, and cost-effective way to give your kitchen a much-needed update. Consequently, we paint all the cabinets in our rentals. Painted cabinets makes the kitchen look newer and cleaner, provides contrast, and is the cheapest way to transform your space.
We go into detail in this post on how to paint the cabinets. What we will say is that Queenstown Gray Milk Paint* is our go-to paint for dark, sleek, grey cabinets. We’ve tried other paints, but we haven’t liked any of them nearly as much. It goes on easy, hides imperfections, and looks great! If you go with another type of paint, be sure that you use a higher sheen. Chalk paint, while trendy, is terrible for this type of application as it holds all dust, and you can’t wipe them down without having streaks everywhere. We use Poly/Acrylic Semi-Gloss Finish* as a protective coat over the paint. It has held up extremely well and still looks great, even after renting our place on Airbnb.
We also completed the look by spray-painting the old hinges. Brush them clean. Spray them with a couple of coats of silver paint. Reinstall them. And you’re all set. We will replace them at some point, but the spray paint has surprisingly held up pretty well.
Paint & Supplies = $73
Total amount spent: $558
Increase in Property Value
This kitchen was the equivalent of the uncle that peaked in high school back in the ’80s. However, we performed a Queer-Eye quality makeover and brought it up to speed with us here in the present. With the refresh of the kitchen, we added over $100/month in rental value. Additionally, we increased the curb appeal which lowers vacancies and appeals to higher quality tenants who are worth their weight in gold.
Due to our early retirement portfolio primarily focusing on income-producing rental properties, increasing the rental income is incredibly important to us. If our kitchen lasts the next 10 years, this $560 will net us $10,800 (even considering the standard 10% vacancy rate) in additional rental income. This comes out to a mind-boggling 1,829% return on investment.
Similarly, the property value has increased with these changes in appearance. Not only is there more curb appeal by looking newer and cleaner, but by appealing to more buyers there is more competition, which increases the price. Also, the rental rule is that you should be able to rent a property for 1% of the purchase price. For example, a $75k place should rent for $750 and a $100k place should rent for $1,000. We boosted the rent of our place from $625 to $750, which is equal to a $12,500 increase in the purchase price.
How would you spend a weekend to increase your property value by $10,000?