DIY Kitchen Remodeling on House 1

In mid-2007, I decided to begin my journey in real estate investing.  After looking at several different areas surrounding my city’s downtown area, I picked out a specific neighborhood where I felt homes not only had the best present day value but also had the greatest potential for long term appreciation.  Due to widespread mortgage fraud, the wave of foreclosures started by the subprime mortgage crisis had already started in my target neighborhood, well ahead of other housing markets both state and nationwide.  There was no shortage of inventory so I looked at a dizzying array of properties in a span of several months.

House 1

Toward the end of 2007, I finally pulled the trigger and made my first offer on a house,  House 1, which I would be living in myself.  My plan was to move from my house in the suburb and to a house in my target neighborhood.  At the time, I was working a job in downtown and enduring a three hour daily work commute.  The move to House 1 would immediately eliminate my torturous commute, put me within five miles of work, and free up an additional three hours per day for real estate investing  In January 2008, I closed on House 1 and moved in soon after.

House 1 is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath two-story home built in 2005.  The home has a huge inviting porch and an equally large covered deck in the rear of the house.  When I moved into the house, I installed a privacy fence around the backyard.  I then contracted out the pouring of a new 100-foot driveway which allowed  two vehicle to be secured behind the privacy fence in the side yard

A year later, I moved to another house in the neighborhood and rented out House 1.  My first tenant in House 1 just moved out a month ago after almost nine years of tenancy, the longest by far of all my tenants.  Since this is the first turnover of the house in almost a decade, there is a quiet a bit of deferred maintenance.

Rather than rushing to get the house back on the market and rented, I prefer to return a house to pristine condition during each vacancy.  Therefore, we will be tackling the full list of deferred maintenance over the next month or so.  We also plan to make some upgrade to the home.  Once the house is in prime condition, it will command a higher rent, rent out more quickly, and allow us to get the best quality tenant.

The Small Kitchen

While the home has many nice features, it has one major fault: a small kitchen.  With the house finally vacant, I decided to take the time to remodel the kitchen to increase its income potential as well as improve its appeal to future tenants.  Given that the kitchen was the only flaw in the house’s layout, I believe fixing this issue will be a worthy one-time investment for many years of returns to come.

DIY Kitchen Remodeling

I had a full kitchen remodel done eight years ago on House 2.  For that project, I designed the new kitchen layout and selected the cabinets and countertops.  I hired out the demolition, the  installation of the cabinets, as well as the installation of the laminate countertops to a general contractor.  At the time I was a real estate investing and DIY newbie.

I have more experience under my belt now.  Therefore, for this remodeling project, I am planning to DIY most of the work.  I will be posting updates of the kitchen remodel as the project develops so be sure to stay tuned.

In the next blog post, I will detail what we have planned for this DIY kitchen remodel.

Mr. DIY Landlord

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