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The Stress-Free Way to Rehab a House

Written by: Neva Williamson


One of the best ways to get into the real estate market is to rehabilitate a home in disrepair. But rehabbing a house from start to finish takes a lot of time, preparation and most of all, patience.


Whether you are flipping a home or are planning to live on the property, rehabbing a home is not without its difficulties. For every dollar you saved purchasing the home you will need to spend some of that dollar back renovating it and making it your own. Below is our rehab house checklist so you can be sure that the process moves along as seamlessly as possible.



Know What You Want vs. Need


Build a real estate rehab checklist list which details:


  • Your wants
  • Your needs


A “need” in the home would be having a second or third bathroom in the home depending on occupancy. A “want” may be granite counter tops as opposed to laminate.


You will be facing some tough choices in the upcoming weeks or months. By having this list handy, you will be able to stay focused on exactly what it is you expect from your property and whether a property – regardless of how idyllic it may be – will stand up to your expectations.



Inspect the Property Before You Buy


Make note of what is in good condition and what could use a bit of work, and take pictures so you can properly assess which renovation products you will need to take on in which period of time.


It is also important to have a reputable home inspector view the home so that he or she can advise you of what needs to be fixed up and in what period of time.



Determine Your Budget


Do not meet with a contractor or an architect before you know how much you have to spend on this project. Only then will you be able to figure out what is and what is not possible for the project.



Hire a Reliable Contractor


A great contractor is worth his or her weight in gold. Ask friends, neighbors, families and co-workers for names of general contractors or contractors who have done similar work on their homes that you want completed on yours. You can also consult the following websites to uncover contractors in your area:




Read the Fine Print


After you have interviewed at least 3 well-known contractors in your area and have singled out the right person for your project, go through the fine print of the contract carefully. Make sure that everything you want to be done is covered (or make alternative arrangements), and never pay more than ten percent upfront for a project.



All that’s left after checking or crossing off items on your rehab checklist spreadsheet is finalizing your household arrangements (i.e. where furniture where be stored, how you will prepare meals, if you need a hotel room for certain nights, etc.) and preparing for a bit of mess. After only a few weeks or months you will be able to sit back and witness your property transform into a home where you can raise a family, relax in your very own personal oasis, or plan an early retirement thanks to your well-planned investment property.




Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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Joe Fairless