Rental Property SH #3 Update (March 23, 2015)


Rental Property SH #3 rehab is just about finished! I’d say it’s at about 95% complete right now, and only a day or two of work remains to get it up to my turnkey standards. With this rental, I definitely gave it my best shot, and was more involved with it than any of my previous rehabs. I hand-picked just about all the materials, and am checking in on the property just about everyday.

Initially, my partner and I budgeted $10,000 for renovations, but quickly found out that we would have to spend a lot more than that. Once we added the bathroom rehab, the expenses just kept rolling in… It’s so easy to overlook things, and I forgot to include many items on the original estimate. For instance, I spent today purchasing the following items:

  • Wireless doorbell.
  • Soap dispenser for the shower.
  • New baseboards for downstairs.
  • Vanity top and faucet.
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke detectors.
  • Two ceiling fans for the bathrooms.

Anyway, the bills do add up! Our grand total (at the moment), is about $15,400… So, I’m $400 over budget (this includes labor and materials).

For fun, here are some pics of today’s purchases:


They took our doorbell!

Here’s the $15 wireless doorbell and battery replacement:


The new doorbell:

Looks cheap… sigh

Soap Dispenser

Next up, I had to pick out a soap dispenser for the shower. On the left, we have the more expensive $70 option. On the right, we have the much more affordable $40 option…

Guess which one I opted for?

Which one would you buy?

It’s just money, right? 😉 I went with Option A, as the materials seemed to be more sturdy, and my friend told me he’s had good experiences with the simplehuman brand, for whatever that’s worth. We are going to screw this sucker in place, since I have a bad history with adhesive products…


Next, we decided to redo the downstairs baseboards. The unit has been heavily updated, and again, I’m looking to secure a high quality tenant at above market rent. After all the new finishes, the old baseboards just looked really bad and out of place…

They had to go:

New baseboards

Vanity Top

The last “big” item to install is the vanity top in the upstairs bathroom, which should take place tomorrow morning. For this item, I have may splurged just a little bit too much…

After checking out so many vanity tops, I just couldn’t find one that I particularly liked. Quartz seems to be totally En Vogue right now, and all the salesmen were pushing me in that direction. I learned that quartz is supposedly more durable, but it isn’t that much cheaper (if any) than marble or granite. Further, quartz just looks a little cheap to me…

Almost complete

In the end, I went with my gut and paid a little bit more for marble ($289 for a slab vs. $259 for a slab of quartz). I opted for a White Carrara vanity top, which is NOT in style right now and a little bit more old school.

Regardless, I still like the look of it and think it will be the centerpiece of the bathroom remodel!

Here it is getting custom-cut:



Here is the faucet to go with the new vanity. It’s a spot-resist brushed nickel finish from Moen.

Am I going overboard for a rental? Perhaps…


Safety Items

When it comes to rental properties, one important element that often gets overlooked is SAFETY! Personally, I believe that tenant safety is paramount and I will not pinch pennies when it comes to fulfilling this crucial need.

I’m outfitting each rental unit with the following:


The smoke/carbon monoxide detectors were ordered from Amazon, so I don’t have any pics of those yet. They are the photoelectric kind, which are much more responsive to smoldering fires.

From Property Evaluation:

In tests, ionization alarms will typically respond about 30 to 90 seconds faster to “fast-flame” fires than photoelectric smoke alarms. However, in smoldering fires ionization alarms respond an average of 15 to 50 minutes slower than photoelectric alarms. Several studies indicate that they will outright fail to activate up to 20-25% of the time. The vast majority of residential fire fatalities are due to smoke inhalation, not from the actual flames and almost two-thirds of fire fatalities occur at night while we sleep.

Photoelectric smoke detectors are also less prone to false alarms, so tenants will probably be less frustrated with them and NOT remove the batteries. Professionals recommend using both ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors, for added safety.

While browsing at the store, I even noticed wireless models that not only give out voice alerts, but can also send text messages to your phone. Pretty cool! It’s good to see the field of safety products evolving with the times…

Ceiling Fans

Lastly, here is my creme de la creme purchase for today. Thanks to the recommendation from reader Mike, and another strong endorsement from my contractor, I just knew that I had to swap out my 2000 dB ceiling fans with something a lot better.

By popular demand!

These Panasonic bad boys must be the “best of the best” because everyone I talk to recommends them. While at the hole-in-the-wall shop, I noticed a few other customers purchasing these fans as well…

It was about $230 for the pair — I went with 80 CFM for the half-bath, and 110 CFM for the full bath.

I’m pretty excited! I hope these fans live up to their reputation! I’ll find out tomorrow when they get installed. 🙂

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Anne @ Money Propeller

Fun… I can’t wait to see it completely done (I bet you can’t either). I am going to look up those smoke detectors with the new features, I’ve never heard of them having voice commands or testing abilities, that’s pretty neat.

5 years ago

Looking good! Thanks for the shout out 🙂

5 years ago

Love to read these posts. Your working good!

5 years ago

It’s been a long time brother glad to see you are doing well. I have been binge listening to Bigger Pockets and will hopefully get my feet wet with real estate within the next 12 months.

No Nonsense Landlord
5 years ago

Great job, although I think you could get by with a bit less. Chrome faucets, not brushed. Moen is what I buy too. And A fire extinguisher is a must.