Skip to main content

From Renos to Riches: The Canadian Real Estate Investor's Guide to Practical and Profitable Renovations

From Renos to Riches: The Canadian Real Estate Investor's Guide to Practical and Profitable Renovations

Ian Szabo

ISBN: 978-1-118-03161-2

Apr 2012

304 pages

Select type: Paperback

$30.00

Product not available for purchase

Description

Maximize the profits and minimize the costs of real estate management

Rental renovations should be seen as a long-term investment, with your best asset in mind—your tenant. Knowing what renovations to undertake and how to do them will ensure that your money is well spent on renovations that will last the lifetime of the property, and ensure that your tenants want to stay. From Renos to Riches is designed to help you grow the value of your portfolio of properties by increasing cash flow through strategic renovations, decreasing expenses by saving money on maintenance by getting the job right the first time, reducing energy usage, and fostering a good and lasting relationship with your tenants.

The product of the author's experience in the construction trades and as a real estate investor in residential properties, the book offers investors in rental properties insights into how to assess and estimate the cost of a renovation and to determine if it makes financial sense.

The only Canadian title in the field of investing in renovations, From Renos to Riches:

  • Helps landlords and rental property owners understand what's involved in contracting out a job; how to make sure they're hiring skilled and professional workers; keeping to a budget; going green; and which jobs you can tackle yourself
  • Provides authoritative and credible information to help investors make wise renovation investments for maximum returns
  • Includes real world examples to illustrate different scenarios and help investors assess the scope of a renovation project

The definitive book on renovations that can be made prudently and efficiently aimed at Canadian investors, landlords, and property managers, From Renos to Riches will help you attract and keep tenants, improve cash flow, and keep maintenance to a minimum.

Acknowledgements xiii

Call to Action—Flip School xiv

Introduction: What This Book is Designed to Deliver 1

The Reality 1

My Goal 2

It’s Not as Much About Numbers as You Might Think 3

The Meat and Potatoes 3

Part I: In the Beginning: What You Need to Find Out About Property with Potential 7

Chapter 1: How to Know What Upgrades the Property Needs 9

The Secret that’s Not a Secret 9

Going Through the Pain 11

Developing Your Instinct 13

Knowing What Needs to Be Renovated (and What Doesn’t) 15

What I Really Want in a Renovation Job 17

Chapter 2: How to Inspect the Property 19

When You Might Not Need an Inspector 19

Exterior Red Flags 21

Interior Red Flags 24

Chapter 3: Red Flags to Red Tape 31

Engineers’ and Architects’ Reports 31

Test for Heating/Cooling Loss 35

Building Code Requirements and the Role of the City/Inspectors 36

Doing It the Right Way—Like a Professional 37

Permit and Inspection Procedure 38

Renovation Realities: Gary McGowan—Strong Relationships Let You Sleep All Night and Profit All Day 41

Part II: Interior and Exterior Upgrades with Economy in Mind 49

Chapter 4: The Secret to Profitable Property Upgrades 51

How Does It Work? 52

Mindset Toolkit: How Ego Can Sabotage a Renovation Project 53

Planning and Scope 54

Critical Path—Progression of Tradespeople 56

Sticking to Your Plan 57

Contradicting Myself: Some Plans Are Made to Be Broken 59

Chapter 5: Kitchen Upgrades with Economy in Mind 61

Meet Julia and Dan 61

Julia and Dan Like Kitchens 61

How Do I Do High-End Renovations for Little Money? 62

Don’t Believe the Hype! 63

Pick-and-Choose to Maximize Profitability 63

Review: How to Renovate for Royalty While Saving Money 64

Kitchen Upgrades: The Practical Stuff 65

Chapter 6: Bathroom Upgrades with Economy in Mind 77

The Practical Stuff 77

Chapter 7: Upgrading the Living and Dining Rooms 83

The Practical Stuff 83

Chapter 8: Bedroom and Basement Upgrades 91

The Practical Stuff 91

Chapter 9: Exterior Upgrades with Economy in Mind 95

The Practical Stuff 95

Renovation Realities: Quentin D’Souza—Key Design Feature Turns an Average Deal into a Home Run 107

Part III: Acquisitions and Financing 115

Chapter 10: Case Study: The 1970s House 117

Julie Broad–How Do You Fund a Renovation? 117

Funding a Major Renovation 118

“I don’t have money of my own. I want to do more creative deals.” 120

Getting the Money: How to Finance Your Renovations (& Deals!) with Private Money 121

Options for Acquiring and Funding Renovations 125

Renovation Realities: Jason Paquette—Things Go Sideways when the Contractor Doesn’t Fulfill His Duty 133

Part IV: Developing Your System 141

Chapter 11: Setting the Stage Saves Hours and Thousands of Dollars on Each Project 143

Mindset Toolkit—Systems Create Peace of Mind 143

Step 1: Th e Big Shopping Trip 146

Step 2: Tool Preparation 148

Step 3: The Magic Spreadsheet that Improves Productivity (Purchase Order) 149

Set the Stage for Success 155

Chapter 12: The Onsite Whiteboard and Teamwork—Expert Tips that Improve Productivity 157

How the Whiteboard Breaks Down Tasks 158

The Tradesperson Agreement Form 160

“The Reset Concept”: How to Boost Productivity by Taking a Step Back 162

Stages of the Reset 163

Chapter 13: A System for Flooring, Painting, Boarding and Tiling 167

The System 167

Why This System Works 168

Systematize Your Investment Renovations for Simplicity, Repeatability and Productivity 168

Renovation Realities: Peter Wardell—Identical Units, Opposite Renovation Experience, Similar Result 169

Part V: When You Need to Call in a Contractor 177

Chapter 14: How to Find an Experienced and Reliable Contractor 179

Types of Contractors 179

The Formula for Hiring Contractors to Be Part of Your Team 181

My Values 183

Chapter 15: My Formula for Limiting Labour Costs 185

Have Clear Expectations and Job Scope 185

Expectations Are Everything 187

Articulating a Clear Job Scope 189

Use Your Scope of Work to Shop Around 191

How It Works 192

You Are in the Driver’s Seat! 194

Save Thousands on Materials by Having a Clear Scope of Work 195

On-site Management Is the Key to Profitable Execution 196

Renovation Realities: Aaron Moore—Ignoring His Doubters Proves to be Profitable 199

Part VI: How to Save Money on Materials 207

Chapter 16: How to Get Creative with Materials 209

Use Your Own Guidance System 209

Renovate for Practicality and Profit, not Personal Preference 212

Relationships Are the Key to Finding Deals on Materials 216

Then I Ask for More 217

Payment Terms 217

Chapter 17: Buying Used Materials Can Save You Thousands 221

The Practical Stuff 221

Renovation Realities: Dave Peniuk—Managing Renovations from a Distance Forces a Life-Changing Business Decision 225

Part VII: It’s All about the People 233

Chapter 18: Building the Dream Team 235

Yourself 236

Your Renovations Staff (Tradespeople, Labourers, Full-time Staff ) 237
Your Spouse 239

Sellers 240

Real Estate Agent 242

Mentor and Mastermind Group 243

Money Partners 244

Your Lawyer 245
Friends and Family 245

Chapter 19: Th e Ultimate Key to Success—Taking Care of Your Tenants 247

Attracting and Retaining the Best Tenants 247

Increased Rental Income 248

How Top Tenants Can Impact Your Life and Your Business 248

Property Maintenance 249

Appendices 255

Appendix A: Renovation Projects in Different Seasons—Don’t Erode Your Profitability by Being Unprepared 257

Exterior Work 257

Timing Renovation Completions 258

Find Deals in the Winter 258

Appendix B: Animals Nesting in the Attic—A Golden Buying Opportunity 261

Big Problem Equals Big Opportunity 261

The Process for Animal Remediation 262

Appendix C: Grow-Ops 265

Value 265

Jumping Through Hoops 266

Appendix D: Additional Resources 269

Sample Inspection Checklists 269

Sample Note 271

Sub-Trade Contract 272

Index 275

About the Authors 283