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Old 02-08-10, 07:37 PM   #1
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Investing in home improvements

Alright, so I graduate in May, and I'll be living in a condo in Charlotte that my parents own (but don't live at). They paid around $50k about 4 years ago (doesn't feel like it's been that long). It's just under 900 sq ft, 2 BR/2 BA. HOA dues are currently $150, but should go down soon.

The HOA is being mismanaged (I'm thinking of taking it over when I graduate, the lady running it is skimming we're pretty sure, nobody likes her, I'd easily get the job if I wanted, plus it pays $5k/year and free HOA).

It's in a not so great part of town, but getting better. The police drive through a lot and keep things under control. Only a few gunshots occasionally. Still a pretty poor area, right across the street from some government housing.


So, now that you've got the backstory, I'm wondering if it's worth investing in improvements to the condo.

The main things I'm considering are dishwasher and oven/range. I'm planning to live in the condo another 3 years or so (until I get enough money for a townhouse or home, or nice condo downtown) , and after that we might rent it out for some income for my parents.

The dishwasher sucks (doesn't really clean much) and the range/oven is POS. I like to cook, and the range really kills me. I might go with an induction range, since I can't do gas.

Will these improve resale/rental value much at all, or is it solely because I want better stuff to use?
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Old 02-08-10, 09:28 PM   #2
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Keep the improvements in line with the value of the condo. An induction range in a $50K condo will not get anything back on the investment because it is an over improvement. An induction range also requires special cookware, so putting it in a potential rental place is not a good idea.

You would not be able to rent the place with bad appliances. If the current appliances need replacing then do it, but don't go all out.
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Old 02-09-10, 12:21 AM   #3
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Keep the improvements in line with the value of the condo. An induction range in a $50K condo will not get anything back on the investment because it is an over improvement. An induction range also requires special cookware, so putting it in a potential rental place is not a good idea.

You would not be able to rent the place with bad appliances. If the current appliances need replacing then do it, but don't go all out.
+1 - although an induction range would be less of a negative to a potential buyer or tenant if you left the cookware behind to sell/rent with it. At that point you're getting pretty far from an 'investment' that you make $$ on.
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Old 02-09-10, 06:38 AM   #4
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What are you competing with? Usually upgrading the kitchen is one area that helps sell a house along with the bathrooms. Look to get matching appliances in stainless steel as that is what everyone wants these days. I just upgraded mine as I plan to sell next year and for $3000 I got a refrig, dish washer, stove and microwave. While I cannot directly add this to the price of the house most of the places I would be competing with have upgraded kitchens and it is clearly a buyers market.
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Old 02-09-10, 09:58 AM   #5
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We'd be competing with cheap condos in a bad part of town. I'm sure most of them have the same crappy appliances we currently do. I doubt matching stainless steel is high on the list of possible tenants/buyers. They're more like "how close to the bus stop is it?" kinda people. (very close, by the way, I ride the express bus downtown to work)
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