Investors ask: Unprofitable renovation properties

Q. I’ve recently caught the ‘renovation bug’ and I see renovation potential in nearly every property I visit. I’m worried I might be getting a bit overexcited though. Is there anything I should look out for that makes a property unsuitable for renovations? 

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A. As a renovator, don’t make the mistake of thinking every un-renovated property you see is going to be a renovation goldmine and give you a profit.

The general rule of thumb is that if a property hasn’t been renovated for about 40 years or fewer, it will typically require a cosmetic renovation. Any property over 50 years of age will typically push you into structural renovation territory. You have to keep in mind that the older a property is, the more decrepit it becomes and the more changes it will warrant.

Some properties can’t be helped. Any un-renovated property in an adverse location won’t benefit. This could include a property on a main road or a secondary main road, one that’s too close to an electrical substation or power lines; there are lots of things I consider adverse factors, where it’s just not good to buy an un-renovated property.

Keep these things in mind and you should do well with your renovation projects.


Cherie Barber, founder, Renovating For Profit

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