Last week I had the chance to have a little chat with HGTV’s Scott McGillivray and pick his brain for some of his best income property tips.
Cause, you know, this is what I do now. I have celebrities call me up on the phone all the time these days. That’s just everyday life when you’re a big important blogger like me.
Ha! Yeah, no.
But I got to ask him some questions none-the less!
The idea of it all kind of made me a little nervous, but honestly Scott was so easy to talk to and he had a lot of really great advice. His responses definitely didn’t come across as canned or prepared, and I totally appreciated that.
Today will be part one of the interview and part two will come in a few days.
He just had so much great info to share in a just a few minutes and there’s no way to fit all that goodness into one post!
So you’ll forgive me if I have to give you two instalments of Scott rather than just one!
The first thing I asked him about was the kind of finishes you should choose when you’re renovating an income property. Where should you go basic and where should you invest a little more?
Scott said that the first thing you need to remember is that Income Properties are homes, so they should be finished to be comfortable and enjoyable to live with. He suggests going with a little bit of a better quality on all your finishes and focus on durability, going with hardwood or tile over carpet for example. If you do choose carpet, think about things like carpet tile, that can have just a small section replaced.
He also made a great point about the kind of tenants you will attract. Basically, a better finished space will attract better tenants, and make for a more enjoyable renting experience for everyone involved.
Since I now live in a small town, I wanted to know a little about how you might approach an income property differently in a small town versus the big city. I was honestly wondering if there was really much of a point in investing in income properties outside of a major center, but he let me know that there’s a market for rental units anywhere you go.
When approaching an income property in a small town, think of the location. You want to be closer to downtown and conveniences and less towards the outskirts of town. The other thing to look at is what your competition is. You won’t need to compete with big fancy condos, so it might make sense to scale back a bit on some of the investments you make on the property. Look at what other units are being rented for in the area and invest accordingly. If you outfit the space with the best of the best, you still won’t be getting $4000 a month in rent, the way you might be able to downtown in a big city. Still think about durability, but think about who will be renting as well and what they’ll be willing to pay.
Kennedy and I have been watching Income Property quite a bit the last few weeks and honestly, as much as I love the show, I have to say that I’m a little mad at Scott. He has been single-handedly responsible for Kennedy’s new extreme distaste for our house and I don’t know if I can take the complaining anymore! She gets a little mad every time she sees one of his reveals that our house doesn’t look like that. I get it, Kennedy, I do! Unfortunately, we don’t all have a crew of amazingly skilled workers waiting in the wings to help us bring our vision to life.
I think I just may need to invest in an income property of my own soon to cover the cost of all these new project ideas she’s getting!
Well, at least I’m a little more prepared now, thanks to Scott!
If you’d like to watch Income Property, new episodes (now a full hour long!) air every Thursday at 9pm EST!
For more info (or to watch the show online whenever you feel like it) go to hgtv.ca
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.