Happy Friday, everyone!
Are you ready for more of Scott’s great advice?
This is part two of my interview with HGTV’s Scott McGillivray. If you missed part one, go ahead and get caught up by reading that one as well!
Wait a second…. how come I never get to pose for pictures with sledgehammers? We’re going to have to fix that little mix-up right away!
Oh right… the interview.
We’ve already spoken about Scott’s thoughts on types of finishes that you should use on an income property and we’ve talked about how you might approach an income property differently in a small town versus the big city in my last post with him.
The next thing I wanted to know about was just the basics. Realistically, we don’t all have an extra $60 000 laying around to renovate when we want to put together an income property so I asked him what would be the one thing he would focus on if he could only complete one renovation. The kitchen? The bath? Paint? Lighting? I thought for sure he would say the kitchen. They always say the kitchen, don’t they?
Or maybe light fixtures. Scott’s been known to recommend using just a teeny bit of “bling” here and there.
But you know what he said? Safety concerns! Legal stuff! Well, isn’t that just too smart? I would never have thought of that, but he said making sure the income suite is legal and all the basic safety concerns are up to standard increases the overall value of the home and really keeps you covered in case of emergency. If you have really pretty painted walls that cover up fire hazards, you’re just going to end up ripping them out anyway.
I love it! I totally learned something!
Lastly, I wanted the dirt. I wanted to know about the mistakes that he sees people making. What are the things that people look for or do when they’re working on an income property that they think are going to really make them a lot of money, but don’t?
I was thinking maybe people put jacuzzi tubs in and think they can charge more for rent or something like that.
Scott said that the biggest mistake people make is trying to do the work themselves.
But DIY’s a good thing right? I love DIY! You love DIY! We all love DIY!
Well, unless you really REALLY know what you’re doing in this situation, you can get yourself into a lot of hot water because you’re dealing with someone else’s living space here. The best bet for most people who aren’t experts, in the long run, is to stay away from trying to learn plumbing, or electrical, or tile work for the first time on your income property. Paint, sure. Go ahead and paint. But leave the big things to an expert.
The last thing Scott wants you to think about for your future income property is space planning. He sometimes sees people eliminate things like a laundry room, or a dishwasher in a space to create more room or to save money on having to invest in those appliances. Sure, you might not be able to charge a whole lot more for having those things, but it all goes back to what Scott told us last time: Income properties are still homes. Having these conveniences available for your future tenants will get your place rented a whole lot quicker and it will keep good renters around for the long run. It’s a win/win situation!
I hope you enjoyed this little two part series with Scott McGillivray as much as I did and you feel maybe just a little more knowledgeable about what it takes to set up a successful income property of your own.
Don’t forget to watch Income Property on HGTV every Thursday at 9 pm EST!
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.