Every location has some element of inclement weather that the residents of that area must deal with on an ongoing basis. There may be very pleasant days at some times. When the dirge of the specific weather condition comes, everyone must contend with it. For some locations it is the potential for hurricanes or tornadoes. For others it is the seasonal change from fall to winter.
Investing in residential real estate in colder climates sometimes means the real estate investor has to pay attention to primary household systems. These house hold systems may seem to add little to the marketability of a home. However, it is good to remember that the buyer of that investment property will live in that colder climate. The buyer may appreciate the climate specific renovations that the investor completed.
Insulation For Your Residential Investment Property
Older housing stock may not have the amount of insulation required by current building codes or preferred by current buyers. While insulation in walls is difficult to improve, blown in attic insulation is both inexpensive and easy to install. It is, however, a messy and sweaty job. Cellulite insulation made from recycled newspaper, and other sources, is a good option for the fix and flip investor. It provides the required insulation at the lowest cost.
Plugging holes in the house is the proverbial no-brainer. Incredibly, even houses in cold climates often have shifted and created gaps along the foundation and other structural elements. Pay close attention to areas such as outdoor water spigots where pipes pass through walls. Calk and expanding foam are inexpensive, but unfortunately do little to improve resale value.
Window and Door Renovations For Real Estate Investments
This category is where there can be a significant payback in resale value. Replacing older single pane windows with energy efficient double pane improves the heat retention of the house while adding to the curb appeal. Potential buyers will probably immediately notice the windows, especially those who have lived in the cold climate for any length of time.
Exterior doors are also a prime candidate for an upgrade in colder climates. Again, the payback in marketability is noticeable. In fact, painting a front door is one of the most commonly recommended ways to increase curb appeal. Potential buyers stepping across a well insulated threshold and who notice the tight fit of the front door have moved one step closer to buying.
Garden Renovations For Fix and Flip Investments
Even for a fix and flip investment, some major value can be gained from planting trees at the renovated property. Arborvitaes are a relatively inexpensive shrub that can grow to over 6 feet and act as an effective windbreak. Consider putting a line along the north and west property lines. Keep in mind that west sun is valuable for warmth. If there is enough room plant the arborvitae far enough from the house so that it only blocks the wind, not the sun.
Older, mature trees on the property may require some attention as well. Heavy snow is a hazard for tree branches, so make sure trees are properly pruned so branches do not overhang the house. Hire a professional arborist for this job. Like attic insulation, this might not translate into curb appeal, but individuals accustomed to living in a cold climate will appreciate the attention to detail.
All these renovations are in addition to the painting, renovating, and remodeling that are the stock in trade for fix and flip residential real estate investors. Like hurricane-proof roofs in Tampa, Florida, these climate specific ideas have their place. Make a list of them and be sure every prospective buyer knows how the house has been upgraded and prepared for the coming winter chill.