What parts to choose when rehabbing a house

by kareem
(new orleans,la)

Luis my wife and I are in the process of making a product shopping list but when we get to Lowes our mind goes everywhere. With that being said can you give us some insight on how to pick materials. For instance, we don't know if we should be buying a $100 dollar toilet or a $200 dollar toilet or does it even make a difference? And by the way my wife loves your renovations, can you share with us to colors and type of interior paint you use.

luis@wealth-stepsLUIS COMMENTS...

Kareem, if this is your first go at this rodeo then your confusion is understandable. By the way, you should never buy a $200 toilet! :-)

I always match parts and trim to the price point of the house. For example, in my market a house that I will be reselling in the $90,000 to $120,000 range is basically a starter home, typically for a first time home buyer. As such I will match the parts and finish with the price point. A good example of this type of home is House #2.

On the other hand House #8 was a higher price point. I sold that house for $225k. That was a "move up" type of house, it was surrounded by houses all the way up in the $300k range, in a subdivision with an HOA, pool, tennis courts, etc. This type of house then required a higher end finish. That meant nicer light and plumbing fixtures, nicer appliances, granite countertops, wood floors, etc. But still I did not buy a $200 toilet!

Therefore I suggest that you start your shopping list with your resell price point as a frame of reference. Another good idea is to look at the neighbors houses or better yet look at

houses that are currently for sale nearby or that have recently sold and see how they were finished and see if the price they sold for is similar to what you will be selling.

For example, for House #9 I noticed that most of the houses around it had replaced the original windows from the when the house was built. Therefore I decided to replace the windows too knowing that can make a strong resale difference.

When you go to Home Depot/Lowes you are best off starting with their lowest priced items and then go up from there. For example the toilet I buy is this one . It's an all in one toilet good for most houses. It costs $78 but I get it for $65 with the contractors bulk discount. I have also purchased a nicer one that costs about $90-100 for other houses. The reality is that few buyers will notice the difference between a $80 toilet and a $150 toilet.

For light and other plumbing fixtures you cannot beat their "contractors packages". These are usually nickel finished and they look good enough, are good quality and they always carry them. Here are some of the ones I use:
flush lights
vanity light

Now, I am not saying to always pick the cheapest. Lowest price is not always the only consideration. For example, I don't pick the cheapest carpet, tile of hardwood floors. I don't pick the cheapest sinks or kitchen faucets or appliances. And that is where a bit of experience will come in handy or having looked at a lot of houses. Sometimes to get the finish and look that I want I pick spend some more on parts if I can justify it.

P.S. The interior paint I use is Duron Summer Beige. I have used it in every house.

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