Real Estate Investing

Why we won’t be doing any more DIY renovations

Ryan and I decided to DIY the rehab of our Big Horn rental. It sounded like a cool thing to do considering that with COVID, there was no much else to do. Whoopsie! Little did I know how soon that excitement would wear off!

We still outsourced some big-ticket items like exterior painting and drywall repair, but we took over doing flooring, interior painting, cabinets, among others. 

We started with the demolition and that was quite therapeutic!  Everything after that was a fun learning experience until 3 weeks after. 

I had a big work project deadline approaching, our rental properties in Florida were having issues and the accounting firm was getting an increased workload.

We were working 14 to 16 hour days and 7 days a week. After 3 weeks, that takes a toll on you (mostly me). We weren’t used to doing physical labor. I mean, we sit on a desk for most of our day, so we were exhausted and every inch of my body was in pain. 

The worst part was putting the floors (Week 4). At first, I was excited to learn the craft, then I was quickly over it! It took two weekends and 2-3 hours at night during the week to get it done.

Our numbers supported the cost of hiring out most of the work, but we wanted to keep the debt low. Never again! After floors and baseboards were done, we decided to outsource the remainder of the work. Now I can focus on my other income-generating activities while this gets completed.

If we didn’t have demanding jobs, the accounting firm and self-managed the Florida properties, this might not have been as overwhelming.  

The lesson we learned is that it doesn’t always make sense to DIY. We also decided that at this point we prefer to be hands-off investors. We can say we tried it and didn’t like it. 

I can’t say that it was all for nothing. We learned A LOT and I think that this was something we NEEDED to try. I now have more confidence in my ability to communicate with contractors about the work that needs to be done as well as estimate how long and how much.

There are things that you just need to try to find out if they work for you. Maybe if we didn’t have so much going on, this would have been different. Nonetheless, our strategy moving forward is to have enough credit available to support the whole renovation.  

Also, we have decided that we are NOT self-managing in Georgia. 

If you are thinking of DYIng your rehab project. Give it a try! You never know if you like it unless you try it. I’d probably say start small if you are not experienced!

You will never know if it’s for you until you try it. It just didn’t work out for us given our specific situation. 

We will continue DIY projects at home though!

What are your thoughts? Would you DIY your rental property renovations?

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