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New appliances are a better investment than carportby Paul Bianchina

landlord helpQ: I have two questions about fix-and-flip remodels. On a 1963, 1,300-square-foot tri-level brick home, is it worth it to build a carport? Some homes in the neighborhood have carports and others have garages or nothing at all. This home also has no appliances. Is it best to buy appliances so it shows better? –Susan

A: Two good questions, although both are a little hard to answer because they depend so much on the specifics of your exact neighborhood.

As to the carport, my suspicion is that you might not recover your entire investment on that one. I would ask your real estate agent for sales figures of comparable houses in your area (or go online and get them). Look at the selling price (not the original listing price), and compare what homes with carports sold for compared to ones without carports. You can also do the same for ones with garages.

This should give you a pretty good idea of what the difference is in selling prices (assuming the homes are comparable in size, etc.) You can then look at the cost of the carport or garage and hopefully get a better idea as to whether or not it will be worth it.

In my own opinion, I’m not the biggest fan of carports in general. Unless they are very well designed and constructed, I think they detract from the overall look of the home rather than add to it. I much prefer the appearance and functionality of a garage, but of course that’s a more expensive undertaking.

As far as the appliances go, my opinion would be to put them in. I think they add greatly to a home’s appeal, and they make it easier for a potential buyer to visualize living there. It’s the same reason that I’m a fan of staging homes with furniture to make them more appealing.

If you decide to go with appliances, make sure that they are of a style and value that’s consistent with the house. New appliances are definitely preferable to used ones, and don’t go overly cheap or overly extravagant — again, match them to the house. I also don’t personally think that you need to invest in a refrigerator, since many people have their own.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at

Copyright 2010 Inman News

See Paul Bianchinas feature Synthetic Decking Gets a Bad Rap.


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  • Abdul

    You will make your place much more sellable if you offer a parking pad and or a deck. In most neighborhoods off street parking is definitely a plus however the cost factor and return on the cost investment will bring you more in terms of time on the market if you spend the same amount on a parking pad and a nice entertaining deck. run the numbers and see your neighborhoods rents . As for appliances be careful especially if your house has been vacant for some time. Know that many people are watching you do the rehab and sometimes it is better when you have a tenant who likes the place and is ready to move in to give them a choice of appliances that they can choose from and have them delivered the day of the closing. In my experience if you put in the appliances too early in the process it becomes an invitation for someone to rob your vacant house . they can be in and out in less time than you can figure and then you have to repurchase so the cost factor cuts into your rehab profits. unless you have on site security

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