When we moved last winter from our prior house, we knew the market was crazy, so we sold our house and moved into a townhouse. We wanted to look for our forever home without feeling pressured. The idea was to turn the townhouse into a rental (#6) unit when we moved out. Now that we’ve moved into our new house and are feeling a little more settled, I’ve turned my attention to getting the townhouse rent-ready. That means replacing carpet, painting the entire townhouse, and renovating the bathrooms and kitchen.
Normally, I tackle all the renovations on our rentals myself to save us some money. With rental #5, I painted the cabinets in the kitchen although I did hire someone to install the tile backsplash and granite countertops (I have no interest in learning either skill!). I also painted the entire house and also did most of the bathroom renovations.
But with having to move into this house and deal with contractors 24/7, not to mention still having to work and be a wife/mom/active member of society, I felt like I’d be stretching myself too thin to also take on the townhouse renovations. So I hired out most of the renovations this time around.
The kitchen in this unit was definitely the biggest change and where we spent the most money. The kitchen when we moved in was drab and although we were very aware of this fact, we left it as-is for the 4 months that we were living in the property. We suffered through a kitchen renovation at our last house and although we loved the results, we didn’t want to have to live through that again!
So, we worked with the fugly kitchen knowing that we would renovate it after we moved out.
The cabinets were in good shape so I decided to have those painted rather than unnecessarily spend the money replacing them. I had them painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore because the townhouse doesn’t have a ton of light with it being a middle unit (no windows on the sides). The space needed to seem as light and bright as possible without being stark for me to get the most rent.
I also replaced the cracked concrete countertops with granite countertops. I went to my favorite (read: low budget) granite countertop supplier and looked through their low cost samples. These are options that are labelled tiers 1 and 2. Some companies label them A and B. You get the idea though- they are the low budget options. Those options are still beautiful but they don’t have as much variability in the color pattern and they tend to be mostly solid or very small flecked slabs with a lot of dark tones to them. If you want big patterns and light colors, those slabs will cost you more $$$ and are not budget friendly. Besides, if you pair dark countertops with the right colored cabinets and backsplash, you can still have a great looking kitchen.
I went with a really pretty black granite with flecks of shine and subtle gray tones.
I also added a marble herringbone backsplash to further lighten up the kitchen. To be completely honest, I never use marble in my units because it’s not the most durable, but I didn’t know at the time that the tile was marble. I thought it was ceramic tile made to look like marble. I only discovered my mistake after the tile was already installed. Oh well… it looks great anyway and probably even better than if I would’ve went with ceramic tile!
Fortunately when we moved in, the appliances were either brand new or very new so no changes there. I also kept the kitchen hardware since they were silver pull bars and already fairly modern.
So, the kitchen is now bright and cheerful and ready for tenants! In fact, with the kitchen completed, I felt like the property was ready to show and after showing the place to one person, the townhouse is now off the market. The tenant is a perfect fit and moves in next month. So, another renovation is in the books and as usual, I’m keeping my eyes open for rental #7!