From Backyard Blues to Parking Payoff
When we purchased our first triplex in Chicago, the backyard was a a major eyesore. In fact, we think it really turned other buyers off. (Their loss was our gain, in the long run!)
There are two seasons in Chicago: summer and winter. Okay, there’s a spring and a fall, too. BUT, the most memorable times of year are Chicago summers and Chicago winters, for completely opposite reasons.
#SummertimeChi = Outside. From festivals to the beach and from baseball games to barbecues, people live outdoors during the summer months. When you are not bopping around the city, you want to be enjoying your backyard, balcony, or patio. As a real estate investor, purchasing a property with outdoor space for your tenants to enjoy when the weather permits is crucial.
#ChicagoWinter is another ballgame. When you live in Chicago, covered parking is money. Literally. People are willing to pay a premium to not have to dig their cars out of the snow for half the year.
When we purchased Ridgeway, it didn’t have either. While that seemed to deter other investors, we saw potential. We knew that if we spent the extra money up front, it would pay off in the long run.
First things first: we demoed the backyard. There were years of old brick and an entire slab of concrete that needed hauled away.
Next, we got quotes from various garage companies. We ended up selecting Danley’s to build an extra wide, two car garage, which cost roughly $15,000. This larger garage meant renters would have room for their cars and additional storage.
Next, we wanted to make the outdoor space appealing for hanging out, barbecuing, and making memories. We also knew that we wanted to allow our renters to have dogs, so we had a beautiful privacy fence installed for $5,000 and planted the grass ourselves.
When all was said and done, the backyard transformation cost a little over $20,000, but we will easily earn that back in equity, and it has provided us with $175 of additional monthly cashflow.
Dogs = $25/mo. per dog
Garage = $50/mo. per space
(Both of these charges are on the low end and could be increased.)
So the next time you are trying to decide what changes to make to your property to increase its value in the short and long term, consider garage parking and a fenced yard.