How to renovate a kitchen to maximize rent

How to renovate a kitchen to maximize rent

What’s up everyone? Chris Kennedy here with Mayfair Real Estate in front of our Miami beach project that we took over a couple of months ago. It’s 30 units spread across three contiguous buildings, and we are here for another project update.
Hey, what’s up everyone? We are here in our Miami Beach apartment building that we took over recently, and just here to give you a project update. A couple of weeks have passed since the last one. And if you’re in one of the apartments that we’ve actually finished renovating, still needs to be cleaned, but you can take a look. We’ve actually put in the new kitchens, redesigned the layout. And in a moment, I’m going to take you into another unit that we’re renovating and show you it has a similar original layout and this is kind of the after version of the unit I’m going to take you to. But you’ll see here we’ve opened up the kitchen entirely. Took out this corner wall to give a more open feel to the living area. Before it was really, really closed and cramped. All the appliances were together in one spot, just a really bad layout. So now we’ve spread the appliances out. We’ve got two sides to the kitchen and an open area here with a breakfast bar.
Hey, what’s up everyone? In this video, I’m going to walk you through a few of the things that we do in an apartment to improve the kitchen. When we go in and take over management, we’re repositioning an older apartment building that maybe has a functionally obsolete apartment layout. I want to walk you through a few of the things that we do here. So we’re obviously in the midst of a renovation in this apartment, but it’s a good opportunity to demonstrate some of these things. So when we took over the apartments, this kitchen was really cramped in here and closed. You can see this wall actually went all the way up to the ceiling as did this. So it was a very old layout where you would walk in and just have kind of a private kitchen. Nobody really wants that anymore. So one of the things that we like to do as often as possible is open up a kitchen, make it available to the living space. That means people can hang out while they’re preparing dinner, talk to their friends, et cetera.
So the other nice thing we like to do when we can do it, and it usually works well with opening up the kitchen, we’ll leave a half wall and put in a breakfast bar. This is especially valuable when you’ve got a smaller apartment, maybe a one bedroom or an efficiency or studio. And what that allows people to do is have a place to eat with a couple of stools set up rather than having to find extra space for a table and chairs. So especially if it’s a one bedroom apartment, maybe it’s a young couple or a working professional moving in. They don’t need a full dining table, and this is a way for them to save space. And at the end of the day, it makes the apartment more rentable.
Okay, what else do we do? So obviously we upgrade the cabinetry. We put in nice, modern looking cabinets. Right now people really liked the White Shaker cabinets. We upgrade the hardware on those, just make the kitchen look modern. And then of course, we try to design the layout as much as possible, where it’s functional, spacious, and people enjoy using the kitchen. If we can upgrade and put in additional appliances that were not in the apartments beforehand, we’ll also do that. So pretty standard for us is to put in an above the range microwave. We’ll obviously use stainless steel appliances, typically a glass top electric range, and if there’s space and we can make it work with the plumbing, we’ll find a place to put a dishwasher.
Okay. So we’re here in another one bedroom apartments in this building, and you can see it’s in really, really rough shape. People were actually living in this apartment when we took over management. And quite frankly, the way it was maintained before is not really something that we would feel is a livable condition. So we had a chat with the residents and had to ask them to move out. They did so because honestly there was a lot of stuff that needed to be fixed. And I think they were kind of at the end of their rope with trying to get previous management and ownership to do anything.
So I’m here in front of an AC unit. You’ll see this in a lot of these old apartment buildings. Newer AC units are typically smaller, we’re talking about wall AC units. They’re typically smaller than the old units. And what happens is a lot of these buildings have a space cut out for an old unit. Then the company will come in and the management will come in and replace an AC unit. And then there’s this huge gap around the new AC. And what they’ve done here was they tried to tape it up with duct tape, obviously not the right way to do it. It results in pests and stuff coming in here. But not only that, you start having the cold air blow out and all sorts of problems, water leaking, it’s not draining properly. So we’re going to go ahead and switch that out as part of the renovation project.
Okay, so another issue in this apartment is that we have the previous residents had actually, it looks like done some construction themselves. Maybe it was previous management. They’ve created these small bedrooms. This is really a one-bedroom apartment. That’s how it’s legally set up. But it’s now got a couple of really tiny bedrooms that were set up. And that’s probably because people were subleasing the apartments. And obviously it creates not only too much occupancy in the apartment, which drives up water bills because there’s multiple people using the water. It’s also a health and safety hazard when the apartments not maintained in good condition. So this is a great opportunity to take a really bad apartment, turn it around, make it nice, and provide good housing for people.
Hey, what’s up everyone? I’m here in another one bedroom apartment in Miami Beach, and this is probably the worst looking unit we’ve gotten into so far. We’re right at the beginning of the process of turning this one around. It does actually have a very similar layout to a unit down below that we renovated, but there are some intricacies with this one that wins in other units. The residents or the previous owner or management have installed extra walls to create additional bedrooms, probably to generate more rent by subleasing or just trying to make it into a two bedroom. It’s not a real two bedroom. It’s a one bedroom. We’re going to convert it back to a one bedroom unit because the layout is just weird. And you’ll see there’s a ton of damage to the property or the units. The kitchen’s super old. It’s just a pretty bad looking unit. And we’re going to have a little bit of a project here, but it’s going to look awesome when we’re done.
All right, so we’re here in actually what should be the living area that’s been kind of converted to a bedroom. And we have an awesome closet here. This is just the type of closet we like to put into our own properties. And I’m kidding. This is obviously a very makeshift closet here, plywood and we’re going to have to rip this out. Something else, it looks like they were trying to put in new ceilings and they’ve put in the furring strips, which allow the dry wall to be attached to it. We’re going to pull all that stuff out. Or we may, since these furring strips are here, if they work, we might be able to use them and actually put in new ceiling, have a nice flat ceiling instead of the stucco. But just a couple other things in this unit to look at and we’ll work through changing these and give you updates as we do the project.
Christopher Kennedy

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