When I sit down with someone considering buying their first rental property, I always go over not only the potential revenue the property can generate, but also the certain and probable expenses.
The one expense most prospective owners (and to be honest, listing agents) seem to omit most often is the cost of repairs.
Let’s face it. No matter how new or old your duplexor house is, sooner or later something’s going to break, become outdated or wear out.
I have fixed numbers I use as projected repair costs for each unit per year. Of course, some years nothing breaks and others, everything does. So my estimates are just that; estimates.
It’s usually about then that I also share the names of some of my favorite local shops.
However, if the repair or upgrade isn’t urgent, it might be easier to stay under budget by shopping at a couple of local treasures.
Building Materials Outlet (formerly Cannon Recovery) is just over the Mendota Bridge in Eagan. For over forty years they’ve specialized in liquidating excess inventory from national distributors and manufacturers.
While their inventory isn’t as reliably consistent as the retail stores, the savings are significant. On any given day you can find French doors, new windows, rolls of carpeting or pallets of tile for as a third less or more than at traditional home improvement stores.
Another local institution that’s not only a great place to save money, but also a green solution is The ReUse Center in Minneapolis.
The ReUse Center specializes in keeping reusable building materials out of landfills. The store offers a DeConstruction Service that harvests reusable materials from various homes and buildings that are being remodeled or torn down. The crew salvages everything from hardwood flooring to built-ins and vintage kitchens, offering them for resale and reuse at their warehouse just off of Lake Street.
Not only is shopping at the ReUse Center environmentally friendly, it’s a great place to find a vintage door for an older duplex, or on occasion, brand new overstock refrigerators or a clawfoot tub.
I’d love to hear of other Twin Cities companies that offer discounted building materials. They’re always valuable resources to have!