Real Estate Investor / Guide


My firm belief is that the more info I share, the more value I give.

Material Selection- Price vs ROI

Every aspect of a property has options, from materials used in its construction to the warranty / durability. Figuring out what products to use and when/where is a really time consuming aspect of any project. Gathering all the data and then making comparisons is the only way. i.e. If you are repositioning an apartment complex, its cheaper to use a lower quality paint in the short term, but in comparison to the longevity of a quality paint lasting 2-3x longer than the cheaper stuff, the calculations are pretty easy for both short and long term ownership. I personally don't see anything wrong with choosing a cheaper paint option; considering the changing design and "hip" factor requiring most commercial buildings to be painted at least every 10yrs. Paint can last much longer or far shorter a period of time depending on maintenance. i.e. a yearly cleaning of the exterior will remove dirt, debris, mold, mildew, which all can shorten the lifespan of any paint.

Laminates have come a long way; you may consider using commercial flooring in rented spaces and look to buying a 10% extra for make readies between tenants, or for the next owner. Tile does well in some spaces, but I never recommend it for long term ownership; same with carpet. Wood, laminate, bamboo, stained concrete, stamped concrete, epoxy, are all good options. Easy maintenance and longevity.

Roof options are only becoming greater. From slate to asphalt, bituman, clay tiles to solar shingles. This one really depends on your budget, goals, and area of the country. But a roof can really make or break a project. The last thing you need is to lose tenants to a leaky roof.

Sometimes the "upgrade" doesn't pay dividends, and typically this is stuff like wetbars and swimming pools. People tend to like the idea of those things, if someone else is paying for them. Be careful that you aren't installing novelties that will turn to money pits.

At the end of the day, the products and materials you select will determine the success of your project as much as anything else, but is the hardest and pricest to change later. Take the time to really think about and research what you are wanting to do with your project, and then clad it in exactly what your idea of success looks like.

Jeph Burnett