My wife and I purchased our first investment property in June of 04. We worked through the summer rehabbing the property to fit today's standards for this location of the country. The house had hard-wood floors that had never been touched and never had carpeting. No nail holes! We gutted the kitchen and both bathrooms. The house was a 3 bedroom colonial with a full basement. It was located in a great neighborhood, close to schools and the down-town district. When the house went on the market 4 months later, The tree lined street was picture perfect with all the colors a fall season could offer here in New England.
We installed maple kitchen cabinets topped with the neutral color granite counter tops and tile floor. All rooms were given a fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceilings, and trim. The exterior was previously vinyl sided. It was tired and faded, but we chose not to touch it. We instead removed and painted all of the shutters at the same time we replaced all of the windows.
The curb apeal was enhanced with a new front door and fresh painted trim work. The roof shingles were in great shape, so we left them alone. When all said and done, we updated it for $20,000. When we sold the house without a real-estate broker, we had 4 offers the first day! We ended up taking and offer $10K over our asking price.
We passed papers on Nov. 1st and purchased our 2nd rehab home on Nov. 2nd. It's ready for sale this Spring. I'm looking for project number 3 and I know there will be more.