We get a lot of questions when it comes to investing in Indianapolis.
One of those questions: “How much will it cost to get my property move-in ready?” is one we receive on a daily basis.
And we get it.
Whether an investor is considering a new purchase that needs work, or whether the investor is faced with turnover costs between Tenants, money -- and how much of it -- is always an important consideration.
We understand that maintenance costs are some of the most frequent and largest expenses you’ll face as a property owner, and turnover and make-ready are large subsets of that.
As an Indianapolis Property Management company that handles all of our Clients’ turnovers and make-ready work, you can imagine how many times we get asked about these costs.
In an effort to stick to our core value of “Always Educating and Advising”, we have decided to put together a guide for Investors outlining average costs for some of the most common make-ready expenses that you will encounter.
Note: This list is by no means comprehensive or definitive. There are other costs that may occur and a multitude of factors that can impact the final costs of these items.
Our goal is to give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay in the Indianapolis market.
These estimates come from contractors we trust,work with frequently, and have long standing relationships with.
Indianapolis Rental Property Make-Ready Costs
We recommend that you have locks changed for every new property that you purchase, and require lock changes between every new Tenant.
You never know who may have a key to your property, so this is a way to mitigate risk.
- Estimated Cost: $200 to re-key locks and provide copies of keys.
It’s not uncommon for Tenants to leave belongings behind, or to purchase a property with items that don’t get taken with the sellers.
The amount of trash out can vary greatly, so the cost can, too.
Dumps typically charge by weight and number of trips has an impact as well.
- Estimated Cost: Most trash outs range from $300 - $700
Flooring costs can obviously vary greatly depending on the size of the home and type of material you use.
It’s important to understand the long term value of these costs as well.
While it may be cheaper up front to install carpet, you have to replace it more frequently which typically ends up costing much more in the long run.
- Estimated Cost of Carpet: $1.85 sq/ft including installation and pad (5-7 year life expectancy).
- Estimated Cost of Laminate $4.39 sq/ft including floating/leveling the floor (15-20 year life expectancy).
- Estimated Cost of LVT: $3.65 sq/ft including floating/leveling the floor (15-20 year life expectancy).
- Estimated Cost of Trim: $1.50 lin/ft.
- Estimated Cost of Refinishing Hardwoods:$4 - $7 sq/ft.
- Estimated Cost of Vinyl: Comparable to LVT in cost. We typically go with LVT because it is cheaper to repair.
Paint is another make-ready expense that can vary greatly depending on the size of the home, extent of work, and type of paint used.
Price can increase if surfaces need to be primed, you’re making a drastic color change from dark to light, the walls are stained, etc.
- Estimated Cost: $2.00 sq/ft for interior walls, doors, and trim and minor drywall repairs.
- Estimated Cost: $1.00 sq/ft for ceilings.
Roof pitch and height can have an impact on pricing as well as material used.
- Generally speaking, the cost for a roof for most of the homes we deal with cost between $7,000 and $11,000.
Window costs vary greatly by size and construction.
- $400 per window is a good starting point for standard window sizes.
In the Indy market, it’s common for Landlords to provide basic kitchen appliances (stove and refrigerator) in any class of property.
Washers, dryers, microwaves, and dishwashers are typically optional amenities you can decide if you want to provide or not.
The location and class of property will also determine what standard of appliances you will want to furnish.
Obviously, the nicer the location and home, the nicer the appliances you will want to install in order to appeal to the appropriate Renters.
- White or Black
- Stove $500
- Refrigerator $550
- Dishwasher $300
- Microwave $200
- Stainless Steel
- Stove $500
- Refrigerator $600
- Dishwasher $350
- Microwave $250
- Washer and Dryer: $1200 for a set (about $600 each)
Curb appeal is very important for any home and can make or break the first impression.
- Yard clean-up (varies by job) $100 - $300
- Mulching (varies by job) $200 - $400
- Mowing $35/job
At T&H, we typically recommend cleaning the home before showings. Cleanliness of properties is perhaps the most common feedback from prospective tenants. It also gives an impression of how the owner, and the PM company, care for their properties.
Think of it this way: You’d offer less for a used car that hadn’t been detailed before being shown. Clean, well maintained properties fetch higher rents and sets the standard for how tenants should treat the home throughout their lease term.
- Estimated cost for whole house cleaning: $300-$350
- Estimated cost for touch up cleaning: $150
Clean and Checks
- HVAC $100 : $200.
- Fireplace: $175
- Basic plumbing/drain inspection: $250
- Gutter cleaning: $100-$120
- Power washing: $200 - 300
- Basic electrical inspection: $200
While not a direct, line item expense, you do need to take vacancy costs into account because they will affect your bottom line.
Not only will you not have any income, you will be covering the mortgage, utilities, and other tasks to keep get the property in move-in ready condition.
- Lost rents
- Mowing/Snow Removal
Hopefully this guide will help give you a better idea of what to expect when it comes to make-ready costs.
While you may never be able to perfectly estimate the cost of a flip or turnover, you can get a pretty good ballpark using these numbers.
If there are any items that you think we may have missed, or would like estimates on, please let us know in the comments!