Case Study: Apartment Rehab

The Project
I purchased a 16-unit apartment building in north Seattle in order to create value by improving it. It was run down and had no curb appeal. The drug culture had moved in.

What I Did
I began to rehabilitate the units one at a time to keep vacancy expense down. I converted a large unused storage room into another bedroom. I re-roofed the building and enlisted in a city program to replace all the windows at deferred and reduced cost. To increase the curb appeal, I painted the building and cleaned up all the long-ignored plantings. I made a deal with a larger adjacent building to share a manager; this meant we had more doors to manage, which allowed us to pay for a better manager.

The Results
My almost daily coat-and-tie presence increased what the druggies perceived as “heat”, and they left. I replaced them with good tenants, and rents and cash flow increased. Tenant turnover was reduced. Deferred maintenance was reduced. I operated the building for several years and sold it at a profit.