Tips for Getting Started:
Is it legal? Make sure the by-laws in your area allow for a rental space.
Is there a separate entrance? It can cost about $10,000 to add one.
How high is the ceiling in the basement? If not high enough you'll have to lower the floor and this can be a big expense.
Pros, Pros and More Pros:
Having a rental unit works in any economy and every market. If you do it right, it is never a waste of money.
Having a rental suite is the biggest return on your real estate investment!
Other returns include:
Paint = 250% return!
Fixtures (door handles and light fixtures)
Do it Right!
Make sure everything you are doing is safe and legal. People often take home renos to 90% but that's just not good enough when you have tenants in there.
Pay attention to good wiring and built-to-last, durable insulation. Remember, if things go wrong later, your tenant will call you and no one wants a tenant who calls every week with problems. You almost have to take more care than if it were you living there yourself or planning to sell.
Pay attention to doors - they should close properly and don't leave any electrics uncovered.
Make sure your investment will see a return in 2 yrs. Let's say you spent $24,000 on the renovations - If you charge at least $1000 in rent a month, you will pay it off in 2 years.
This is what you should be aiming for.
Your rental unit needs to LOOK like a million bucks but not cost it. It needs to appeal to the masses not just to you. Remember, you are not the one living there so no need to go big budget.
Make sure the color scheme is warm but neutral.
Removable wallpaper is great idea so you can get it on and off easily.
Add your own window treatments before the tenant moves in. They might put holes in the frame when they install themselves, or even worse they might just put up a sheet!