Renovating to Sell Versus Rent

by | Jul 10, 2023

We are so excited to be purchasing another investment property and we have spent a significant amount of time researching whether we will rent this out or sell when the renovation is complete. Part of the conversation is obviously the differences between renovating to sell versus renovating to rent. I’ve put together a list of considerations that we’ve been walking through over the past several weeks. 


  1. Differences in the scope of work
    1. If we renovate to sell, we intend to add a front porch onto the house with ample seating and shade under a beautiful maple tree. If we keep the house to rent long term, we will likely not complete this scope thereby saving ourselves nearly $20,000 on the renovation. If we choose to sell, we will likely install a concrete driveway, but if we decide to rent long term we will likely keep the existing gravel driveway. There will be significant differences in the scope chosen depending which path we decide to pursue. 
  2. Differences in products used
    1. If we renovate to sell, we will install quartz countertops and likely install the same product on the backsplash as well. If we renovate to rent long term, we will likely use a granite product with a classic subway tile for the backsplash. If we renovate to sell, we will match the existing classic three panel doors for any doors that need to be replaced. If we renovate to rent long term, we will replace all doors with a simple hollow core door. The fact of the matter is that you want to choose products that work for what your goals are, both now and into the future. This goes for most items that will be purchased: light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, accessories, etc. 
  3. The pace of the renovation
    1. Let’s be clear: the race will be on to get the property turned over and renovated, no matter which path we choose to pursue. With that said, the renovation timeline is likely considerably shorter if we choose the ‘rent’ path versus the ‘sell’ path, not only because of availability of products but also because the scope would be smaller as explained above. In our particular case, I would anticipate that we would be able to have money coming in probably 2 months faster with the ‘rent’ option compared to the ‘sell’ option because we won’t have to stage the property, list it, wait for it to go under contract, then have a 30-60 day closing period. As soon as we are done with the renovation in the ‘rent’ scenario, we will likely have 10+ applicants wanting to move in due to the location and scarcity of available for rent properties. 


There is no right answer for every situation. Everyone’s goals and expectations will be different. The properties themselves may force an investor to lean a certain direction. But no matter what, as long as the goal is to put out a respectable, beautiful property, you can’t lose. We are so excited to get to work and leave our mark on this beautiful property!

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