Renovating a Rental Right
February 2016—Maria Affeln owns a two-family home. Like many small landlords who have discovered BBR’s Reuse Center, she shops for materials needed to fix up her rental unit. This past fall, as she was on the lookout for a kitchen cabinet set for her rental, she says, “I hit the jackpot!”
“I found these beautiful, gorgeous cabinets for just $2,500,” she remembers. “They had a very small blemish, but they are real wood and so well made.” Maria’s neighbor, a contractor, told her that their value is $17,000. “It’s like all my dreams come true.”
The incoming tenant knew that the kitchen was being redone, but was overjoyed with the quality of the renovation. Still, “I did not raise the rent. I decided to keep it the same amount,” said Maria. “I’m happy to know that someone is going to live well here, that someone will feel at home.” With high-quality materials you can afford, “It’s amazing how you can transform a place.”
Maria originally found out about Boston Building Resources about ten years ago. She got started by taking a few workshops. “They were very helpful. I want to take some more. I really love doing this type of work.”
In addition to the cabinets, she picked up a high-quality storm door with louvered blinds. When she needed some wood trim, she noticed that a big-box home store was selling the item for $30, compared to $5 at the Reuse Center.
“If you want to do a project, and need to do it really inexpensively, this is the place to go,” says Maria. “It’s a way to have your home looking beautiful, and to have happy tenants—or yourself.”