I just finished reading an article in the NY Times about a couple who basically gut renovated an apartment in Brooklyn. An apartment they rent, not own. They are knowledgeable about how to renovate and worked out an arrangement with the landlord to take money off the rent for the 4 years they originally agreed to stay. They get a nicer place to live, the landlord's investment increases dramatically. Great for everyone, right?
Well, not exactly. Turns out between sweat equity and building materials they went about $20,000 over budget--money that will most likely not be reimbursed. The scope of the project was pretty large, so this does not surprise me. Now, for the dream, rent controlled apartment (you know, the one with the view of the Chrysler Building near the park) I would do some work, maybe even replace the appliances. But I would be really careful about taking on such a large project when the person that benefits most from all the hard work is someone else.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in Los Angeles. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.