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Former Party Houses: Quality Rental Restoration

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Former Party Houses: Quality Rental Restoration


As a real estate investor who flips houses, I often come across properties that were formerly used as “party houses” by irresponsible tenants. These houses pose unique challenges due to the extensive damage and repairs needed to make them rentable again. However, with the right approach, they can be transformed into quality rental homes that generate steady cash flow.

Assessing the Damage

The first step is conducting a thorough inspection of the property to identify all issues that need addressing. Typical problems in former party houses include:

  • Holes in walls – Large holes are common, often from people falling into walls. Small nail holes may number in the hundreds from hanging artwork/lights.

  • Dirty carpets – Spills, stains, burns, and ground-in dirt from heavy foot traffic. Often unsalvageable.

  • Damaged floors – Apart from carpet stains, hardwood floors may be scratched, burned, or warped from spills.

  • Broken doors/cabinets – Doors can have holes or be off hinges. Cabinets and drawers are often broken or missing.

  • Appliances – Need inspection and often replacement due to damage/missing appliances.

  • Plumbing/electrical issues – Toilets, sinks, baths, water heaters, outlets, and light fixtures may need repair.

  • Yard condition – Debris, overgrown landscaping, dead grass from outdoor parties.

Cleanout and Repairs

After assessing damage, the next big task is a thorough cleanout and repairing issues. Key steps include:

  • Remove all trash and debris – this alone can fill multiple dumpsters.

  • Clean all floors, cabinets, drawers thoroughly. Deep clean carpets if salvageable.

  • Repair holes in walls – spackle, sand, prime, paint. Often requires patching drywall.

  • Fix plumbing leaks and issues, replace any problem toilets/sinks.

  • Address electrical – replace outlets/plates, light fixtures, ensure it’s up to code.

  • Inspect appliances – service or replace any that are damaged or missing.

  • Replace damaged cabinets, doors, trim – match existing style as close as possible.

  • Replace severely damaged carpets and floors that can’t be restored.

  • Make structural repairs – roof, foundation, porches etc.

Property Upgrades

Beyond repairs, I like to make key upgrades to improve the home’s quality and rentability.

  • New exterior paint – gives great curb appeal. I pick neutral, attractive colors.

  • Landscaping upgrades – trim bushes/trees, plant flowers, improve yard appearance.

  • Kitchen/bath updates – replace outdated tile, sinks, faucets, light fixtures.

  • Add amenities like ceiling fans, mini blinds on all windows.

  • Upgrade lighting – install recessed lighting, under cabinet lights.

  • Consider new vinyl plank flooring – affordable, durable, easy to clean.

Lessons Learned

  • Have contractors inspect early – they may identify hidden issues.

  • Allocate extra budget – surprises happen, repairs add up.

  • Consider long-term cost vs replacing – don’t cut corners.

  • Focus on modern neutral colors and styles.

  • Curb appeal matters – invest in landscaping.

  • Marketing as “fully renovated” attracts quality tenants.

With a thorough renovation approach, former party houses can become stellar rental properties. It takes work but the increased valuation and rental income is worth it. A property’s past doesn’t determine its future.

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