We were looking to buy a property with as many bedrooms as possible to rent it out room by room. Most people were directing us to 3 bedroom properties to invest in. That seemed to be what everyone was doing. We, however, wanted a better result than what everyone else was getting.
We had just missed out on a seven bedroom property and were about to give up when we came across another property that was marketed as a four bedroom 2 bathrooms. For us it wasn't enough bedrooms, but because the price was good we went to look at it. It was a large house in a good location and the price was right, so we made an offer and got it for a small discount.
It had a small room at the front of the house which was classed as a sun room. We added a wardrobe to it and called it a bedroom. It needed a bit of work and it was a bit strange. The stairs down to the basement had some stairs put in through a closet, so it was a wee bit tight. To access the bedroom down there you had to go through this weird hallway, then into a cave, down into a large bunker then through to the small room. The room itself looked like it could be a room in the hull of a boat with small windows at the top of the room. It had a large wardrobe around the corner that was not very practical because it was long and skinny. The laundry room downstairs was large, but dank. The head height was very low. There was a toilet with a door and there was a shower without a door, just a curtain (very revealing). There was also a large garage down there.
When we went for the inspection, we noticed the tenants had moved almost everything out of the house except a few mattresses that were on interesting angles. Later we discovered why. There were giant maps on the carpet that they couldn't remove. They were interesting patterns, but not particularly attractive, so we decided to rip up most of the carpets. The floors were a nice native timber and we wanted to polish the floors which would save us money in flooring costs. There were large gaps between some of the boards. I filled the gaps, which took me way longer than I thought it would. My dad helped with sanding the floors (I blame him for the grooves and rough finish), it was our first time doing it and it certainly looked like it, although most people thought it looked ok. I polyurethaned the floor myself by using a sponge mop to brush it on. After a few coats it was finally done. Luckily it was over the garage and luckliy we didn't have anything in the garage because there was a lot of drips of polyurethane on the garage floor.
We decided we were going to rent the property furnished to get a better price. If we were to rent it unfurnished we would have got around $400 per week. In renting it furnished we were able to get $550 per week. We went to an auction house, garage sale and online auction place to get our furniture.
We were intending to keep this as a rental forever, but sold it in 2015 because the market had risen significantly and we had some issues with tenants while we were living in Fiji.