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How to Renovate Your Marina City Unit to Attract Tenants and Buyers

10 May 2017 13

As a building with over 50 years of history to its name, it should come as no surprise that the interiors of Marina City vary widely. Ranging from original 1960s steel cabinets and black tile flooring to sleek, modern, and updated (with some 1970s mirrored walls and glass block in-between), many residents have chosen to put their own unique stamp on units throughout the years.

If you’re interested in remodeling or updating your home, you’ll want to keep in mind how your changes will affect resale value (even more so when you’re looking to remodel a unit for investment purposes).

We have assisted in the remodel of many Marina City units for clients and have also gotten feedback from thousands of rental tenants on what helps them make their rental decision. The top tenant requests probably won’t surprise you too much:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Open kitchen
  • River views
  • Balcony
  • Washer & dryer in-unit

The Best Renovation Projects for Your Marina City Unit

If you have a mostly original Marina City unit that you are looking to remodel, here are a few recommendations on where your money will be the most beneficial:

  1. Hardwood flooring: This is an interior trend that most young renters expect. As updates go, it is generally quick and easy to add and can improve the value of your unit.
  2. Small bathroom updates: Replacing the original fluorescent light fixture and the loud original shower vent fan can make an original 50-year-old bathroom look brighter and more modern. Adding a soffit above the sink and adding recessed lighting is a common way to make the lighting change. Alternatively, you can just replace the fixture with a more modern one.
  3. Lighting: Marina City units originally had very dim can lighting in the entryway and kitchen. Replacing these with brighter fixtures helps the unit look more modern.
  4. Opening up the kitchen: A more open concept will definitely put your unit ahead of an original kitchen. A breakfast bar can be a strategic addition, as well, as it is an efficient use of space.
  5. Balcony doors: Adding updated glass balcony doors increases the light in the unit. The original doors don’t always close well and need a lot of maintenance for peeling paint. The doors cost about $1,600 to replace. If you can only afford one, some renters prefer to keep the original balcony door in the bedroom because if offers more privacy.
  6. Backsplash tiling: Tile is a small expense that can make the kitchen or bathroom feel more modern.
  7. Thermostat: Original thermostats have a tendency to show the age of the unit; replacing them will help your unit look appear more up-to-date.
  8. Dishwasher: Installing a dishwasher will help your unit stand out against those without one, as any added convenience is a selling point for those looking for a new home .

Minor Updates That Will Wow Prospective Dwellers

Marina City was built in the ‘60s, so there’s no getting around the fact that many units are old. Even if remodeling is not in your current budget there are quite a few things that you can do to make your rental unit look its best.

  1. Get the unit professionally cleaned. No one wants to move into someone else dirt. Don’t give prospective tenants a reason to say the unit looked dingy or dirty.
  2. Make sure all lights are working. Marina City has notoriously dark original lighting, make sure the lights are working and replace burnt out lightbulbs to give the tenant the best impression.
  3. Fix broken items within the unit. Fix any drawers/doors that don’t shut, loose doorknobs or other small fixtures that could lead the prospect to get the impression that maintenance is not kept up on.
  4. Add a fresh coat of paint. We often only do a touch up paint between tenants, but it can really help make the unit look bright and pulled together. Often times a magic eraser can take scuffs out as well.
  5. Deodorize. If the unit has any left over cooking smells or the hallway has a less than appealing scent, install an air freshener in the unit. You will be surprised on how many people comment on how nice it smells.

If you are thinking about updating your Marina City unit, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can email us at condos@marina-city.com to setup a time to speak further.

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