Maximizing Returns through Effective CapEx Planning in Multifamily Investments

Published July 25, 2023
by Mark Kenney

Investing in multifamily apartments can be a lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning and strategic decision-making to ensure success. Before diving into the purchase of multifamily apartments, starting with a comprehensive business plan can provide a clear roadmap, helping you anticipate the complexities of property management, financing strategies, and potential for income generation. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of capital improvements, conducting due diligence inspections, and essential factors to consider when rehabilitating multifamily properties.

1. The Significance of Capital Improvements

A strategic move in your business plan is to prioritize capital improvements, which can significantly enhance the value of your properties, facilitate rental increases, and ultimately drive your revenue growth. Capital improvements refer to targeted investments aimed at improving the property’s overall condition and tenant experience. They can include refurbishing common areas, upgrading amenities, enhancing security measures, and more.

2. Conducting Due Diligence Inspections

Calculating the funds needed for capital improvements requires conducting a full due diligence inspection. This inspection involves thoroughly examining 100% of all units and other areas, such as roofs, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems. To streamline the process and ensure thoroughness, consider using the same General Contractor who conducts the due diligence inspection to complete the actual work. However, be sure to verify their competitiveness in pricing.

3. Costly Repairs to Consider

Certain property attributes can lead to expensive repairs and limited rent increases. For example, properties with a chiller system (a device used to heat/cool the entire property instead of individual HVAC units) can be costly to repair, including issues with underground piping. Boilers used to provide hot water can also be expensive to replace, leading to potential inconvenience for tenants. Other costly repairs may involve aluminum wiring or cast iron plumbing.

4. Budgeting and Return on Investment

Accurate estimation of rehab costs before closing on a property is vital, especially when working with lenders who allocate funds for capital expenditures. To avoid out-of-pocket spending, increase your rehab budget by 20% to account for unexpected expenses. Balancing the investment with potential rent increases is crucial to ensure a favorable return on investment.

5. Timely Rehab with Professional Assistance

Efficiency is essential during the rehab process, as prolonged timelines lead to lost revenue. To ensure timely completion of projects and turn-key, move-in ready units, consider using a professional company to handle capital expenditures. Avoid choosing low-cost, inexperienced options to prevent delays and subpar results.

6. Prioritizing Exterior Improvements

Creating a positive first impression is crucial for attracting potential tenants. Therefore, prioritize exterior improvements to make the property more appealing and welcoming. Focus on enhancing landscaping, lighting, and communal spaces to leave a lasting impact on prospective renters.

7. In-Place Rehab vs. Full Rehab

Deciding between an in-place rehab and a full rehab depends on individual circumstances. An in-place rehab allows for targeted improvements on units that might be coming up for renewal, increasing tenant satisfaction and justifying higher rents. On the other hand, a full rehab involves renovating units after a tenant moves out, providing a comprehensive upgrade that appeals to new tenants.

Additional Considerations:

If you want to conduct an in-place rehab, consider the items below:

  • Water Conservation
  • Tech Package
  • LED Package
  • Appliances
  • Countertops
  • Cabinets refacing

A full rehab could include the below:

  • Water Conservation
  • Tech Package
  • LED Package
  • Appliances
  • Countertops
  • Cabinets
  • Flooring
  • Painting


Investing in multifamily apartments can be a rewarding venture with the right approach. By starting with a comprehensive business plan and prioritizing capital improvements, you can enhance the value of your properties and drive revenue growth. Conducting thorough due diligence inspections, considering costly repairs, and budgeting wisely are crucial steps in the process. Additionally, seeking professional assistance for timely and efficient rehab, along with prioritizing exterior improvements, will contribute to attracting and retaining tenants. Whether you choose an in-place rehab or a full rehab, careful planning and strategic execution will lead to maximizing profits in the multifamily real estate market.

About the Author

Mark Kenney
Mark Kenney is a seasoned real estate investor, entrepreneur and founder of Think Multifamily. Mark started his real estate career over 25 years ago and has extensive experience in property valuation, acquisition, and operations. He has a passion for helping others succeed in the multifamily arena.