Renovating and Redeveloping Properties for Profit
For nearly twenty-five long years, Cambridge was hobbled by a draconian, blatantly anti-landlord rent control law which resulted in the wholesale infrastructural deterioration of entire neighborhoods. Small property owners were neither able to maintain their properties given the low rents they were permitted to charge, nor were they allowed to give notice to their tenants. Selling their properties was not a viable option either, as few buyers wanted to invest in a house encumbered by the restrictions imposed by the rent control ordinance.
The abolition of rent control in a 1995 statewide referendum opened up an entire industry as builders, developers and investors busily began to repair Cambridge’s (and Boston’s) decrepit multi-family housing stock. Prices for these homes shot up overnight and have sustained strong appreciation ever since. Properties that once would be hard pressed to bring $200,000 before the end of rent control might be worth ten times as much today, before a single dollar is spent on renovation. A well-conceived and professionally executed renovation program can increase the value of such a property another 100% or 200%