EXPENSIVE RENOVATIONS FOR RENTAL APARTMENTS / Wall Street Journal
With rents rising rapidly, some luxury tenants are investing in extensive renovations rather than looking for new homes. The rise of the pricey—but temporary—redo.
Jeffry Weisman, a 53-year-old interior designer who is a principal in the firm Fisher Weisman renovated his rental apartment in San Francisco shortly after he moved in 20 years ago, spending about $100,000 to remodel the master bedroom and kitchen.
Five years ago, after Mr. Weisman’s now-husband Andrew Fisher moved in, they invested about $200,000 in another extensive remodel: They tore down walls to create a formal dining room, added new molding and wall panels with antique mirrors, covered the ceiling with pewter-leaf tea paper, updated all the lighting and refinished the floors.
Mr. Weisman says the decision to renovate a rental rather than buy an apartment was mostly about the convenience of living in an apartment: being able to close the door and not worry about anything given how much he travels. The couple owns a house in Mexico where they spend much of the year and maintaining that house takes a lot of their energy, he says. ‘It’s home. We have a close relationship with the landlords,’ says Mr. Weisman. They’re like family.’