I empathise with Mountain Man, in doing as much of the refurbishment work yourself. Older motels (mine is 1974) are a work in progress. We have to be looking at 'reality motel' not 'reality block'!

I started refurbishing our Bedrooms back in 2010, completing five before the money ran out. The remaining seven were not done till 2013. Total cost $52,000 (excluding any new bed requirements). Then last year I moved on to the bathrooms, which if you are going to do them effectively, requires a complete strip out and start again. To date I have completed three. The estimated final bill for all twelve Bathrooms is $51,000.

Add to that the paving and fencing of the pool area and other bits and pieces; I are looking at a $120,000 spend. Had I decided to use tradies, I would have to add another $50k. Now I have a friendly bank manager, but not that friendly, so you have to earn the money first to be able to spend it. I also do the work in the shoulder period and can count no more than a dozen times that I may have been able to sell that twelfth room.