LAST month it had mould above the shower and cat urine in the carpet.
But this newly refurbished Ambarvale home has had a makeover to show investors how to make a profit locally.
Smart Property Investment magazine bought the three-bedroom house for $252,000.
After spending $10,000 on renovations, it's now being rented out and magazine editor Phillip Tarrant said it would easily sell for $330,000 to $350,000.
"With this particular property the goal was always not to spend too much on the refurbishing," Mr Tarrant said. "You don't need to go to town to transform a house. We didn't want to spend $50,000 on creating a product and there's no one to rent it because it's so expensive."
Instead, they focused on painting inside and outside, sanding floors, clearing out the garden and doing repairs.
Mr Tarrant said the renovation took about six weeks but most of it could have been done in two and a half weeks.
"It took a little longer than what we wanted with the rain," he said.
They had considered capital growth over time and rental yields when buying the property. They bought the house significantly below market rate because of a few easily fixed cosmetic problems.
Victor Kumar, of the Right Property Group, who helped the magazine with the project, said there were many similar opportunities for investors in the local area.
"Your peak properties are a bit of an eyesore and just need some cosmetic work," Mr Kumar said. "We've got a rental shortage — that's no secret — and we've got plenty of tenants to choose from.
"The local market is pretty good and most agents are crying out for listings."