Upgrades that Make Your Rental a Stand Out
At times, owning rental property can be a headache. In order to get the best return on your investment and stay at the high end of the rental rates, you need to improve your property value. One way to avoid tenant turnover is to invest in the right upgrades. Upgrading your rental unit will entice tenants to stay through multiple lease cycles, and spending a little money now may earn you a higher payoff later. Use these tips to upgrade your property and make your rental a standout.
As renters peruse listings, the first impression they’ll receive is from the outside. Don’t forgo a fresh coat of paint, leave up a dilapidated fence, or neglect landscaping. Driveways should be free of potholes and trees and shrubs should be neatly groomed. Make sure there are no overgrown weeds or dying plants. If you’re having a hard time renting out a property, buy some flowers to put outside. The drive-by test is one of the first steps a prospective tenant will make, so complete the basic criteria to stand out with curb appeal.
Chances are your previous tenant damaged the carpeting over their span of occupancy, and even a professional cleaning service won’t fix the signs of wear and tear. Having to replace the carpet between renters is expensive and has a negative impact on your annual rate of return. While carpet flooring is appealing to certain renters, especially in bedrooms and during winters, consider upgrading your floors with a new material. Options include laminate, hardwood, bamboo, plank and faux wood. They range in price point, but are sure to add immediate value to the property, and are great for renters with carpet allergies. Whatever you do, be sure to get rid of old vinyl or linoleum flooring in bathrooms and kitchens. It is unsightly, and a major turnoff for potential renters.
Fixtures are an inexpensive upgrade that are sure to increase the appeal of your property. Doors are one of the first things damaged at rental units, and most investors tend to either ignore the damage or touch it up with paint. However, new doors will make your place sparkle and appear refinished. Plus, they’re inexpensive and can be found for roughly $80 at your local hardware store. Other potential fixtures to invest in include ceiling fans, lighting, faucets, door handles, locks, and window blinds. Spending a few extra dollars on higher quality materials will give your rental a polished, pulled-together look, and higher quality brands will provide better durability to withstand normal wear and tear.
Cabinets and Countertops
Owning rental property means staying abreast of the latest trends—especially when it comes to property upgrade trends. Renters are willing to pay more for upgrades, and having sleek, polished countertops will increase value and desirability. There are so many options to choose from when deciding on the finishes for your new countertops. Granite is always a sound choice, but cement and quartz are popular in the higher end markets. Kitchens are among the top features renters will choose from when browsing properties, so make yours a standout with some key renovations. Replace old particle board cabinets that have outlived their usefulness with a more modern and functional option. If buying new cabinetry is not within your budget, consider replacing only the cabinet doors with high-quality, solid wood doors, as well as the hinges and knobs. A fresh coat of paint and some new fixtures can go a long way. Keep in mind that storage space is a hot commodity in the rental market.
Appliances are one of the top features a prospective tenant will consider when deciding whether or not to rent a property. In some cases, appliances are equally important as location. If your property has washer/dryer connections, purchasing a set will increase the value of your rental. Old, mismatched, or malfunctioning appliances will not get you top dollar rental rates. Invest in new microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens to add to your property’s appeal. This might seem costly now, but temporary fixes will cost more in the long run. Plus, it’ll save you the hassle of those unending maintenance calls. When purchasing new appliances, be sure they include a warranty.
Doing minimum property maintenance will lead to minimal returns in terms of money and time of tenant occupancy. Next time your rental unit is vacant, go the extra step by making a few simple upgrades to make your rental stand out. Upgrades will make a renter come quicker, pay more, stay longer and take excellent care of the property.
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