Full-scale home renovations are expensive. A major renovation can cost between $18,000 and $76,000. Even minor renovations can get out of hand and require spending a lot of money if not planned properly. For investment properties, however, minor improvements mean a lot. It significantly reduces vacancy and increases rental rates.
Unlike home improvements, however, there is a balance that should be maintained when upgrades are made on a residential rental property. There has to be enough spending or investment to improve a property and attract tenants. But, not so much that it negates the property’s return on investment. The right amount of investment increases a property’s value without going overboard.
If you are a real estate investor or a landlord looking to boost rental income and tenancy rate, you should consider making some improvements, no matter how small. Because for each day property improvements are neglected, you lose income.
Fortunately, there are simple improvements that you can do to your property to make it more appealing to prospective tenants.
Often, it’s the property’s exterior that attracts tenants the most. Most of your improvement efforts will go on this area of the property. When prospective tenants look at the property, it should make them feel at home right away. Upgrades to the landscaping, outdoor structures, exterior walls, doors, and windows can all make a difference.
For your landscaping, simply revamp the existing one. Add more healthy plants and remove dry or dead ones. Keep the yard tidy and keep it organized. The gutters must be cleaned, the lawn trimmed, and unsightly branches or bushes cut down. For the exterior walls, an initial power washing should make it look clean. If that is not enough, consider repainting the entire exterior. Give your door a makeover, too. Refinish or repaint as needed.
For your windows, consider installing storm windows or replacing them with entirely new windows. Old windows are often sources of heat loss and this can lead to high energy costs. Aside from this, if your windows are difficult to open or close, leaky when raining, or drafty during autumn or winter, it’s absolutely time to replace them. If you have outdoor structures and fixtures. Apply the necessary repairs and upgrades.
House number, light fixtures, and mailboxes should be clean and in good condition. Fix broken parts on your outdoor structures such as a porch, gazebo, deck, trellis, fence, and others. If necessary, refresh with new paint.
If the outdoor structures are broken down, replace them with new ones or upgrade them to something better. For example, replace your old wooden fence with composite wood fencing. It’s superior quality, low maintenance, insect-resistant, and eco-friendly.
Upgrades to Appliances
You can attract more tenants by providing basic utilities such as common household appliances in your units — dishwashers, washing machines, stoves, ovens, air conditioners, and refrigerators. But don’t just use any appliances. Choose energy-efficient appliances.
Energy-efficient appliances can reduce energy cost for your tenants, and it’s good for the environment. Choose appliances that have the Energy-Star, which meets the standards of both the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. You can also get a tax credit for upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient ones. Check with your accountant first.
The secret to a spotless kitchen upgrade is to keep it spotless. You don’t have to remodel the entire kitchen. A simple deep cleaning of all of its furniture and cabinets will make it look new again. Remember to
- Mop the floors
- Keep the ceiling free of cobwebs
- Dust-off cabinets from the inside out
- Upgrade cabinet hardware — handles and hinges
- Remove flickering lights and replace them with new bulbs
On the kitchen counter and sink, clean and disinfect the surfaces. Use the right kind of product to prevent damaging the surfaces.
Apply the same amount of effort in keeping the bathroom clean. Make sure the bathtub, sink, toilet, and shower are all washed and scrubbed. Avoid unsightly tile grout by replacing them or simply re-applying them. Keep mirrors and other reflective surfaces clear and free of fingerprints.
If the existing carpet flooring is still intact, simply give it a deep clean. Hire a cleaning service that can shampoo it thoroughly. If the floor is hardwood, simply refinish it to make it look new again. If the flooring needs replacement, consider durable alternatives that are much affordable. Wood laminate flooring, wood tile, and vinyl tiles are great options.
As a landlord and real estate investor, you want the value of your property to increase. But if you wait for the market to go up it may take you longer to see your property’s value go up, too. But if you apply the necessary improvements now, you can increase its value and earn even faster.