Adding Amenities and Updating Finishes and Fixtures Can Lead to Higher Rent!
Many landlords think about doing work on their rental property simply as maintenance – they want to maintain the property they have and keep everything in good working order. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. However, these landlords may be missing out on easy ways they can add value to their rental property. Much like putting a home on the market for sale, a few well-placed upgrades can increase the value of your rental property. Updating your property will help you increase the return on your investment, and of course attract great tenants to your property.
There are many ways to add value, ranging from replacing a few items here and there to doing a full gut rehab. Whether you are just now thinking of putting your rental property on the market, or if you have been renting your property for a long time now, now is the time to make improvements.
Beyond a basic rent ready cleaning, here are some updates to consider:
- Is your property in need of a fresh coat of paint? If you’ve had tenants for a while, the paint might not look as good as it once did. Is the current paint job in a neutral color? Many renters prefer properties that are painted in neutral tones, so that the paint will not clash with their decor.
- If there is carpet, is the carpet in good condition? Would a deep cleaning suffice, or does it need to be replaced? Is the color of the carpet neutral? Much like paint, neutral colors of carpet such as beige get the best results in the rental market.
- If there are hardwood floors, do they need refinishing? A well-kept hardwood floor is a very desirable feature for tenants. You could also consider adding laminate flooring or tile to replace any old linoleum.
- How old are the kitchen counters and cabinets? Are they appealing, or do they look outdated or worn down? Updating the kitchen will always increase the value of your rental property.
- Are the appliances up to date? Could they be upgraded to stainless steel? How do they compare to the appliances in nearby rentals? If any desirable appliances (such as a dishwasher, microwave, or washer and dryer) are not present, could they be added?
- How does the bathroom look? Adding in new bath fixtures or a little decorative tile will add value.
- Look at the exterior: this is the first thing prospective tenants will see. Adding a little curb appeal can make your rental property stand out. Planting a few hardy shrubs around a rental house can really make it a home. If your property is a unit in a larger building, consider what the unit door looks like. It might need paint or other improvements (get approval from your condo association or HOA if needed.)
- Look at little details such as light switches, doorknobs and cabinet handles around your rental. Pay particular attention to light fixtures. Updating these can make a big impact for a small price tag!
- Consider ways to increase the space: does your rental include an office -type room that could be transformed into legal bedroom? Check into local laws that define what is legally considered a bedroom, and go for it! Adding another bedroom or bathroom is a great way to increase the value of your rental property. Is there a basement that could be furnished into more living space? Is there an attic that could be turned into a storage space?
- Does your rental include off street parking? Many tenants would gladly pay more for the convenience of having one or two parking spaces available to them. For a single family home, adding a driveway or garage is a good idea. For a condo, check if parking is available in your building’s garage. If not, don’t give up! You might still be able to purchase a parking space nearby.
Of course, there is no need to limit yourself to these suggestions! There are many other ways you can increase the value of your rental property. A professional property manager can provide you with assessments and vendors that can help you to get the best return on your investment.