As an owner of an investment property, it can be tricky to decide how far to go with renovations. When choosing where to invest your renovation dollars, it’s useful to choose projects that will attract high quality tenants. It’s hard to put a dollar value on a tenant who will treat your property with the same care as they would their own property. But landlords know that these tenants add a hidden value to their properties, not only by providing a steady rental income, but also by minimizing the need for repairs.
Staging Vacant Properties
When you are trying to fill a vacant property, do what you can to help prospective tenants picture themselves living there. Cleaning, maximizing space, and inviting in the light all help to make a property seem more appealing to a prospective tenant.
If the property looks dingy and dusty to you, then it will also look that way to a tenant. Thoroughly clean any vacant units before showing them. Also, make sure the entry area and hallways are kept clean and neat. If necessary, invest in a cleaning service, because if you want to attract the right kind of tenant, you can’t cut corners in this area.
For living spaces that seem dark, do what you can to brighten the space. Invest in some new lighting, change the paint color, or even consider knocking down a wall or replacing a window.
Finally, if a property seems cold and empty, consider staging it with furniture before showing it. Going to this expense may be worth it if it helps tenants picture themselves living in your property.
Floors, Walls and Ceilings
When preparing to show a unit, carefully evaluate whether to clean or replace the carpeting. Many landlords automatically replace carpets when a tenant moves out. However, if the carpeting is only a few years old and not damaged, having it professionally cleaned can make it look like new for a fraction of the cost.
A fresh coat of paint on the walls is a no brainer. But don’t neglect the ceilings, especially if the previous tenants were heavy smokers. Also, kitchen ceilings often have grease or cooking stains, so they could also benefit from a cleaning or some new paint.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Beautiful kitchens and bathrooms will attract high quality tenants and improve property values, so your money is always well-spent in these areas. Nobody wants to take a shower in a moldy bathroom or cook in an outdated kitchen, so prospective tenants will be attracted to new bathrooms and kitchens. Also, if you’re planning to sell your property within the next few years, remember that kitchen and bathroom renovations will likely give you a high return on investment.
Replacement of Fixtures
Something as simple as buying and replacing the fixtures can completely transform a room. Kitchen fixtures that should be replaced include cabinet hardware that is looking worn and outdated or leaky faucets. In the bathrooms, replace fixtures on running toilets and any leaky faucets. Throughout the property, replace any sticky door handles and any lighting fixtures that are more than 15 years old. Also, if you have mini-blinds on the windows, replace any that have missing slats. These inexpensive updates will go a long way towards making the property look new again.
Since the exterior is the first thing a potential tenant sees, it should be well-tended and appear clean and safe. Make sure that the grass is mowed and edged regularly, and add fresh mulch around bushes and in flowerbeds each year. If your property has a pretty view, cut back any overgrown bushes or trees that are blocking it. Also, fix any gate hinges, loose walking stone or broken concrete.
These renovation projects keep your property looking and feeling well-maintained to current and prospective tenants. Not only do they increase the value of the property, but they also increase the income earning potential and attract high-quality tenants.
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