An excellent rental property can enhance your property portfolio. Not only can you reap the benefits of monthly cash flow, but there are numerous long-term benefits as well. In most markets, rental demand is still at or near an all-time high. On the surface this seems like a win for landlords, but demand is usually coupled with increased competition. Your rental property needs to stand out either in terms of location, price, quality or amenities. You cannot expect an outdated property to command top dollar and attract the best tenants. In most cases, what you put into your rental is what you get out. By making quality improvements, the added value will last for years to come. Here are key four improvements that every landlord should consider:
Kitchen: In many respects, prospective renters are similar to prospective buyers. One of the first things they are attracted to is an updated kitchen. A kitchen update is a long-term improvement that isn’t cheap. Depending on the improvements, you can be looking at spending anywhere from $5,000-$15,000. Spending money like this only makes sense if you plan on keeping the rental property long term. When you sell, you will realize the return on your investment. Even if you don’t want to give the kitchen a complete face lift, there are smaller upgrades that have an impact. Updating the appliances and sink won’t break the budget, but do change the scheme of the kitchen. The same is the case with replacing the floors and changing the color of the cabinets.
Bathroom: The same approach to the kitchen should be applied to the bathroom. Practical updates go a long way without spending thousands of dollars. Removing outdated wallpaper, vanities, and toilets can take years off the property. There are many space saving built-ins and other items that can instantly change the appearance and functionality of the bathroom. Something as simple as replacing the shower head or handles on the sink can refresh an outdated bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom often set the tone for the entire property.
Flooring:Flooring can increase the value of your rental property tremendously.If you have carpet, see about replacing it if it is not in good condition. If you have hard wood or laminate flooring, you need to consider having them re-stained or possibly replaced. New flooring can attract a larger pool of possible renters.
Lighting/Fixtures: Lighting in a rental is often overlooked by landlords. A rental that is poorly lit is not inviting and won’t attract possible renters when you show the home. If there is another property just like yours, the renter will most likely select the home with better lighting. Along with adding more light, you should update the fixtures. For less than $100 you can install new lighting and fixtures that will transform the home into a brighter space. If you are still unsatisfied, you can call an electrician and add track lighting to enhance the room. A simple fix like this could mean the difference between having a tenant or an empty property.
A rental property should be treated like an investment. There are times when you need to put money into your investment to keep it performing at a high level. A few timely upgrades will keep the demand in your rental strong for years to come. Take a look at your rental property and see what improvements you can make.