Top 5 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Rental in 2020
As long-time property owners know, there are few moments you can afford to rest on your laurels when it comes to your rental. The key to successfully maintaining and growing the value of a rental property is proactive action, especially when it comes to upkeep and upgrades. To that end, let’s review the five best ways to add value to your rental property and make it more attractive to prospective renters.
#1. Upgrade the kitchen and bathroom
One of the best ways to boost the value of your rental property is by upgrading its outdated kitchen and bathrooms. This will likely both increase the property’s value on the market and what you can realistically charge for it monthly. Today’s renters are drawn to homes, condos, and apartments that feature modern kitchens and sleek bathrooms.
In the bathroom, talk to a plumbing contractor about upgrading the shower with new faucets, fixtures, tile, and glass. A modern, clean shower is an attractive asset to all renters. If your budget limits you from replacing an older bathroom vanity, at least consider replacing the sink fixtures, handles, and drains. This is a low-cost, subtle way of making a guest or master bath feel new.
#2. Give the front landscaping a fresh look
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but many prospective renters will do just that when they come to visit your property for the first time. The front yard and its landscaping need to make the right first impression if you want to get the right renters. Overgrown grass and messy bushes might send the wrong subliminal message to visitors.
Depending on what the neighborhood’s general aesthetic style allows for, consider swapping high-maintenance grass, bushes, trees, and plants out for low-maintenance, slow-growing varieties. This will reduce the amount of upkeep the renter or you have to deal with, while also ensuring that the property is ready to be shown off at any time of the year.
#3. Focus on energy-efficiency upgrades
Beyond the rent, your renters also have to pay for the property’s utility costs. Nothing will drive a good renter out faster than month-after-month of exorbitant electric or gas bills. You may not think of it this way, but—from the tenant’s perspective—their “cost of living” in your property is the sum of the rent and utilities. If they feel they’re getting a bad deal, they’ll be looking to move when their lease is up.
This is why energy-efficiency upgrades are really attractive to renters. You don’t have to invest thousands to make a difference on this front. Some positive changes that add up include adding attic insulation, installing weatherstripping around doors and windows, and making sure the HVAC systems get their annual maintenance. Be sure to add your energy upgrades to the list of your property’s features when you list it.
#4. Pick durable, long-lasting materials
If you do plan on completing renovations to the property, bear in mind that you need to balance value, quality, and durability. Too often, property owners simply pick the cheapest floors, countertops, cabinets, or appliances for their rental. However, you often get what you pay for when it comes to these products. You also want to avoid the opposite extreme: you probably won’t see much return-on-investment by adding marble countertops and custom wood floors to the property.
Instead, find a middle ground by installing high-quality, non-luxury products that are made to last. Stone countertops—such as quartz and granite—are a beautiful and durable fit for the kitchen. Vinyl and laminate floors don’t show wear-and-tear for many, many years. Finish off the kitchen by waiting for a great sale on brand-name, high-quality appliances for the rental.
#5. Always hire a professional
It may be tempting to personally take on all the upkeep and upgrades your property needs. However, some things are best left to the professionals. This includes plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and installation work. Having the work done right the first time is the best way to preserve the value of your property and avoid further issues down the road. After all, you don’t want to get a call from your renter months from now about a leaking pipe in the bathroom you just finished remodeling.
Katy Peterson is the communications specialist at Southern Air Heating and Cooling, a professional HVAC and plumbing repair company in Louisiana. Katy has been in the industry for almost ten years and enjoys writing about topics that help homeowners keep their home repair at minimum expense.