As a property owner, you must protect your income investment by attracting and retaining quality long-term tenants. To accomplish this, it’s important to ensure that the property is updated with all, or at least some, of the amenities renters desire to have in their homes.
In renovating, focus on these most coveted home features that’ll help you attract and retain quality renters:
1. Wood Flooring. If you have quality wood flooring in your rental property, you’re already ahead of the game simply because wood floors make such a big impact.
• Of course, authentic wood flooring would be the ideal choice. This can cost between $3.00 per sq. ft. for maple flooring up to $8.50 per sq. ft. for Brazilian wood.
• Laminate plank flooring gives the same look for a fraction of the cost. It can cost as little as $0.89 per sq. ft. from flooring outlets such as www.lumberliquidators.com or www.floormaxdirect.com.
2. Updated kitchen and bathroom. Every room in the house is important, but an updated kitchen and bathroom will make renters go gaga over your unit! Indulge in a tiled backsplash, and updated countertops and cabinets and you’re sure to wow prospective renters.
• A tiled backsplash can cost anywhere from $250 to over $1,000 depending on the type of tile you choose. For an inexpensive fix, choose white subway tile – a tried and true favorite amongst renters. Or if your budget allows, spring for a mosaic glass tile backsplash.
• Placing granite in a rental may be a waste. Unless you’re charging above market rent, you’re unlikely to make your money back in a timely fashion. However, you can give your renters the feel of granite by using a granite countertop paint kit or laminate from Lowes.
3. Spring for molding. Molding can make any home seem luxurious and finely detailed. And while molding can cost quite a bit of money, if you’re willing to install the molding yourself you’ll be able to save quite a bit.
• When in doubt, always choose crown molding. Other popular molding options are wainscoting and chair rail. If possible, also add molding to your doorways and over windows to create a cohesive look.
• If you’re on a tight budget, opt for faux crown molding. The material is often plastic or faux wood, but the effect is still much the same. Chances are your renters aren’t going to climb onto a ladder just to touch the crown molding.
4. Spacious Closets. In terms of storage, renters are no different than homebuyers – they always need more storage space. If you can, move a wall back a few feet to make a walk-in closet in the bedroom. Or, at the very least, install a shelving system in the bedroom closets in order to make the closet space clearly defined and useable.
• You can create your own closet system by simply installing a double-up adjustable closet rod (creates an adjustable 2nd rod) for about $10. Installing several shelves and a shoe rack will also do wonders for storage space.
• All in all, this project should cost you less than $100 and the response you’ll receive from renters will be worth the minor investment.
5. Get rid of the brass. Brass finishes scream “80s’ and unattended” to renters. It shows that the property has not been brought into the modern times, and therefore not worth paying premium rent to live in.
• Replace brass doorknockers, doorknobs, lighting fixtures, and cabinet handles/knobs with pewter or brushed nickel finishes. It’s such a small update but it makes a big difference in how the unit is perceived by prospective tenants.
Just one or two of the updates mentioned above will immediately increase the aesthetic appeal of your rental property. However, when all of the updates are implemented together, the results are astronomical: not only will you increase your appeal to renters, but your property value will increase as well.