How to Improve the Quality of Baltimore County Rental Properties on a Budget
Easy, short-term investments can radically improve your return on investment (ROI).
Many property owners in Maryland may be reluctant to spend thousands of dollars on improvements, but if it leads to increased rent, the expense may be worthwhile.
In addition, making the improvements can be fun, affordable, and easy.
Evaluating Your Rental Property for Improvements
An experienced property management company in Baltimore County might also have some ideas for improving your rental property. When you utilize property managers, they will have more contact with the property than you do and should be able to provide information about which upgrades and amenities tenants prefer in a rental. Use their expertise to give your rental property an edge in the local market.
Top Affordable Rental Property Improvements
After you have taken care of necessary upgrades, check to see what other home improvement projects are most valued by tenants in your area. When you consider your overall budget, remember that you will be able to write off some of the improvement costs when tax season rolls around. Here are some of the common projects seasoned property owners advise you to pursue.
- Deep cleaning – You’d be surprised how far a little extra attention can go. Tenants expect and appreciate cleanliness in a rental property. Some renters may be paying the same amount they would for a mortgage, so cleanliness and amenities are expected as part of the rental experience. Make sure both the interior and exterior are spotless before allowing a tenant to enter. Qualified companies that specialize in property management in Baltimore County often provide routine maintenance and cleaning services to make this improvement a simple task.
- Cosmetic changes done right – Many rental properties in Maryland are turned quickly to prepare for new renters. Tenants will notice where corners were cut and blemishes were papered over. Flaking or peeling paint and other signs of shoddy workmanship can make a property look and feel cheap. Make sure that any workers who repaint the interior and exterior of the home prep the surfaces correctly so your investment lasts for a longer period of time.
- Landscaping – Low-maintenance plants for landscaping and a well-cared-for lawn can easily make a home more attractive. Choose plants native to the area and invest in weed-controlling ground cover to reduce the maintenance needed to keep up the home’s appearance. Consider adding a garden space or window box for tenants to use.
- Head to the kitchen – Baltimore County tenants really value a kitchen that is a convenient and comfortable place to prepare food and entertain guests. Paint the walls light colors to open up the space and consider adding storage solutions in the cabinets. Tenants appreciate thoughtful details in a kitchen and will recognize the effort when they see it.
- Furniture – Rental property owners do not normally expect to furnish the homes that they rent out, but they can improve a rental home experience by adding furniture pieces that fit uniquely into the home’s design. For instance, homes with bars in the kitchen may benefit from adding bar stools. Tenants may not have or want to buy their own bar stools, so providing them gives renters an additional way to use the space.
- Bathrooms – Old, outdated bathrooms can turn people off every time they enter the space. Open up small bathrooms with creative designs and storage solutions. Paint over or replace old tilework and fixtures and make sure there is adequate lighting. Lights that are too bright or too dim can make a bathroom feel uninviting. There are easy DIY ways to cover up outdated cabinets with paint and polyurethane, and to refinish sinks. These steps may take a little more time, but they can save you thousands of dollars.
- Ceiling fans – Ceiling fans are practical amenities that make a world of difference in a rental home. They help circulate air in both the summer and winter and can significantly cut down on utility costs for tenants. They are a must-have for some renters and a yet rarity in many Maryland rentals, so installing them is a wise and inexpensive way to attract and keep tenants.
- Outside – Consider adding a porch swing or a grill. Clean patios and protected seating are valued highly by tenants and can make the outside of a home feel more complete and comfortable. Any in-ground features such as an outdoor kitchen or grill can also instantly boost the rent you charge and the resale value of the home.
- Technology – If you have the budget for it, consider adding a built-in sound system or projector to the home. Technological improvements may not be expected, but tenants find them to be attractive amenities.
Making a few changes to the interior and exterior of a home can make it vastly more appealing. Pay attention to the details, no matter how small. Whether you decide to make one upgrade or many, make sure that installations and renovation jobs are done right. Well-done work is not just appealing to your renters, but it lasts longer and increases your return on investment.
Contact Bay Property Management Group, your trusted source for Baltimore County property management, for more information about upgrading your rental home to improve its ambiance and value.