As housing prices continue to increase, the time to capitalize on the value of your property is now.
The question is: How?
Appraisals are based on recent sales prices of comparable properties. They’re also meant to be coldly objective. The square footage, amenities, materials used in building, and the condition it’s in all figure into the appraiser’s assessment of your property.
In other words, you’ll need a lot more than charm to convince an appraiser that your property is valuable. Save the cookies baking in the oven and bowls of potpourri for potential renters – the appraiser will be taking a much closer look at your property to determine how much it’s worth.
Ready to learn how to impress your appraiser? Keep reading, and you’ll learn the top 8 ways you can boost the value of your property!
The 8 Best Ways for Baltimore Landlords to Increase Property Value
1. Hire an Inspector
Baltimore property managers should hire inspectors so they know how much their properties are worth before ever considering renovations or other improvements.
Because you can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken!
An inspector will check for deteriorating roofs and floors, termite infestations, outdated electrical systems, water leaks, and more. Hidden problems like these can significantly affect your property’s value and become much more expensive if you put them off for too long.
2. Consider Your “Theme”
Each property has its own personality and function.
If you stay theme-appropriate, your property will be more desirable amongst renters and buyers looking for a particular type of home.
Let’s say you’re restoring an old log cabin in the mountains. Log cabin renters and buyers probably aren’t looking for granite countertops or heated bathroom floors.
And if you’re a Baltimore property manager, there’s a good chance the majority of potential tenants aren’t searching for a home with a rustic ranch theme.
So, focus on accentuating your property’s pre-existing charm. Highlight features that contribute to its overall theme. That way, you’ll get a higher appraisal value and more attention from renters and buyers looking for a property that’s just right.
3. Choose the Right Paint for Walls and Ceilings
There are two property features that scream “Please update me immediately!”
The first is wood paneling on the walls – especially wood panels with high-gloss finish. If you’re trying to raise the value of your property, tearing this out is a good first step. Replace it with drywall, and find some neutral colors.
Beiges, grays, and variations on standard white are much more appealing to most people than “loud” colors.
The second is popcorn ceilings – they simply don’t look modern. And often, they’re there because of cracks and bad seams in the ceiling. The best choice is to drywall right over them and never look back.
4. Update Your Kitchens and Bathrooms
Upgrading to stainless steel appliances and stone or granite countertops will dramatically raise the value of your home.
The aesthetic appeal of any space can be enhanced with these additions, but the little touches matter too. Details like shiny knobs on cabinets, a sparkling new faucet for the sink, extra electrical outlets for appliances (and phone chargers) – all of these can have serious impact on your property value.
The same goes for your bathrooms. If you have cracked/off-color toilets and sinks or an ancient-looking vanity, the space won’t be very inviting.
So, install new toilets, sinks, and mirrors if you can. Add more storage space and, if possible, a window. Natural lighting can illuminate a bathroom like nothing else.
5. Cut Energy Costs
How much you spend on energy costs each month may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers’ homes.
If you use this service, you can learn how to maximize the energy efficiency of your property. Not only will energy efficiency save you money – it’ll become a marketable asset later on.
So, start by replacing old fixtures with new ones. Then, consider these common causes of high energy costs:
- Air conditioners
- Heating/boiler units
- Leaky water heaters
- Pool pumps
- Faulty thermostats
- Refrigerators (with poor door seals)
- Old insulation
Updating these can have significant impact on efficiency and will raise your property value as well.
Tip: Check out this blog post for more energy-saving tips to lower your utility costs as a Baltimore landlord.
6. Stay Clean
Nothing drives away would-be tenants faster than grime and weird smells.
Put yourself in their shoes – if you were looking for a place to live, would you want to live in a run down, dirty environment?
Definitely not. So, keeping your property as clean as possible is vital to keeping a high property value.
Both the interior and exterior of your properties should be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. That means sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing every surface.
The bigger the checks you expect from tenants and buyers, the cleaner your property must be.
Tip: Read this post to learn how to handle previous tenants who have left a mess in your property!
7. Landscape for Curb Appeal
A nicely mowed lawn and some well-placed shrubs and flower beds will make a great first impression.
Think about it. When potential renters or buyers pull up to your Baltimore property, they need to be able to imagine themselves living there. They’ll picture both strangers and people they know driving by the property and thinking, “Wow!”
Plus, when your property is undergoing its appraisal process, the appraiser will take the property’s exterior into consideration. Every dollar counts when raising your property value.
Tip: Check out this blog post for more information on adding curb appeal to your rental properties.
8. Highlight Major Improvements
If you recently replaced your roof, appliances, remodeled a room, or added a new patio – mention it.
Make sure your inspector checks the improvements out and that your appraiser is aware of the addition.
That being said, you should avoid putting your property through major improvements unless it’s going to be worth it in the long run.
So, be sure not to remodel like crazy hoping it will raise your property value, without data backing it up. Stay smart, and focus on the improvements that will raise the appeal of your property the most.
The Bottom Line
Now that you’re read this post, you should be well-equipped to boost the value of your properties in a way that results in a good return on your investments.
Remember not to overspend on improvements. The last thing you need on top of all your other duties as a Baltimore landlord is to be worried about money!
And if you want to learn more about improving your property values, or if you’re interested in outsourcing some of your more difficult landlord tasks, consider hiring a Baltimore property management company like Bay Management Group. We can help you gain more free time by removing the biggest hassles from your life as a landlord.
For more information, contact us today!