Every renter has a list of things they would love to have in their next rental home. Sitting high on that list is a beautiful kitchen. Unlike other rooms on the property, there is a lot that can be done to personalize and customize a kitchen. Thus, this area can quickly change the whole style of the property and help attract a larger pool of applicants. That said, upgraded kitchens will not only help lease the property faster but will allow owners to charge higher rent. So. whether your investment property’s kitchen is in desperate need of an overhaul or could simply use a couple of upgrades, here is where you will find the best return.
Top 5 Kitchen Upgrades that Add Value to Your Rental Property
The kitchen is the heart of any home and, therefore, a huge selling point for buyers or renters. So, landlords will want to give this room the attention it deserves with strategic upgrades with the best ROI. Stylish kitchens can attract renters and help get the property rented faster. However, before you decide what to splurge on and what to skip, check out our top suggestions below.
- Consider the Cabinetry
- Change Out the Countertops
- Swap Out Appliances
- Fix the Flooring
- Swap Out the Hardware and Fixtures
Consider the Cabinetry
In many cases, cabinets can be refaced to provide a complete facelift rather than tearing out the entire assembly and starting over. Consider refacing to save serious cash as long as there is no severe rot, water damage, pest infestations, mold, or other types of fatal damage. On the other hand, cheap particle board and other low-grade materials are not usually candidates for refacing. So, if your property has these, opt for replacement once they’ve deteriorated.
Choosing lighter colors of paint or wood can help the space look larger, cleaner, and more inviting. Furthermore, if the kitchen is large enough, consider a built-in or mobile island for added surface area and storage.
- Average Cost of Complete Cabinet Replacement – $2,500 to $10,000 or more depending on materials, size, and finishes
- Estimated Cost Range to Reface Existing Cabinets – $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the material chosen
Change Out the Countertops
Similar to changing the cabinetry., upgrading countertops can quickly change the entire look of a kitchen. The cost of natural stone has come down over the years, making it more affordable for everyone. One of the best options for a rental property is quartz, which combines natural minerals with durable resins. Quartz is stain and scratch-resistant and considered to be environmentally friendly as it’s made by utilizing what would otherwise be waste stone. Moreover, it is available in a variety of attractive colors and patterns to suit any style.
Natural stone such as granite may also be a good choice. However, granite is not quite as durable as quartz. That said, void wood and butcher-block styles, even though they may be trendy at the moment. These materials stain easily and are often mistaken for a cutting board and gouged up. Tile should be avoided as it’s not only outdated but also high-maintenance. Skip the Formica and laminate as well since neither is exceptionally durable nor pleasing to the eye.
- Typical Cost of Quartz Countertops – $40 to $100 per square foot
- Estimated Cost of a Granite Countertop – $2,500 to $6,000
- Average Cost of a Corian Countertop – $3,500 or around $40 to $70 per square foot
Swap Out Appliances
Appliances get a lot of use and therefore can show their age faster than many other elements in a rental property. After all, old or dated appliances can translate to more frequent repairs and higher energy costs, which concern tenants. Typically, rental properties must provide a range and a refrigerator. However, adding a dishwasher will be a significant bonus as most people expect to find one in the kitchen these days. Microwaves are another optional addition, but even a countertop model will be a draw for new tenants.
Ideally, all appliances should be in matching colors and spotless, shining stainless finishes were the go-to choice for many years. That said, other finishes are becoming more common—and more affordable—in kitchens. Black stainless is one of the newest additions to the kitchen palette, along with matte-steel finishes. On the other hand, traditional black appliances are making a comeback too. Thus, helping save the budgets of homeowners and investors who seek to create beautiful, functional kitchens that are meant to last.
- Average Cost to Add a Dishwasher – $250 to $800
- Adding a Microwave to Your Rental Property – $50 to $250
- Installing New Energy Efficient Appliances – $1,500 to $7,000
Fix the Flooring
Flooring materials are not typically a significant selling point, but an old, outdated floor in disrepair will undoubtedly be a turnoff. In general, the flooring should flow with the color scheme in the kitchen and be made of water-safe materials. This is essential to preventing costly and unattractive warping from spills. Unfortunately, dishwasher failures or leaky sinks can often spell disaster for high-end flooring, especially wood or laminate. So, if wood floors match your aesthetic, consider ceramic or porcelain tile that is made to look like wood. Thus, providing vital durability and water resistance.
- Cost Range for Wood-look Porcelain Tile – $3 to $35 per square foot
- Hardwood Flooring Costs – $6 to $15 per square foot
- Average Cost of Ceramic Tile Flooring – $15 to $20 per square foot, including installation
Swap Out the Hardware and Fixtures
For significant impact and little effort, changing out simple fixtures or hardware is the way to go. New hardware can instantly change the entire look of a kitchen, bringing a tired kitchen into the 21st century. That said, kitchen upgrades do not have to end with the hardware. So, take a look at faucets and even light fixtures, which can also appear dated and unattractive. Therefore, if it is in the budget, consider swapping these out for a more modern alternative that will appeal to today’s renter.
- Average Cost for New Kitchen Hardware – $2 to $20 per knob or pull depending on style and material
- Estimated Cost of a New Kitchen Faucet – $80 to $300
- Estimated Cost of an Upgraded Light Fixture – $50 to $250 per piece, not including installation
- Typical Cost Range to Install Pendant Lighting – $80 to $250 per light
- Average Cost of Under Cabinet Lighting – $250 to $800
Things to Consider Before Making Kitchen Upgrades
When it comes to kitchen upgrades in a rental property, spending more money does not mean adding equivalent value. Full-scale renovations cost upwards of $30,000, and with an ROI of around 60% on the high end, this is rarely worth it in a rental. While the tips above offer suggestions for kitchen upgrades, there are also some things landlords should avoid. So, if you are contemplating a kitchen renovation, consider the following –
Keep it Simple
Everyone loves a luxurious 5-star kitchen – but not everyone is willing to pay for that, especially in a rental. So, keep changes simple and focus on choosing durable yet stylish materials.
Review the Comps
Embarking on a renovation project without thoroughly researching the competition in the area is a huge mistake. Therefore, choose finishes carefully and keep the scale of upgrades in line with the local area. For example, if homes similar to yours in the area rent for $1500 a month, adding a $50,000 kitchen and trying to make that back with higher rent may make the property harder to rent. Instead, focus on surface changes that combine maximum appeal with a cost-effective budget.
Avoid Personalized Style
Bold design choices may make the cover of magazines, but rental properties should provide a blank slate. Therefore, renovating to your specific taste or new trend means you could limit your tenant pool. Instead of going for bold and dramatic, stick to neutrals that highlight the home’s natural character.
Improving Rental ROI Through Professional Management
When purchasing or updating an investment property, the goal is to provide a comfortable home while also maximizing income potential. Kitchens play a unique role by being a deciding factor for many tenants while also consuming the most significant percentage of a renovation budget. When it comes to maximizing profits, successful investors turn to qualified rental property management. Property managers have the local and industry knowledge to help independent landlords take their investment business to the next level.
So, for help finding the right tenants and managing the renters you already have, talk to the experts at Bay Property Management Group Philadelphia. We are broker-owned and locally operated, making us exclusively experienced in balancing the needs of investors and tenants. So, give us a call today to learn how full-service rental management can make a difference for you.