The rental market is a competitive one, and therefore offering a stylish and modern rental is key to your success. Even occupied properties can benefit from some simple upgrades to boost appeal and value. But just because you hear the word upgrades does not automatically have to mean costly. Careful selection of durable materials along with mindful changes can be friendly to your wallet while some of the smartest ways to boost your property value and increase attractiveness to new tenants. Join us below as we examine simple rental property tips to make your property more appealing, add durability, and increase value.
Simple Upgrades to Boost Rental Value
In the rental industry, keeping costs down is a priority in everyone’s mind. However, sometimes a calculated investment in improvements, however big or small, is warranted. Is your property a bit dated or looking a bit rough from countless paint touch-ups? Even if your property is occupied, your tenants should not have any issues with new upgrades as long as their regular amenities are functional. Consider these easy upgrades below to boost value in your rental.
- Replace the Flooring
- Boost Curb Appeal with New Paint
- Freshen the Walls with a Repaint
- Replace Your Light Fixtures
- Install New Vanity Cabinets and Faucets
- Add New Hardware
- Add Some Shelving
Replace the Flooring
New flooring is one of the best ways to improve your home’s appearance and property value. However, it can be difficult and stressful to install this new feature if you have tenants in your property. So, you might want to hold off on this tip until your property is vacant. Tenants often avoid properties with carpeting due to their tendency to trap smells and stains easily. If you allow pets in your rental properties, urine and feces can become trapped in these carpets, causing unpleasant odors and added professional cleaning costs. If you cannot afford to replace all of your floorings in the property, focus on the kitchen and bathroom. Sheet laminate is inexpensive and provides multiple style options for kitchens and bathrooms.
Boost Curb Appeal with New Paint
The first impression of your property is the exterior paint job and, an unimpressive exterior will not do you any favors. A bland, worn interior paint job sets the tone for the care tenants can expect on the inside. Depending on the exterior materials you have, a power wash might be enough to give it a facelift, but if not, consider repainting. You always want to choose a stock color that is neutral and easy to match. Popular paint options among property owners include:
- Light gray (exterior and interior)
- Beige (exterior and interior)
- Dark brown (exterior)
- Cream (interior and exterior)
- Light sage green (exterior)
Freshen the Walls with a Repaint
If you plan to continuously rent out the property, use a semi-gloss sheen throughout the home. This will come in handy during the turnover time since you can wipe off most smudge marks. It can be challenging to blend touch-ups to an existing paint job, so if extensive work is needed, an all-over repaint is best.
Replace Your Light Fixtures
Updating your light fixtures is a relatively inexpensive way to increase your property’s attractiveness. Tenants start noticing your light fixtures the moment they walk through the door – and cloudy, outdated, or dirty fixtures can turn them off. You can also replace your exterior light fixtures to cast a good impression on prospective tenants before they even walk through your front door. Also, consider replacing all your lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. LED bulbs are also energy efficient, providing you with an extra selling point for your leasing agent.
Install New Vanity Cabinets and Faucets
Your bathroom can look outdated and drab if you have not replaced cabinets or faucets within the last several years. However, you can update your bathroom’s style at a low cost by replacing the following:
- Vanity cabinets
- Sink faucets
There are many modern and affordable fixture options on the market. These fixtures are also easy to install and will make a lasting impression on new tenants.
Add New Hardware
Speaking of small details, many property owners tend to overlook hardware when updating their properties. These fixtures can broadcast your property’s wear and tear to prospective tenants and turn them off from your property quickly. By making a small bathroom and kitchen upgrades, you can make a room look polished and modern. Invest in these small and inexpensive hardware replacements to impress tenants with your attention to detail:
- Cabinet knobs and handles
- Outlet covers
- Curtain rods
- Towel bars
- Drawer pulls
Adding new hardware can make a home look brand new, especially in the kitchen and the bathroom. These may seem like small items, but these replacements can make a world of difference to prospective and current tenants.
Add Some Shelving
Who doesn’t like added storage? Especially when it comes to rental properties, storage is a big plus. Consider adding some inexpensive but modern floating shelves to the kitchen, bath, or living area. Another significant upgrade is to install custom organization units that maximize existing closet space. Whatever you can do to boost useable space will be appreciated by potential renters.
How to Choose the Best Flooring Option for a Rental Property
As we discussed above, flooring can play a significant role in the look and feel of your rental property. When looking at the available options, you want to weigh all of the pros and cons of each choice to find what is best. Below we take a look at the five most popular options in flooring and help you determine what may work for your property.
Top 5 Flooring Choices for Rental Properties
- Vinyl Plank (Tongue and Groove)
Today’s tile flooring production techniques are advanced, and materials come in various colors and styles. A landlord can find nearly anything as modern tiles can mimic stone, natural materials, or even wood. The possibilities are endless and can cater to a range of budgets. Tile is easy to clean, great for allergy sufferers, low maintenance, and highly durable with proper care. That said, there are some considerations before choosing this type of flooring. Tile is more outright expensive than carpet or vinyl and is heavy, requiring a stable and even subfloor for proper installation.
Hardwood flooring is a desirable and popular option with renters. Property owners can choose to go with strips, plank, or parquet in an endless variety of finishes. Wood flooring creates a beautiful flow throughout the home, and the classic look of genuine wood is unmistakable. As a flooring type, hardwood is easy to clean and can last a lifetime with proper care and the occasional refinishing. Keep in mind that hardwood is an investment and, like tile, requires a solid and even subfloor for appropriate installation. If you invest in hardwood, having an addendum to your lease requiring the tenants to protect the surface with area rugs is a great idea.
Only a truly discerning eye can tell the difference between laminate and actual hardwood. Today’s high-quality laminate options are very durable while offering a variety of finish options. Thanks to state-of-the-art graphic design techniques, the printed top layer looks as close to real wood as possible. Laminate is generally less expensive then the previous options we mentioned while still providing excellent durability. Also, it is easy to clean, easy to install, and stands up to at least small amounts of moisture. Slightly textured options are best since laminate can be quite slippery. Keep in mind that only a handful of patterns come in each box, so installation must be carefully planned.
Vinyl Plank (Tongue and Groove)
This is a popular and cost-effective choice in flooring for rental properties. With so many options and finishes to choose from, it is an appealing option for any style of décor. Most vinyl flooring is resistant to water, making it perfect for entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, and homes with pets. Ease of installation means fitting into tight spaces requires nothing more than a sharp blade. Repairs are also easy to do, and the material is quite stain resistant. The downsides are the material is softer than wood and therefore susceptible to marks and scratches, it is glued down and difficult to remove, plus some may fade if exposed to continuous sunlight.
Carpeting is the go-to standard of rental properties. It is easy and quick to install plus comes in a variety of options and price ranges. Plenty of landlords still flock to this option but before ruling out the options above, consider the lifespan of the carpet. While it is plush, easily replaced, and provides a cozy feel, carpeting is a magnet for stains. High traffic areas wear down quickly, and regular deep cleaning is inevitable. Be sure to factor these added maintenance needs into your decision before opting out of a more durable flooring option.
How to Choose the Right Paint for Your Rental?
As we mentioned above, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the overall appeal of your rental property. When choosing a paint color and finish, it may seem overwhelming. The tips below will help keep you on the right track to garner the most bang for your buck. While you may be tempted to go bold or trendy as you would in your own home, remember, you are not living in the rental. A rental property needs to have a broad sweeping appeal, and therefore, neutral is best. Check out these tips for choosing paint below.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Paint Color
- Avoid using bold and daring colors
- Use neutrals correctly
- Choose paints that don’t show dirt
- Use high-quality paint (the more durable, the better)
Types of Paint and How to Use Them in a Rental Property
Determining the right paint finish for the job is just as important as choosing the color. The finish and quality of the paint will directly affect the durability. So, before getting out your paint rollers, join us below to familiarize yourself with the different types of available paint finishes.
- High Gloss – This is a durable and easy to clean option that will dry with a lot of shine. While it is excellent at repelling sticky fingers and oils, it’s important to remember the shiny finish also shows every bump on your walls. This paint is best for areas such as Cabinets, Doors, Trim, and Kitchen Spaces.
- Semi-Gloss – Offering a slight sheen that can handle moisture and takes abuse well, semi-gloss works best in the following areas: Kitchens, Bathrooms, Trim, and Laundry Rooms.
- Satin – Satin paint does not have a distinct shine like the previous options. However, they can still hold up to wear and tear. Satin finish walls are best suited to the following areas: Family Rooms, Hallways, Playrooms, and Children’s Bedrooms.
- Eggshell – Hoovering in between satin and matte, eggshell is a versatile finish. It provides good coverage of small imperfections but can show dirt and not hold up as well to high traffic parts of the home. It is best suited for lower traffic areas of the home, such as Dining Rooms, Living Areas, and Home Offices.
- Flat or Matte – Boasting no shine and higher pigment, matte paint has its place on specific areas around the house. It provides excellent coverage and quickly hides surface abnormalities. Additionally, it is one of the more affordable choices on our list and is best suited to the following rooms: Adult Bedrooms, Ceilings, and Low Traffic Areas.
How to Maximize Rentability and Return on Investment?
The answer, invest in property management services! Making necessary upgrades to your rental property can take a great deal of time and cause added stress. Don’t feel you have the time to devote to extensive projects? Consider enlisting the services of a property management group to assist you in the upgrade process and more essential property services. Our property managers will help you with multiple aspects of running your rental, including:
- Tenant applications and screenings
- Eviction notices
- Tax forms
- Property maintenance and upgrades
- Property inspection
- Rent collection
- Monthly financial statements
Maintenance on your rental property is inevitable, but do not let wear and tear drive your property value down. Having a budget and a schedule for regular property updates can help increase your rental value and secure new tenants more quickly. By making updates to your property with durable materials now, you will save yourself time and money for repairs in the future.
Bay Property Management Group offers top-quality property management services for rental property owners throughout Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. We understand your rental property is an investment – so contact Bay Property Management Group today to see how our comprehensive services can create a stress-free ownership experience.