If you’re looking to garner top rental dollar and increase value in your investment property , you may be wondering how you can do that. While it’s not advised to over-improve your rental property, there are a few to-do items that will get a high return on investment.
Freshen it Up with Paint
The most obvious of updates also has the highest return on investment for any rehab budget. A fresh coat of paint livens up the space and leaves it looking crisp and new. Take the extra time and coat the ceiling, too. Ideally, you’ll also freshen up the baseboards and trim since those take a beating and quickly show their age.
Stick to a classic palette –– a crisp white or off-white that doesn’t lean into the yellows, since that makes your property look old and dingy. Consider purchasing your paint in bulk and keeping one color for the entire property –– or one for main spaces and one for bedrooms. Sticking with one paint color will simplify any touchups needed in the future.
Add Curb Appeal
People make snap judgments about everything, and the same goes for your income property. If you have a yard, spend a weekend giving it a little facelift. Paint the front door, mow and edge the lawn, trim up the hedges or add some flowers. If your house is looking dingy, consider pressuring washing the exterior –– a few hundred dollars and a few hours of sweat, equity will go a long way. Keep it simple, but it will make your rental stand out from the rest.
If you have a unit inside of a condo building, you can still work on your curb appeal. Following HOA rules, perhaps you can paint the front door, or minimally add a doormat, update the lighting. Even consider changing your hardware or the door itself, since doors and hardware take a lot of wear and tear in a rental property.
A rookie mistake is to throw down carpeting throughout your rental property. Carpeting is very high maintenance. It shows wear very quickly, even with minimal use, and it needs to be replaced quite frequently –– in as few as five years, you’ll find yourself needing to purchase new carpeting for your entire property. Yikes.
Consider investing in hardwood floors to increase value in your investment property , and are less expensive than many think. The advantage is twofold: renters love them since they make your property seem more high end. They also require very little maintenance and easily last twenty or more years. Pro tip: light hardwood shows less hair and scratches than a dark finish.
If you can’t afford or don’t want to invest in hardwoods, consider a vinyl hardwood lookalike.
This cheap, quick update to your kitchen will go a long way. Not only will your property look nicer and more high end, but it also will be easier to clean and ultimately lower maintenance. Paint near water gets dingy and needs updating, but a backsplash just requires a quick wipe, and it’s good to go.
Consider a classic choice like a white subway tile with a medium colored, gray grout. The dark grout means it won’t show wear and tear, and the white tile will match any kitchen and give it that polished look. Bonus is the fact that subway tile costs only pennies per tile.
Replace Light Switches and Outlets
Light switches, switch plates, and outlets are such an easy, cheap way to take your property to the next level. With a hundred dollars and an afternoon, you’ll not only be able to freshen your unit, but also check that everything is functioning correctly.
Crisp, clean white is the classic, smart choice for any outlet or switch. Consider adding outlets with USB plugs integrated into them into a few choice spots in the unit –– perhaps next to the beds, in the living room, and the office space, if you have one. This small touch is appreciated by renters and upgrades the space to bring it into 2020.
Upgrade Your Window Coverings to Increase Value in your Investment Property
Many rental properties come with one-inch metal blinds, and while they are cheap, they also look like it. For not much more, you can get faux wood two-inch blinds for those same windows. This simple upgrade makes your unit look more polished and well cared for. You can find these faux blinds at any big box store, and they’ll even cut them to size for each window. In addition, the shades cover up any less than perfect windows –– talk about a win-win.