Although the idea of flipping a real estate investment is an exciting one, reality often doesn’t align with the cable television shows that claim to document these endeavors. In real life, investors that dive into an ill-maintained property frequently discover that the repairs and renovations needed are far more extensive – and expensive – than they had initially planned.
This is why turnkey investment properties are such a good investment strategy. A turnkey rental is ready to go on day one – and some of them even come with tenants already on board. This isn’t to say that some turnkey rentals can’t use a bit of updating. In fact, rental property renovations can help you get more rent each month, cement your reputation as an amazing landlord, attract the best tenants, and keep your property rented out more consistently. Here are some of the best rental property renovations to get the most for your money.
The best rental property renovations are cosmetic ones that can be done quickly and at a low cost. Painting is one of the easiest items to put on your landlord to-do list, whether it’s a small paint project that you can take on yourself or a larger one that you hire out. Refreshing the paint on the interior or exterior of a home or apartment can take it from looking drab, dingy, and improperly cared-for to making it look brand-new. This is an excellent project to take on when the property is vacant in between tenants.
Unfortunately, the old saying “Never judge a book by its cover” just doesn’t work when it comes to rental properties. Potential tenants will judge your property by how it looks on the outside, from the paint to the external maintenance and the landscaping.
It’s an incredibly easy fix to put a bit of time and money into creating aesthetically-pleasing landscaping for your properties. This is as simple as keeping the grass and shrubbery well-trimmed on a regular basis, as well as installing some attractive bushes and plants that will generate color. If you have room, create a usable outdoor space for your tenants to relax or entertain guests. This will make your investment more valuable and raise the property’s overall value.
Perhaps the bathroom and kitchen could use a total gut-and-remodel to refresh it, but in addition to a new coat of paint, have you considered simply replacing the plumbing fixtures? You’d be surprised at how different a shower looks (and feels) when you remove the old shower head that’s covered in hard water buildup and squirts every direction except downwards and replace it with a shiny new massaging shower head.
The same goes with the bathroom and kitchen sinks. In addition to putting in something brand-new, it doesn’t cost much to upgrade to a model with a bit more functionality (a kitchen faucet with a pull-out sprayer that makes cleaning large pots and cutting boards a snap, for example). These aren’t stand-out items that you’d advertise in a rental listing, but they make a big difference in the overall impression of your property — especially if you’d like to get top dollar on the rent.
There’s nothing worse than a house with dirty, dingy carpeting. Even if it was brand-new when your tenants moved in, if it’s more than a few years old, it’s probably time to change it out. Of all the rental property renovations, carpeting is the one that makes the biggest difference in terms of visual appearance and utility. It speaks depths about your commitment to being a quality landlord. In general, it’s a good policy to change out the carpet in between each long-term tenant — especially if they have pets or small children.
Rental property renovations don’t have to involve large, expensive projects that will cost you excessive amounts of time and money. With a few cosmetic fixes, you’ll be able to request the maximum amount of rent, as well as keep your tenants pleased.