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8 Affordable Upgrades To Improve Your Rental Property

Maintaining your property is incredibly important when you’re looking for prospective renters. To entice potential renters, you want to show that your property has been taken care of. Showing that it hasn’t been neglected and quality of life improvements have been made on a consistent basis doesn’t just tell them it would be suitable to live in; it also shows the amount of care you put into your investments. Not every upgrade you make to your property has to break the bank, though. We’ve gathered eight of the most affordable and beneficial upgrades that you can make to your property to bring in potential renters. Maintaining your property is incredibly important when you’re looking for prospective renters. To entice potential renters, you want to show that your property has been taken care of. Showing that it hasn’t been neglected and quality of life improvements have been made on a consistent basis doesn’t just tell them it would be suitable to live in; it also shows the amount of care you put into your investments. Not every upgrade you make to your property has to break the bank, though. We’ve gathered eight of the most affordable and beneficial upgrades that you can make to your property to bring in potential renters.

If you’re a property owner looking for a way to make your rental property even more enticing, you need a good property management company. For central Arkansas, your go-to for that is Real Property Management.

-Replace Cabinet Doors

While many people go all in and replace worn down cabinets as a whole, often times you can achieve the same effect with less investment just by replacing the cabinet doors. Replacing them with high-quality, sturdy wooden doors, along with new hinges and knobs, can create a totally fresh appearance. If the cabinets are still in good shape but you still want to update their appearance, a new coat of paint is a cost-effective option to improve the overall aesthetic of a room.

Helpful Tip:

Install cabinet doors that match the frames to avoid a patchwork look. While other options may be cheaper, you don’t want to skimp on this type of upgrade.

Potential Cost:

(Paint) $18–$35 for a gallon or $90–$150 for five gallons. (Cabinet Doors) $1,000–$3,000

-Fresh Paint

Whether or not you decided to paint your cabinet doors, the walls within your rental might benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Many people have seen that painting carries the highest return on investment of any upgrades you could make to a property. However, it’s important to keep in mind the quality of the paint you are using. Quite a few investors end up buying poorly mixed paint because it was sold at a large discount. While it may seem frugal at first, it will make paint matching for touch-ups incredibly difficult. If you’re going to be repainting on a large-scale, it’s recommended to negotiate a discount for purchasing a bulk order of paint.

Helpful Tip:

Keep color choices neutral to appeal to the widest amount of potential renters possible. If you would like to use more striking colors, keep them reserved to accent walls to bring definition to a room without becoming overbearing.

Potential Cost:

(Depending on amount of paint needed) $100–$1,000

-Replace Doors

Doors are often the most damaged piece of any rental property. While many investors ignore this or try to cover it up with paint, replacing the doors can hugely improve the visual appeal of a rental unit. Luckily, new doors aren’t that expensive. While you may want to put a bit more into an exterior door for security reasons, doors within the property will typically be quite affordable. Check with a local building supply company, as they may be able to offer you a considerable discount on extra doors. You can save even more money if you install the door on the existing frame, though this may not be possible depending on which replacements you choose.

Helpful Tip:

You can add extra value with secure locks (such as keypads) on a front door to provide safety for your tenants.

Potential Cost:

$500–$5,000

-Pressure Wash

Whether you own an apartment building or a home, the first thing that someone notices is how it looks on the outside. Curb appeal is a massive piece of attracting potential renters and its importance should not be overlooked. While many people will put thousands upon thousands of dollars into improving the interior of the home or apartment, too often cleaning the outside is overlooked. Pressure washing is an easy way to make your rental look reinvigorated with minimal investment. Whether you do it yourself or you hire a company to do it for you, the amount you spend compared to your return can’t be ignored.

Helpful Tip:

Avoid pressure washing the roof of your property, as it can damage the shingles and require costly repairs.

Potential Cost:

$100–$500

-Landscaping

Curb appeal extends to the area that surrounds your property, and, as such, deserves just as much attention as the building itself. If you’re willing to do some yard work on your own, landscaping materials can be quite inexpensive. Freshly cut grass and a lawn free of weeds gets across that you care about this property and so will your renter. You can even add something small, like flowers, to give your property a bit more color and make it feel more inviting if you’re having trouble attracting renters. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this can make.

Helpful Tip:

While it can take a long time to grow, planting a tree can bring a whole new dimension to your property. Shade bearing trees are especially good, as they can be used for passive cooling in the summer if placed properly, which reduces energy bills.

Potential Cost:

$100–$500

-Wood Flooring

Though this is a more expensive upgrade, the amount of money you save in the long run more than makes up for the initial costs. When you have carpet in your rental property, you are asking for trouble. Carpet seems to be a magnet for stains and looks dull or dingy after minimal wear, which is especially true with cheap carpet. Most property owners end up having to replace carpet every five years.  Wood flooring, in contrast, doesn’t stain as easily and requires minimal upkeep. Depending on the type of flooring you choose, a good wood floor will run you about the same as an expensive piece of carpet. Tenants absolutely love the look of wood flooring, so this will make your property stand out compared to other properties they are looking at. Best of all, wood flooring rarely needs to be replaced and is easy to fix. This saves you money and effort in the long run.

Helpful Tip:

Choose a light-colored hardwood floor to minimize the appearance of scratches. Dark hardwood floors will show scratches and dirt much more than lighter floors.

Potential Cost:

$3,000–$10,000

-Install Backsplashes

If you want an easy way to reinvigorate a tired kitchen, adding a backsplash can easily make something old feel new again. They’re durable, easy to clean, and help prevent stains from cooking that would cause you to repaint the kitchen. When choosing a backsplash, it’s a good idea to stick to classic styles, such as white subway tiles, to avoid dating your property. Avoid the trendy colors and styles to ensure a timeless look that you won’t have to replace in a few years.

Helpful Tip:

Backsplashes can add a new layer of depth to a kitchen or it can blend in with the rest of the wall. Black and white checkerboard is a classic look that can make a kitchen feel vibrant.

Potential Cost:

Varies depending on what type of tile you choose, how much you install, and if you install it yourself.

-In-Unit Washer and Dryer

If you want to offer potential renters a tangible value proposition, there’s not much that is better than an in-unit washer and dryer. Offering this convenience resonates with renters because nobody likes to haul their dirty clothes across town to a laundromat. You can find pre-owned washer/dryer combinations online in good shape for about $400–$650, though brand new ones will be about $1,200. While that can seem steep, the value of having in-unit laundry service means you can add an extra $50 to $80 to monthly rent, which will pay off the cost of the machines in no time.

Helpful Tip:

If your property is short on space, stackable washer and dryer units provide the same value while minimizing the amount of room they take up. This is especially appealing to prospective renters that like to keep their spaces free of clutter.

Potential Cost:

$150–$1,200

We hope this has helped give you some ideas for affordable upgrades you can make to your rental property. When you want to take your rental to the next level, call Real Property Management of Central Arkansas to learn what we can do for you. We hope to hear from you soon!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.