Every real estate investor wants to see their property increase in value. While waiting for an upswing in the housing market can get the value to go up, there are some physical and immediate things that landlords can do to boost the property value of a rental home even more. We’re going to cover the best upgrades for rental property to increase rent and your bottom line.
Unlike improvements in a primary residence, rental property improvements need to achieve a balance between investing enough to boost the value of the property and attract top tenants, and spending too much money on all the wrong things without seeing a return on the investment.
The best rental property investments will increase the property value without over-improving it.
7 Best Upgrades for Rental Property to Increase Rent
1. Upgrade Plumbing Fixtures
Kitchen and bathroom fixtures like faucets, sinks and sprayers can get old and dingy very quickly, not to mention looking out of date. For fixtures that are around 10 years old, no matter what condition, landlords should consider changing them out.
A shiny chrome finish is currently associated with standard grade, so moving up to more refined finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel will boost the look of the rental property. Whatever landlords choose, they should make sure that all the fixtures are the same to bring harmony and unity to the home’s décor.
2. Install Better Countertops
The lowest quality countertops are the plastic laminate ones that don’t stay nice for long as they are subject to discoloration from liquids and burns. Over time, laminate countertops just don’t hold up.
Installing countertops made of granite, slate, quartz, or other solid surface material will boost the look of any kitchen and bathroom. Stone alternatives for countertops include acrylic/polyester composites, ceramic tile and stained concrete that are durable and beautiful.
3. Replace the Floor
Putting in a new floor in certain areas or throughout the rental property is an excellent way to boost property values. Replacing standard grade carpet and linoleum with higher end material like laminate, tile, stone or even hardwood will not only add value, but it will make caring, cleaning and repairing the floor so much easier for tenants and landlords.
Here’s a handy guide on flooring options for rental properties.
4. Increase Storage
Storage is one of the top priorities for renters, so landlords can really make their property shine by increasing the storage options. Some small and simple ideas for boosting storage include adding hooks to key areas like entryways and bathrooms, installing closet organizing systems, and adding additional shelving in a pantry.
More involved storage upgrades include installing permanent shelving in the garage, creating built-in shelves or in-wall storage, framing in a new closet and adding a shed on the property.
5. Newer, Better Windows
Depending on the age of the rental property, it may be time to install new windows. Not only do windows contribute to keeping a property light and bright, but they are a critical part of keeping heat and cold at bay.
Landlords should consider upgrading to double pane windows to provide better insulation and to muffle outside sounds. Other upgrade options include windows with blinds inside the panes or insulated windows.
6. Put a Good Roof Over Their Heads
When a roof reaches approximately fifteen years old, it’s time to get it replaced. Neglecting the roof can lead to serious damage in severe weather. Landlords should have a roofing inspector check out the roof regularly and make arrangements to replace it on their recommendation.
A quality roof not only looks good but protects the investment beneath it.
7. Miscellaneous Upgrades
There are all kinds of unique upgrades that landlords can do to the rental property that will boost the value. Ideas include installing tankless water heaters, surround sound systems, hard landscaping, siding, and even adding some square footage, like an additional bedroom or bathroom.
Of course, minor and major kitchen and bathroom remodeling has been revealed as the best way to boost property values.
If landlords are going to be spending money on improving their rental property to attract higher quality tenants and boost property values, it’s important to focus on the right things. A fancy kitchen won’t do much if the roof is leaking or basement has mold.
Landlords should always start with taking care of the basics and then tackle the more cosmetic improvements down the road.
Landlords should also avoid doing too much with the upgrades and over-improve. Putting in the top of the line flooring material, for example, isn’t a wise idea in a rental where the landlord has little control over how tenants will treat the home.
Landlords need to find that fine line between investing in their property and doing so much that they won’t ever benefit from the fruits of their hard work.