Upgrading your rental property can be an effective way to make your property more attractive to tenants and drive up your rental income. However, it’s important to only choose upgrades that are worth the money you’ll spend and will continue to pay off.
When you invest in rental property, sometimes it’s easy to feel like there’s not much you can do to improve your profit margins. After all, your properties are already bringing in income and will continue to do so each month as long as they remain rented, right? Not necessarily.
Whether you’re starting as a landlord or are already in the game, there are plenty of things you can do to get your rental property off on the right foot and maximize your profits over time.
Renovating the Kitchen
One of the most cost-effective and popular rental property upgrades is renovating an old kitchen. When a new kitchen is installed, rent prices tend to increase; people are willing to pay more to live in a unit with modern appliances and updated cabinets and countertops. It translates into greater profits for you as a landlord. If you can swing it, investing in a completely renovated kitchen is likely one of your best options when it comes to getting more bang for your buck.
Adding a Deck
If you’re looking to boost your rental income and appeal to a broader audience, adding a deck is a great way to do it. Many renters prefer outdoor spaces to an indoor area because of their fresh air, sunlight, and privacy—especially if they have a pet or small children that may make neighbors uncomfortable. Creating an extra space on your property will also help pay for itself with increased sales or rentals in time. Make sure that you factor in how long it will take for each investment to pay off when deciding which projects are worth pursuing!
Refinishing Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are beautiful and add a warm touch to any space. However, they can also be a big hassle. Refinishing hardwood floors is not only an effective way to revamp your home, but it’s also easy on your wallet since you can do it yourself. This means saving money on hiring a contractor! In addition, you’ll be able to see results fast by starting small with your first few upgrades.
Installing New Windows
The first thing that you should consider when trying to reduce your rental property’s utility bills is installing new windows. Newer windows can help keep your home or office cooler in summer and warmer in winter. New windows are often energy-efficient enough to lower heating and cooling costs by about 20 percent.
Replacing the Front Door
Although they look great, most front doors don’t last long. The average life span of a front door is only 12 years. If you can afford to spend $1,000 or more on a brand-new door, you’ll have something that will last 25 to 30 years, which is an excellent return on investment. You can add something unique by engraving your rental name’s property at the front using a reliable laser cutting machine for wood. It not only gives it greater value but also makes it more unique and different from other homes in your area.
Adding New Curtains and Blinds
If you have a bedroom in your rental property, adding a few stylish new curtains or blinds can drastically improve your tenant’s perception of their living space. When tenants move into an apartment, they don’t always like everything about it. One common complaint is that their windows let in too much light—especially at night when it keeps them awake. Curtains and blinds are a great solution to keep out excess light.
Expanding a Basement Area
If you’re lucky enough to have a basement, there are numerous ways you can use it to your advantage. Adding a finished basement with multiple rooms, bathrooms, and a fireplace is possible. Other options include improving existing space by converting unused areas into home offices or bedroom suites. A nice feature of basements is that they tend to be cooler than living spaces because they’re below ground level and protected from direct sunlight.
Adding an amenity to your rental property, such as a refrigerator or oven, can significantly increase your income. If you’re not comfortable tackling these improvements yourself, consider hiring a contractor who specializes in renting homes and apartments. These upgrades are worth it because they bring more income to you over time.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of using quick-fix rental property upgrades —like new paint or new carpet—to bring your space up to par. But these kinds of cosmetic upgrades often don’t pay for themselves; they merely create an illusion of increased value without actually improving your bottom line. For true rental property profit potential, look at upgrading appliances and fixtures that impact day-to-day operations such as lighting, laundry equipment, ovens, and microwaves with high EnergyStar ratings.
Even though some of these upgrades will eventually increase your rent, they aren’t likely to do so right away. At best, you should count on these upgrades to help your property retain its value over time and be able to turn around and sell it at an acceptable profit.