Say you own multiple properties and are looking to turn your oldest property into a place fit for a King - or a few students. Either way, there’s definitely a demand for rentals, no matter where you are and if you can provide a clean, safe, good-looking place for people to live, live-there-they-shall. “Build it, and they will come,” as the old adage goes.
If you’re looking to rent your place, but it’s in need of some touch-ups, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to prioritize. First, you’ll need to figure out how much money you’re willing to put into the property and what your rental price will be to ensure a fast return on investment. Figure out what your market is, too, is your property fitting for a group of students, or more of a family home?
If your property does need some work, but you’re stuck on where to start, here are five home renovations you can perform that will get you a positive return on rent.
Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint when it comes to making a place look brand spanking new. Even if it needs work on the inside, one of the best things you can do to spice up your rental is to give it a fresh coat of paint. If the old paint from years ago is peeling, then it needs replacing. If your deck is looking worse-for-wear, then it needs painting.
You can either do this paint job yourself, or, if it’s the whole house, you might consider hiring a professional to do this for you. Professional painters can get the job done much quicker than you, as they have the manpower and tools. Rather than going at it for weeks at a time, most professional painters will spray the sides of a house and then apply the finishing touches with brushes, saving them (and you) many, many work hours.
A fresh coat of paint will give a fresh, new look to an old house and has a positive psychological effect on prospective tenants, who are more likely to choose a freshly painted house over an old, worn out one.
One room to pay attention when considering what to do with the interior of your prospective rental is the bathroom. If you’ve lived or own an older home, chances are that the bathroom will be small and cramped, without much to it other than a shower or bathtub or both, a sink and a toilet. Other tell-tale signs of a necessary renovation might be: leakage from pipes, peeling paint, water damage from flooring and the build-up of mold from poor ventilation of moisture.
Any type of remodeling of your bathroom can cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on what you do to it. If your bathroom does resemble the small, cramped quarters mentioned above, then it might be worth spending a bit of money and expanding it. Give people some breathing room in there. You can either gut the bathtub and replace it with a walk-in shower, or have both a walk-in shower and a bathtub, but make it claw-foot and have it separate from the shower unit completely. The most important thing with a bathroom renovation is the creation of space. People don’t like to go to the toilet in tight quarters.
A further appeal to new renters will be a brand new kitchen. There’s nothing quite like the sparkle and shine of new kitchen taps or appliances. If you had an old kitchen, where everything was made of wood and the countertops were pressed-wood, then it might be time for a change in the kitchen.
There are a few small things you can do before you go the whole hog with a full new kitchen. Things like changing the cupboards for more modern ones, the affixing of new taps and a new sink, replacing your old-looking light source with things like pot lights.
Choose between either a benchtop oven or a microwave - don’t have both, it’s unnecessary and wasteful. Buy a convection oven, or a gas oven, as it uses less energy than it’s electric counterparts. However many changes you choose to make, a new kitchen is essential for making a renter feel like you’ve really put some effort into making this property their new home.
If you have an old property, chances are you’ve just let the gardens lapse over the years. There isn’t enough time in the day to pay attention to your own lawn, never mind the one in your other property. But, if you’re planning on renting that property, then the garden really needs to look good. It’s the first thing that a potential renter will see, so it needs to look good.
Make sure that the lawn is well-kept and that the overgrowing flowers or trees have been properly trimmed. If you have a big project and are unsure of where to begin, consider hiring a professional landscaper to come in and assess it. They may suggest changing up some of the look of the garden completely, whether that’s tearing out old flower beds to put in new ones, or the installation of a greenhouse of some sort. A good-looking garden will give a new tenant a great first perspective and also have them envisioning spending their own leisure time in the space.
One of the best things you can do inside to replace any old carpets with either new carpets, or new flooring entirely. Carpet, generally, is a thing of the late nineties and early 2000s. It now, alongside nicer-looking flooring such as wood, or even faux click-flooring looks far, far inferior and will give an old feel to what is supposed to be a new space. Whatever your plans are for the rest of the house, replacing the carpets is key to giving your new tenants a new-look place to move into.
Whatever the state of the old house, doing it up for rental isn’t a cheap process, but it will be worth it when it pays for itself within the first few years. You’ll need to figure out who you want to rent the space to, but if you do the five simple steps above, you’ll be able to find tenants in no time and begin recouping your expenses immediately.