Author: Emila Smith
Sooner or later, every rental property will require some renovation work. Not only do tenants add to the wear and tear of the home, but attracting new ones and achieving top-dollar rental rates requires maintaining and improving the property.
The most important thing to consider when renovating an investment property is how you can best make every dollar count when it comes to improving your return on investment (ROI).
The renovation options for older properties are endless, but if funds are limited, it’s imperative to focus on the projects that will give you the very best bang for your buck.
Here are 5 of the best renovations you can take on to improve the desirability and ROI of your rental property.
1. Kitchen Update
There is a reason that the kitchen is commonly referred to as the heart of the home. Most people spend increasingly more time in the kitchen than ever before, using it not only to cook, but to socialize, spend time with their families, and even sometimes work if the space allows. So, having a great kitchen in a rental is a big box ticked when it comes to improving the property’s desirability to tenants.
The good news is, that in many cases, updating a kitchen needn’t cost the earth. So long as the cabinets are still securely intact, refacing them can be a great way to modernize a tired-looking kitchen. Cabinet doors can be sprayed or painted and handles replaced for a whole new look.
Other considerations may include replacing worn-out countertops and updating the tapware and/or sink, adding a tiled splash-back, repainting, or replacing the floor. Of course, all of these items can add up, but hopefully, not all of them need doing, so it’s a matter of determining which will make the greatest difference.
If the age or condition of the appliances is what lets the kitchen down the most, then that’s probably where the renovation budget should primarily go. Shop around for bargains at big box stores or factory seconds to save money on these larger items.
2. Bathroom Update
Similar to the kitchen, the bathroom is another space of particular interest to potential tenants for good reason. Not only is a bathroom used for self-care and hygiene, but many associate it with relaxation, too, so bathrooms need to present as clean, functional, and calming places to be.
Again, while an entire renovation can be costly, there are many things you can do to vastly improve the space without spending a fortune.
Some bathrooms only require a thorough clean, ensuring that the grout is mold-free and the toilet, sink, bath, and shower have been bleached and scrubbed to a sparkle. If the room is looking a little tired, however, it may be time to consider some upgrades. Replacing the showerhead, tapware or light fittings might be necessary, or perhaps the vanity needs to go, or at the least be refaced, with replacement handles. Tiling the walls from the floor to halfway up and then painting the top half can make a big difference, too.
Adding some extra features can help to make it more attractive, too. Mirrors are a great way to improve functionality while making the room seem bigger. If there is a spot for a handy towel/accessories shelving unit then great, otherwise consider adding a shelf to the wall. A lick of paint and a hanging plant or two can transform a bathroom, it may just take a little imagination!
Repainting may seem obvious but is quite commonly underrated as a great way to affordably transform a living space. If there is no need to repaint the whole property, then focus on any particularly tired walls and rooms, or simply decorate to add some warmth or feature walls to the decor.
While it may be tempting to go with on-trend colors, try to stick to neutral tones that easily complement many decors, making it that much easier for prospective tenants to envision living in the space. If you stick to neutral colors, tenants are less likely to want to get their paintbrush out and do it themselves – though the rules on decorating should be clearly laid out in your tenancy agreement.
Interior lighting is often overlooked but can be a very cost-effective way to make an impact. Not only can attractive light fittings add to the ambiance, but adding LED fixtures can improve the energy efficiency of the home, which is also an attractive feature for modern tenants.
Also, consider whether any dull corners could benefit from some ambient lighting to add warmth and whether there are any particular property features that deserve to be highlighted.
A tired floor covering could be a deal-breaker to tenants, especially if it has taken a hit from any previous four-legged residents. While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest carpet available, consider not only the attractiveness to potential tenants, but the durability, too. The old saying, ‘buy cheap, buy twice,’ is certainly appropriate here, as flooring in tenanted properties often needs updating fairly regularly unless it is particularly high quality.
When it comes to renovating a rental property, the key is to always prioritize based on need and impact.
Anything that needs replacing for functionality must of course be addressed, and everything else comes down to what will give the greatest wow factor for tenants in a way that adds to the amount of rent your property can command.
Are you interested in tackling your rental property renovations yourself or are you looking to hire? Read our blog for a different perspective on DIY remodeling projects here https://vigeoconstruction.com/to-do-it-yourself-vs-hiring-a-vigeo-clients-experience-with-a-diy-remodeling-project/