As a real estate investor, you want to cut down your costs to make the most money from your properties. However, stripping back spending to a point where your space is no longer a desirable rental isn’t worth your frugality.
The following five ideas will marry your allegiance to smart spending with the need to attract renters. In other words, these are projects that will boost the value of your property without breaking the bank.
The simplest projects can make the biggest differences, and paint proves that. Smudged, dingy walls won’t sell your place. But a fresh, neutral hue will. Just don’t fall into the trap that catches so many real estate investors — your local paint or hardware store will sell deeply discounted gallons of paint that are not well mixed. The color might look okay, but purchasing a pail for touch-ups will be impossible — the hue you have won’t be replicable because it was never properly prepared.
If you have a handful of properties to brush up on, try saving money by buying your supplies in bulk. Keep an eye on the color you choose, too, since the right shade will sell a home to potential buyers and renters. A neutral taupe works in the living room, while a soft blue bedroom exudes the kind of serenity people yearn for.
2. Update the Kitchen
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and in no realm is this truer than in real estate. Buyers and renters look for the must-have appliances and a design that’s fresh and clean looking. Although this might seem like an expensive task, there are plenty of simple ways to update a kitchen without breaking the bank.
For example, old cabinets will look even more outdated if they’re outfitted with old-school knobs and pulls. In a few hours, though, you can swap gold handles for modern stainless steel. You can make the cabinets look even better by repainting them or replacing the doors, which might be necessary if they feature an ornate design that dates them.
3. Add a Washer And Dryer
Appliances are a sizeable investment, so you might not be able to purchase a brand new washer-dryer for your rental property. However, scoping one out on Craigslist, or from another secondhand vendor, could cut the cost in half.
More importantly, though, renters want this convenience in a potential living space. And they’ll pay top dollar to get it. Some landlords have been able to increase their rental price tag by $80 per month, just by adding a washer-dryer. If you do the same, you could pay off your investment — even if it’s a new piece of machinery — in just over a year. After that, the extra money will go right into your pocket.
4. Spruce Up the Exterior
So much focus goes into the inside of the home, but, without any curb appeal, potential buyers or renters won’t even walk in to see the work you’ve done. You don’t have to shell out the big bucks for landscaping or repainting, either (although those certainly do help make a home look more presentable). Something as simple as power-washing your property’s exterior, driveway, sidewalk, and any other dingy-looking surface can amplify your prospects.
Consider a front door makeover if you’re looking for another quick project to increase curb appeal. If you have a sturdy door in place already, repaint it and add accents like a kick plate or new house numbers. Replacing an old door will also boost the value of your property while enhancing its curb appeal at the same time.
5. Replace Carpet Flooring
There’s no bigger mistake a property owner can make than renting out a space with carpeted flooring. For one thing, in most cases, potential tenants don’t want carpets, so you might have a hard time finding someone to move in. Plus, this type of flooring holds onto stains and scents, which means you may have to pay to have it professionally cleaned, or even replaced after each new person moves in.
To avoid that type of long-term financial strain, invest now in universally liked flooring. In most cases, the go-to is wood flooring — especially in a lighter color that doesn’t show nicks and scratches easily. This could cost thousands of dollars, though, so you may also consider a cost-effective alternative such as bamboo, which has a similar look and level of durability.
Watch the Rent Pour In!
Every property is different. Yours might already have nice floors but needs a fresh coat of paint on its walls. Whatever the case may be, it’s worth looking at your rental with a critical eye and pinpointing what needs work, and which projects will make the biggest difference to your bottom line. Those are the DIYs worth pursuing — and both you and your tenants will be glad you made the effort when the rent checks start pouring in.