4 Smart Rental Property Upgrades

4 Smart Rental Property Upgrades

August 2, 2016

Real estate investors oftentimes consider certain improvements and upgrades for newly acquired rental properties.  While this can be a smart move in many cases, common sense should be a guide in the decision-making process.  The right or smart property upgrades will likely ensure renting your single family home to a higher quality of tenant.  It may also enable you to maximize your lease or rental amount that you charge.  

Conversely, the wrong types of upgrades could have the opposite effect and result in additional, more costly expenditures. While there are literally dozens of things you could do to spiff up your property, none are as smart or important enough to consider as the 4 listed here:

  • Converting to a lower maintenance form of landscaping from grass – keep your property simple and easily manageable with pavers, stones, and rock.  Not only is this easier to maintain, it’s a more natural look and saves you money on your monthly water bill.
  • Install an automatic garage door – these make the property more attractive and could prove to be a major selling point should you decide to list it on the market.
  • Stick with neutral colored paints on ceilings and walls – just because your daughter liked her room painted pink, your future tenants may be deterred by it.  Remember, you want your property to be appealing to everyone.
  • Tile flooring is a better choice than carpeting – tile does not need to be replaced as often as carpeting.  So in the long run, it will save you money.  Because it’s cleaner and easier to maintain as well as healthier than carpeting, tenants typically prefer tile floors.

Statistics have proven that these are the upgrades real estate investors and rental property owners tend to consider before any others.  However, while these upgrades are all smart choices, there are 6 that you should avoid:

  • Alarm systems – while these are good for the home you’re living in, tenants may not want to learn how to use these in order to protect the property.
  • Avoid installing a soft water system – it’s really not that beneficial to the environment, especially in the greater Phoenix area and many tenants don’t know how to properly maintain them.
  • Complex, excessive, or out-of-place upgrades – for instance, firepits, misting systems, RO system or solar panels. Tenants may not maintain them properly and could therefore potentially cause damage to your home and increase your liability.
  • Custom, expensive window coverings – custom curtains, or drapes may not be the style the tenant likes which could cause longer vacancy time. They also need to be dry cleaned and can be laborious to maintain. Neutral blinds are best.
  • Extensive landscaping – while it may appeal to you, a tenant may not maintain it as you would like. Thus, it is best to keep it minimum.
  • Wallpaper is always a bad idea – it’s doubtful that the tenant and you have the same tastes in wallpaper.  As was mentioned above, stick with neutral colors as it goes with all decors and styles.

While these are merely suggestions you should consider, you may want to discuss your ideas with our property management team.