Renovations and decorations can definitely help maximize your rental income as a landlord – but only if done correctly. Here we’ll explain how to maximise your property income through home renovations, as well as the most effective way to decorate to attract the best possible tenants.
Start on your kitchen and bathroom
When it comes to rental property renovations, there are some big financial mistakes landlords make that can kill their profits:
- Not being efficient in completing renovations and repairs. Landlords who spend too long getting their property ready could miss out on good tenants and suffer from void periods
- Over-improving the property above the market rental rate. Spending money on things like designer taps and luxury furniture is not going to improve your return on investment, and they’re not necessary to secure a tenant, either
Okay, so now you know what to avoid. But, where should you start when it comes to renovating a rental property? Of course, there are some obligatory renovations you should do before you begin renting out your property. But, if the place is serviceable, we suggest you start with the kitchen and the bathroom.
The kitchen and the bathroom are critical. These are the places people scrutinize the most thoroughly. For example, the kitchen needs to be functional and stylish. Get some nice cabinets. They are not that expensive, but give a lot of storage space and make using the kitchen much more accessible.
Appliances are also useful. A microwave is handy and very cheap, as is a toaster and a blender. You don’t have to renovate the entire place, simple things like these matter.
The bathroom also needs to be inspected and fixed up. Can you get a larger sink? Is there enough storage space here? What about your shower head?
But consider a makeover rather than renovating
Though you should concentrate on your bathroom and kitchen, industry experts advise to ‘makeover’ rather than undergo a full renovation when it comes to a rental property.
For example, replacing or updating cabinet hardware and the backsplash in a kitchen will give the space a whole new look, without you having to spend a fortune. Similarly, replacing the tiles and the bathroom vanity or mirror can breathe fresh life into an outdated bathroom, without you having to call in plumbers and electricians.
According to the team at Buttonwood Property Management Toronto, renters will spend more on a property that offers a modern bathroom with storage space. On average, having a renovated bathroom allows landlords to increase their asking price by $150 or so per month. This may not sound like much, but over time it can add up to a healthy ROI – especially when you consider that your resale price will also increase if you update the bathroom.
Remember: You don’t need to buy designer fixtures or invest in solid hardwood flooring throughout your property to attract a good tenant. Modern laminate flooring in living areas and tiles in the bathroom look great, and keep walls neutral.
Repair and maintain
Next, inspect the entire home and see what you can do. Check the gutters, the walls, the locks. Get a new coat of paint for basically everything in the house. Tighten some screws, add bolt things down, open things up, be as thorough as possible.
Whether you’re doing this alone, or with some assistance, you want to make a kind of checklist. We suggest you do things room by room when it comes to maintenance. However, if you are going to get a new coat of paint for the entire place, we suggest you start with that.
Now is also the time to ensure the appliances and furnishings are up to date and in working order. On average, mattresses should be replaced every eight years, but in a rental they have a much higher turn around, so make sure to go for something low-budget that’s also comfortable and of good quality. Similarly, if you’re furnishing your property, don’t spend money on lavish furniture; skip brand names, shop online, and always go for neutral options that appeal to the widest pool of tenants.
Don’t forget about your door
The first thing people see when they come up to your place is the door. So, it stands to reason that you want to make it look as welcoming as possible. Update it with a fresh coat of paint, or maybe even replace it entirely if it is looking tired and old.
Think about flooring
You want to replace (or at the very least clean) an old and dirty carpet. It can gather mildew, bad smells, and make an expensive and modern home seem like a dump. The same goes for inferior flooring, cracked tiles, raised floors… The floors make up a significant portion of your rental property, and you should treat them accordingly.
Most landlords opt for laminate flooring as it’s fairly inexpensive, is easy for tenants to clean, and it is also fairly resilient when it comes to wear and tear.
Curb appeal on a budget
If you’re renting out a home with a lovely yard in the front, it’s not enough to just have it there. You need to spruce it up a bit, and you need to make it as beautiful as you can. Go out, mow the lawn, plant some flowers. A small garden can be a great addition as well, as could a nice vegetable patch.
We hope this article has been informative and useful. Remember, sometimes it’s more about the effort you invest, and not the money. Work hard, fix up the walls, the windows, get a beautiful carpet, and try to keep the entire rental property as comfortable as possible.
SmartReno can help you find the right contractor for your Decoration & Design project