“You have to spend money to make money.” This is an old, common phrase you have probably heard several times. While this can apply to a variety of different businesses and ventures, it is especially true when you begin investing in rental properties. Prospective renters are looking for reasonable rent, especially in Utah, but that doesn’t mean they want to sacrifice amenities like new appliances or hardwood floors. Before you start listing your property for rent, you may want to consider how you can improve your rental.
At Wolfnest, we understand that it can be difficult to dedicate funds to improving an investment that may already be producing for you. However, this can be one of the most important decisions you can make. If you spend your money wisely and remodel your property the right way, you could cover the cost of the remodel in a few short months while increasing your cash flow.
Let’s break this down with an example. Last year, I spent $2,000 on upgrading features and overall remodeling my rental property. As a direct result of renovating the rental property, the monthly rent of my property went from $1,000 to $1,250. By increasing my monthly cash flow by $250, I was able to cover the cost of the property remodeling in eight months, and pocket an extra $1,000 for the remaining four months of the year. So, taking the time to renovate your property can pay off big in the long run.
Remodeling Your Rental Property Inexpensively
While a total overhaul may be necessary in some cases, other times simple, inexpensive upgrades can be sufficient. So, what are some ways you can upgrade your rental property and maximize your rental income?
Replace Door Handles
It’s no surprise that home trends come and go. Some can be difficult to keep up with, but others are a relatively quick fix. One of these is simply upgrading your door handles from an outdated brass to a more contemporary brushed nickel. Brass door handles are typically found in older properties but have fallen out of style and use in new homes. Since you need to change the lock from tenant to tenant anyway, replacing all the handles throughout a property is a simple additional task. Brushed nickel will automatically give the home a fresher look, and update the property overall.
Upgrade Light Fixtures
Depending on what kind of lighting your property already has, this can be a quick fix or a slightly more intensive project. However, lighting can make all the difference. Replacing dated light fixtures with a more modern look can brighten up particular areas within the home. This can help to showcase great accents that you want to be noticed, such as a breakfast nook or other architectural features. Make any property more modern with a simple light fixture upgrade.
Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
A new paint job is one of the simplest methods of property remodeling. Whether it’s a brand new color or an upgrade of the existing paint, a fresh coat of paint can bring life to any rental property. In addition, you can install new crown molding and instantly give the property a higher-end look. Another option is simply painting the existing crown molding to brighten it up, and draw attention to this particular feature. When it’s as simple as applying some fresh paint, remodeling your rental property is a no brainer.
Completely Renovating a Rental Property
If your property needs a little more intensive remodeling, you can start with small renovations. There are two major areas of the home that we recommend renovating first: the kitchen and the bathroom. These are two areas of the home that are important to renters and can help bring your property to the next level.
When you start renovating the kitchen, there are a few areas we suggest focusing on first. These include:
- Replacing laminate flooring with tile
- Painting the cabinets
- Upgrading appliances to stainless steel
Upgrading and replacing a few of these things can easily transform a kitchen and make it look brand new. This is a great option for older properties that may not have other amenities available.
The bathroom can make or break a property for some renters. Cleanliness is very important, and it’s no secret that the older some features are, the dirtier they can look. A few easy upgrades for this section of the home include:
- Re-tiling the bathtub/shower
- Replacing laminate countertops with granite
- Upgrading the showerhead
There are many different things you can do to transform a bathroom, and this is just the beginning. Upgrading parts of the bathroom over a longer period of time helps lower the initial cost. However, some updates are so simple you could have them done in an afternoon.
Why Property Remodeling is Important
Spending the money to remodel a rental property may seem impractical, but I assure you it can be very beneficial if you upgrade the right areas. Whether it’s a simple upgrade or a complete overhaul, any and all updates will only benefit you in the long run. Start with seeing what other owners have done to homes in the area, so you know what is important to renters in your neighborhood. This will also give you a great starting point, and you can plan your renovations well ahead of time. Keeping your property up-to-date will also be lower maintenance requests since you’ll be getting ahead of any broken appliances or other similar issues. As your property management company, Wolfnest is happy to help you decide what to upgrade while running your day-to-day operations. Learn more about our property management services and how Wolfnest can help you transform your rental property.