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  • Writer's pictureKeith Wood

5 Upgrades to Increase the Value of Your Rental Property

The amount you charge for rent each month is important but it’s not the only metric that matters. In fact, if you want to raise the rent or sell your property to invest in another, the number that may be most important is the overall value of your property.

No matter what your goals are for your rental, there are ways to increase the value of your property so that you make more money in the long-run.

Upgrade the Shower

Bathroom upgrades are always popular. Anything that makes the room look bigger or cleaner will always be an improvement but some changes add more value than others. Many people, renters or buyers, want large showers with multiple shower heads.

If the master bathroom in your rental is large enough, install a tub and shower separately and put in stone tile. For smaller bathrooms, swap out an old shower for a tub/shower combo and add in new ceramic tile. Your investment in the bathroom could yield a return of up to 85 percent of what you spend.

Upgrade the Kitchen Appliances

If the kitchen is in relatively good condition with good cabinetry and solid countertops, an easy upgrade to make is in the appliances. Offering tenants newer and better appliances that match and are energy efficient is an easy way to justify a slightly higher rent. People, whether they rent or buy, want to live in a home that’s nice and that they can fully use. New appliances make this possible and valuable.

Do a Full Kitchen Remodel

It’s likely, however, that a few new appliances aren’t enough. The cabinets are old and outdated. There’s not enough lighting or space. The kitchen hasn’t been updated in 10, 15, or 20 years and it shows. To increase the value of your rental property, a full kitchen upgrade may be the best answer. This includes new cabinets and countertops, new flooring, new lighting, and more.

Depending on what work needs to be done, you could easily spend between $10,000 and $30,000 or more. If you’re selling, you can expect 70 percent or more back on your investment. You won’t be able to charge substantially higher rent to make up for the expense but you can justify more than you’re charging now for such a major improvement.

Replace the Big Stuff

By “big stuff” we mean the big ticket items that add to the long-term stability of your rental property, make it more energy efficient, and take a huge worry off of renters and you. This includes replacing the roof, windows, and/or HVAC.

These are the largest expenses of maintaining any property, but they don’t need to be done on a regular basis. You may only make these upgrades once or twice during the time you own your rental property. But when those upgrades are still new, you can justify an increase in the rent or a higher asking price when you list the property.

Consider Curb Appeal

The things that add to curb appeal are upgrades and enhancements you’ll need to re-do every couple of years. They’re more maintenance than upgrades but they can make a big difference when new tenants view the property or another investor considers putting in an offer. While you may not be able to track, dollar for dollar, the return on your investment, impressing people when they see your rental property offers plenty of value.

Update the vinyl siding. Pressure wash the exterior of the property. Repaint the front door. Add mulch, landscaping stones, and flowering plants. Add exterior lights. Pressure wash sidewalks, driveways, and walkways. Repaint the garage door

If you know you need to make updates to your rental property but aren’t sure where to begin, talk to the rental experts. At ERA American Real Estate, we’ve helped property owners rent and sell their property for decades, and we can help you figure out what needs to be done to get the most money out of your rental -- whether you’re renting to new tenants or selling. Contact us today!

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