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Easy Property Improvements for New Landlords

By Tammy Emineth | August 9, 2021
Easy Property Improvements for New Landlords

Investing in a rental property provides one of the most stable forms of passive income available. But the only way to make income on rental properties is when there are paying tenants, in both the traditional rental market and vacation rental market. Many rental property owners spend a large amount of time thinking about and performing duties that could help them reduce the time that their property is vacant and not making them any money. Read More: Is it really a good time to buy a house?

Of course, a new bathroom or kitchen is appealing and may attract better tenants, but what if an investment property owner does not have thousands of dollars to spend on improvements on a home before needing to rent it out and have it make money? There are some improvements that any property owner can make that do not cost a significant amount of money but still bring a wow factor to a rental.  

Read further to discover some simple and easy property improvements to improve the look of your property and draw in renters. 

Matching  Outlet Covers 

This may not seem like a huge deal, but a tired yellow or brown wall outlet plate can make a rental feel like it is old and uncared for. Mismatched light switch and outlet cover plates that are old and yellowing, instantly make a room feel tired and do stick out like a sore thumb when tenants come to look. The great thing is these plates cost very little money and switching them all out with fresh ones that are crisp and matching goes a long way to make the room feel fresh and updated. 

A Working Exterior Lock 

One of the first impressions about how well a home is cared for is at the front door. When someone goes to unlock the front door if it is sticky and requires special efforts to make it open this registers with tenants that there could be other problems ahead or that the home is not safely secure. A smooth working front door lock gets impressions started on the right foot. In many cases, a door lock simply needs oiling to keep it working smoothly. In other cases you may need to buy a new lock which is a small expense and worth the effort. 

Related: What to know before adding a bathroom to your house

Match Up your Lightbulbs 

Lightbulbs come in a range of different colors and watts and this is measured on what is called the Kelvin scale of color temperature. Some lightbulbs will produce a warm tone and glow while others produce a cool blue or sort of bright white tone. Whatever type of bulbs you wish to purchase for your rental make sure that you are staying consistent by using the same bulbs throughout the entire home. Mixing bulbs produce unpleasant lighting and an unpleasant feel to the room. It can also make the property feel cheap. 

Fresh Caulking 

Caulk is a very inexpensive item that can quickly make bathrooms and kitchens feel brand new. Simply dig out the old and tired caulk and replace it with fresh new caulk around sinks, toilets, bathtubs surrounds, counters, and more. You will be surprised at the instant fresh lift and how brand new the space feels compared to what it was before. 

Clean and Working Window Treatments 

Window treatments such as blinds are a popular way to cover up a window and provide privacy for those inside, but make sure that any window treatment you use is clean and working properly. This is an item of your rental property that will see a lot of use. It will not go unnoticed, so it’s very important to keep these areas clean and functioning well. 

Clean up the Landscaping 

Curb appeal is especially important in homes where the outdoors is part of the main attraction, especially at lake homes. Make sure to give the outdoors a quick freshen up by mowing the lawn and weeding the flowerbeds. Make them appear neat and cared for and well-trimmed.  
It is a simple improvement that could cost nothing at all or even less than $100 to freshen up the yard. 

Clean up the Entry 

The front door of the home sends a welcoming message and gives an overall first impression of a home. Freshen up the front door with a new coat of paint, make sure the front porch or steps are clean, pressure wash them if possible, and bring in a nice welcome mat. And maybe a few potted plants to make the front entry feel welcoming and make tenants feel excited to step inside. 

Pay for Deep Cleaning 

It may not seem like it, but an intense deep cleaning goes a long way especially in a vacation rental. It is especially important to have periodic deep cleanings performed to make your home feel like it is a brand spanking new and its cleanest clean to your tenants. 

There are many ways you can spruce up a property to make it feel welcoming and inviting. What is also important is to be a kind and customer service-oriented landlord making sure that tenants feel like they are cared for and not just a source of money for you. 

Related: How Home Buyers Are Saving for Bigger Down Payments

More: What to look for when buying an older home

Tammy Emineth is a writer, blogger, and real estate marketing expert for over 15 years. As a former real estate agent, Tammy possesses the knowledge and expertise to produce content and relevant information about the real estate market and how to market real estate websites and brokerages.
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