Investing in a rental property can be an excellent source of long-term income, but getting the most out of that investment will require a certain amount of labor and expense. You may feel that it is perfect as it is, or you might decide that there is an endless list of improvements that need to be made before you’ll get the best possible value out of your property. This article should help you to sort out which changes will have the most impact on the price your potential tenants are willing to pay.
As with a home for sale, one of the most valuable things that any owner can do is update the kitchen. Just about every house-hunter wants to be able to picture themselves cooking in their new kitchen with their family, and replacing old appliances with newer, more efficient versions may be the thing that gets the property rented quickly to the tenants of your choice at a price that's worth your while.
Walls and Floors
Putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls will give the rental the feeling of having been recently updated, which will help convince potential tenants that it is well cared for and any problems they have while they live there will be taken care of quickly. Renters are also willing to pay more for hardwood floors, but if that is more than you are willing to spend on your rental, ripping out and replacing old carpet will eliminate odors and keep the place feeling clean.
One of the most important factors most potential renters will consider is monthly utility costs. Choosing energy efficient appliances and replacing windows and doors with more modern, efficient models will help raise the value of any rental. Larger investments such as tankless water heaters and mini-split ductless air conditioners will help push the possible rent even higher.
Adding a carport is a relatively small investment in a property that have a dramatic impact on pricing. A carport will cost about $150-1500, and it should impact the monthly rent by around $60-100. This means that it can pay for itself in a matter of months, and begin generating additional income from that point on.
Add a Room
This won’t be an option for every unit, but turning a spare room, attic, or basement into an additional bedroom will raise the price more than almost any other changes you can make. The amount a tenant is willing to pay in rent will be directly proportionate to the number of bedrooms. Most house-hunters will consider this before they even look at price, and it can impact the monthly rent more than any other factor, including square footage.
About the author: Frank Newhouse is a freelance writer with expertise in property management and personal finance. He currently writes for AC Florida, which helps homeowners in the Miami area find the right air conditioners for their property.