When you purchase a property to use as a rental, chances are that it won’t always be in the best condition. It may not be ready for immediate rental, and might require some updates before it’s able to be put up for rent. As long as the building is structurally sound, there are some minor improvements that can be made to increase the rental appeal to prospective tenants. If you improve your rental property’s appearance, it will help drive up the amount of interest you receive. With more interest in the property, you will have more options when deciding which tenants will be a good fit for you and your rental.
Increase Curb Appeal
The first thing people notice about a home is the way it looks from the outside. When someone drives by or comes to see a property, the yard and exterior of the house is the first thing they will see. First impressions are always important, and maintaining the landscaping of a property is part of this.
To save on costs, you can cut the lawn and trim any bushes yourself in order to keep the yard looking neat. Mulch and low maintenance flowers are also an easy way to spruce up the front lawn. There are an abundance of ideas online for low maintenance landscaping. They include ideas such as installing artificial grass, using gravel beds, hardscaping with rock paths, planting perennial flowers, as well as many other clever ideas and tricks.
You could also hire a local company to do the landscaping and either pay for it yourself, or include these costs in the rent. Another option is to make the current tenant responsible for maintaining the landscaping once the rental becomes occupied.
Clean Up the Exterior
In addition to the landscaping, there are a few things that can be done to the exterior of the house that will also improve the look of the property. Pressure washing the siding, as well as giving the windows a good cleaning, will give the house a clean look. Replacing or painting the shutters and front door will also give it a fresh, new appearance. If the mailbox or the address numbers on the house are old or dated, replacing them will give the house an updated look. Replacing or repairing any damaged railing or fencing will also help. Better Homes & Gardens gives a list of 20 easy updates you can do to increase curb appeal on a property.
When it comes to minor updates to the interior of a rental, there are tons of small things that can be done. Even the smallest improvements will make a major aesthetic difference. A fresh coat of paint on the walls is a “go to” improvement for rentals. It gives the walls a clean look for renters to start fresh. If the property has carpet, scheduling to have the carpets steamed and thoroughly cleaned is always a good idea. Another option is to lay down hardwood flooring or tile instead of the existing carpet. You can always check local stores for sales or marked down items to make the new flooring reasonably priced.
Updates to the kitchen and bathrooms will go a long way in making a rental property look new and updated. You can change the cabinet doors or even just put new hardware on the cabinets if they are in good shape. Adding a backsplash to the kitchen will give a new feel to the space as well. You can give any included appliances a good cleaning to make them look like new. Even replacing light bulbs and cleaning light covers to ensure there is plenty of lighting, will give your property a boost. Kitchn.com gives a list of simple tips to make your kitchen look new and updated.
Once you have completed all of the improvements to the interior and exterior of the property, be sure that you get it cleaned up before showing it to potential tenants. Make sure that any debris is cleaned up out of the front and back yard as well as the inside. If you have the extra cash to spare, hire someone to come in and give the house a thorough cleaning. If you want to save the money, you can always do it yourself.
Clean up anything that is leftover from the repairs that have been done. As stated before, have the floors cleaned as well as the appliances or any other item that Is furnished in the rental. Not only will cleaning give the property a better appearance to anyone coming for a showing, but it will also give the house a nice clean smell that will hit any person that comes through the door.
The End result
Improving the look of your rental property’s appearance is always important. The exterior look will draw more attention to the house, and the interior will intrigue prospective tenants. The overall appearance of the rental will increase the likelihood that the property will be rented out more quickly as opposed to sitting vacant for long periods of time. Of course with any kind of home improvements, it will cost some money upfront to make it happen. However, if it makes the property rent out more quickly or for more money, then it makes it worth it in the long run.