Price is perception. As a real estate investor and property owner, pricing is all about perception. If the property is perceived as being desirable, you can charge more than if the property is not seen as desirable. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But it’s not always something that landlords take into account.
If you want to increase the price of your rental property, the perception of how that property looks plays a key role in how much rent you’re able to reasonably charge.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some specific “low-hanging fruit” renovation projects you can use to enhance your rental property’s appearance and value on a budget.
1. Fresh Paint
Never underestimate the transformative power of a fresh coat of paint. It can instantly brighten up a room and make it appear clean and well-maintained. Consider neutral colors for broad appeal; these can make spaces appear larger, brighter, and more welcoming. Look for quality paint that can withstand the test of time and the occasional touch-up. Remember, your aim should be durability coupled with aesthetics.
Landscaping is an alarming word for many landlords who dread the thought of having to mow grass, pull weeds, and deal with flowerbeds. But there’s no denying the power of landscaping to grab attention and enhance the perception of the property.
Good landscaping is all about curb appeal. On a macro level, it enhances the curb appeal when prospective renters see the property for the first time. On a more micro level, it sparks a little bit of joy every time a renter comes home and pulls into the driveway at the end of the day.
Good landscaping doesn’t have to be expensive. There are ways to do it quite effectively. Planting flowers, pressure-washing hard surfaces, and trimming shrubs every few months makes a big difference.
3. Inexpensive Kitchen Upgrades
The kitchen is the “money” room. It’s the room that people gravitate toward when seeing a listing. It’s the one that people care about the most, because it’s so highly trafficked and used. So, if you’re going to focus your energy (and wallet) on any one particular room, this should be it.
When it comes to upgrading the kitchen, you don’t have to get super expensive. Sometimes the smallest upgrades make a big difference. For example, replacing outdated hardware with sleeker gold or black hardware might only cost $100, but can add a tremendous amount of perceived value. The same goes for light fixtures. Spending a little bit on a nice fixture can transform the vibe of a room.
4. Inexpensive Bathroom Upgrades
While the kitchen is the most important room (perception-wise), bathrooms are another area where you can get people excited and drum up positive emotions. This is especially true when it comes to the master bathroom.
Much like the kitchen, there are easy fixes here. Hardware, fixtures, shower faucets, vanities, and mirrors are quick and inexpensive options that can almost always be done on a DIY basis for increased cost savings.
5. Large TV in the Living Room
People love big TVs. But here’s the thing: They aren’t nearly as expensive as they were five or 10 years ago. In fact, you can get a pretty good quality 65-inch TV for $500 or less. This makes it an affordable entertainment upgrade that you can add to your rental property.
For tenants who love hosting friends or family, having a large TV already in place can be a significant advantage. It saves them from having to purchase one themselves, and it means they can host movie nights, game days, or binge-watch their favorite shows as soon as they move in. It’s an attractive feature for those who value their leisure time or enjoy gaming or other home entertainment activities.
6. Outdoor Living Nooks
Outdoor living is very appealing to renters. There’s just something about having a space outside of the home that you can enjoy without having to shoulder the burden of responsibility to care for it.
If you have a large single-family property, then you might have room to build a large outdoor living area. However, you don’t need a massive deck or swimming pool to benefit. Something as simple as an outdoor living nook – like a decorated front porch or a 10×5 concrete patio with an umbrella – is enough to boost the perception of the property.
7. Storage Solutions
Ample storage is a strong selling point for any rental property. Consider adding shelving in the garage, closets, or pantry. Under stairs or corners can also be converted into useful storage spaces with a bit of creativity.
People come with stuff – and sometimes lots of stuff. Offering well-planned storage can set your property apart by making it easier for renters to see themselves in your property. As we’ve stated so many times throughout this article, it all comes back to how they perceive the property. If it’s perceived as having lots of storage room for their stuff, that’s a win.
8. Floor and Window Upgrades
Though these might be a bit more expensive, updating old, worn-out flooring and improving window treatments can dramatically change a property’s appeal. Look for affordable, durable options that can withstand wear and tear.
Window treatments should allow for plenty of natural light, enhancing the sense of space and cleanliness. They should help illuminate the space, rather than cloud it in darkness.
For windows, you might only need to paint the sills or replace the frames around them. But if the windows are foggy and aged, biting the bullet and updating them will serve you well in the long run.
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