As the foreclosure crisis continues to draw millions of previous homeowners into rentals across the country, investors and land lords, particularly those in the rapidly growing sector of single family homes, are finding themselves in the perfect storm of relatively low home prices and rising rental rates. Furthermore, the ability to attract high quality renters, such as previous homeowners and their families, allows investors a higher chance of placing the leasing agreement in good hands. But in order to increase your chances for a higher return-on-investment, here are a few ideas to give that leading edge and renter’s appeal. The idea behind these ideas is to provide your property with affordable, highly durable and low maintenance renovations that will add value, beauty and functionality to your investment.
Everybody knows that a first impression can go a real long way, and so can landscaping, a little pressure cleaning and/or a fresh coat of exterior paint. Keeping the property’s first impression should boost your demand for a minimal to moderate investment. Landscaping does not and should not be elaborate, and more importantly, should remain extremely easy to maintain for any potential renters. In some parts of the country people are even turning to organic green dyes that are sprayed over lawns to bring the lush green look back to their property. And as crazy as this might sound, for many years, lawn painting has commonly been used for athletic fields and golf courses. Pressure cleaning the driveways and roofs of the property will also assist in maintaining the aesthetics of the home, as will a fresh coat of paint on a driveway or the exterior of the home if it is needed.
In the interior, the two main areas to focus on will be the kitchen and bathroom spaces, particularly in the kitchen. Whether a property is being sold or rented, the kitchen is always front and center for any decision, and it is this central living space that can be the deal maker or breaker. Making sure that the cabinetry is in working order and free from things such as water damage and unsightly doors is important. If any or all of these areas are in need of repair, affordable kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity options are readily available and reasonably priced. Ready-to-assemble cabinets, also known as RTA cabinets or knock downs, many times offer investors a highly durable, all wood construction solution that will cost significantly less than many name brand cabinet manufacturers, while providing an overall better product. Intimate areas such as toilets, showers and bath tubs should also be almost immaculate, and free of mold and water stains. In all, a renter is more likely to focus their attention on these critical areas, with again, the kitchen being an important selling point for any renter or buyer. A fresh coat of affordable high gloss interior paint throughout the entire home and clean flooring is a must for any rental property.
It is important that new real estate investors always remember that they will not be living in this home themselves, and ensuring that the upgrades you commit to are aligned with your property’s investment. Maintaining an affordable budget that will allow you to achieve profitability in as little time as possible should be job one.