As a real estate investor, you know that it is critical to have all of your rental properties occupied and you should also know that you need to have quality tenants. But it can be difficult to attract the best tenants when your units are beginning to look outdated or are in need of repairs. The following are 10 simple projects that are very cost effective ways to give your property an updated look to catch the eye of the right tenants.
Even though this is a super easy project, many landlords will overlook replacing the electrical switch plates. Replacing the worn and dirty plates with brand new economy plates will cost less than a buck a plate and be faster than cleaning off years of fingerprints and dirt. To upgrade the look of the living areas go to a metal switch plate which is still less only about five bucks. New doors will also make a statement and can be replaces almost as quickly as old doors can be cleaned and repainted. Invest the $10 to $20 more for a six panel door that does not look as outdated as the old hollow core doors. If the doors in your property are in good condition, you might only want to replace the hardware to get an updated look. Anything to remove the standard round knob will show renters that you are keeping up on repairs and updates to provide them with a nicer home. Check out the latest in metal finishes and get that newer look for less than $20 per interior door.
Many landlords will try to avoid painting the entire unit after each tenant moves out. And if you can avoid that expense, then do so. But in most cases, it is the trim that begins to show wear and tear before the walls do. Consider replacing or repainting the trim in your property if it looks dirty or or is showing a great deal of wear. In many cases, you will find that purchasing trim that is already painted or stained as a replacement is less expensive than the time needed to carefully repaint the existing trim. After repainting you are still left in some cases with damaged trim that looks bad.
Curb appeal is important even for a rental property. Get your potential tenants attention even before he walks up to the front door by adding new shutters to your property. This can completely change the look of the front of the house and is far less expensive than painting the entire exterior. Shutters and a good power washing can brighten up any house. And then finish off that great first impression of a property with a new front door. Paint the new door in a bold high gloss paint to add to the impact of this investment of about $150. The second step into that new front door should also be impressive to potential tenants. If your entryway is looking worn, a little bit of new tile can make the area look better and be much more functional. In many climates, carpeted entry ways show their age far before the rest of the carpet in a home. But replacing the entry with tile will eliminate that issue forever. This is going to cost less than $200 in many cases and will totally change the look of the entry.
Bathrooms can be hard to update on a budget as the fixtures are expensive. But you can add a splash of color with a nice shower curtain that will show tenants the potential for the space. . Also, adding a matching rug and a few towels can help to add personality to the room and draw a perspective tenants eye away from the age of the fixtures or the limited size. If the room offers little or no storage, consider adding a small hanging shelf or cabinet that can be added for less than $50 and will add to the character of the tiny space. You might also consider painting older bathroom cabinetry and even the kitchen cabinets if they are beginning to show their age. White cabinets will make any room look brighter and more spacious.
It can be a challenge to find the money to upgrade a rental property when it is vacant and you have no assurance of when the rental income will begin. But making just a few inexpensive repairs and renovations can provide a much more positive impression on potential tenants and can land you that quality tenant who will respect your property and pay rent on tie each month. The investment of time and a few bucks can pay off for many years to come.