What upgrade or renovation project has the biggest bang for the buck on your rental property? Compared to any other remodeling effort, a new coat of a neutral color paint can give you the highest return on investment. It’s fairly simple, inexpensive, and makes an immediate visual impression.
One of the most important success factors in owning and managing rental properties is the occupancy rate. To make the most profit requires maintaining an occupancy rate as close to 100% as possible. Here are three ways a new coat of paint can save you money on your rental property — which is more money to save, spend, or reinvest.
New paint makes the property more appealing to renters. A new coat of a light-toned neutral color paint makes the place look brighter and cleaner. Brighter walls are inviting and uplifting, and also make the living space feel more spacious. First impressions are important and a freshly painted unit implies the place is well-maintained. This will help the potential tenant to see themselves living happily there. They will perceive the value in the rental price and be willing to pay more. There is also a psychological effect of people wanting a clean space to stay that way. By repainting your rental unit between tenants, you encourage the new occupants to keep the place clean and well cared for. Even though you spend money on re-painting, you save money if the tenants take better care of the property in general so you have fewer overall repairs to the unit.
The right paint protects surfaces. Choosing the right type of paint for the surface saves you money by protecting against damage and wear-and-tear. Here’s a list of recommended paint finishes for the different surfaces in the unit:
High Gloss: doors, trims, kitchen cabinets
Satins: family rooms, kids bedrooms, hallways, playrooms
Semi-gloss: kitchens, bathrooms, trim, laundry rooms
Eggshell: dining room, living room, office or study
Flat or Matte: adult bedrooms, ceilings, low-traffic areas
By making it easier for the tenant to care for and maintain their unit, you have decreased the time and expense needed on your part. Again, this results in more savings to you in time, supplies, repairs, and renter turnover.
3. Buy paint in bulk to save time and money. When you buy a certain amount or larger sizes of paint containers you should get a discounted price. It’s wise to keep on hand an inventory of a few core choices of colors and finishes. But more importantly you will always have the right paint on hand when you need it. Whether it’s for quick touch-ups or even to repaint several walls or other surfaces, you won’t be scrambling to drive to the store or taking the chance that the new paint doesn’t match the old. It you own more than one unit, it helps to keep detailed records of which paints (brands, colors, finishes, etc.) you use for each. Then you can easily refer back to quickly see what you need when the time comes to repaint. When you buy regularly from some paint or hardware stores you can set up an account that keeps track of your previous purchases in detail. This also helps when you do run back to restock your paint and supplies.
The more you simplify your paint choices, the easier it is to quickly repaint your vacant unit and get it rented out again. Keep these three suggestions in mind as you prepare your next property so you can save money while maintaining and improving on your real estate investment.
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