The value of a rental house and what your renters are willing to pay comes down to a combination of factors. While it’s safe to assume that your rental home is structurally sound and kept in good repair, the exterior appearance, ‘newness’ of the rooms, and quality of your included appliances are all major contributors to how much rent you can reasonably charge. Whether you’ve just acquired a new piece of investment property or have been renting a home for several years, there are a few quick and easy techniques that can help you improve the value of your rental property this year starting with a lively spring cleaning.
1) Clean Everything!
The one factor that can most damage the value of an otherwise nice rental property is signs of previous tenants. While renters may be aware that others have lived in the home before them, who wants to deal with dingy carpets, discolored wall paint, or lingering smells? Your first step for any spring improvement wave is mass-cleaning. Wash every surface you can reach, steam-clean the carpets, and even get the ducts and vents professionally cleaned to get rid of old allergens and smells. The newer the home appears, the better a price you can get for it.
2) A Vibrant New Landscaping Design
What makes a renter think “Wow, this place is nice!” the moment they drive up? A beautiful garden full of landscaped flowers, shrubs, and trees. You Don’t have to completely dig-up and redesign the yard, but you should definitely work with an artistic landscaping service to fill your flower beds with vibrant blooms, trim your trees, and possibly even add a cute stepping-stone walk through the yard or a swinging bench as a nice accent.
3) A Fresh Coat of Paint
Nothing makes a home look more ‘like new’ than a fresh, professionally done repainting job. This not only saves you the trouble of trying to scrub off old discoloration, it also gives you a chance to pick a new subtle color scheme and make sure all your baseboards, outlets, and light switches match. Make sure to choose a sturdy, glossy paint that can be scrubbed safely in case of pets or toddlers. Remove outlet and light switch covers to paint them and use painter’s tape for windows and fixtures so that only the surfaces you want to be painted get paint on them.
4) Maintain Your Exterior Siding and Roof
Almost no one ever looks directly at the exterior siding or roof, but subtle signs of shabbiness will filter into the subconscious and lower the apparent overall value of your rental property. Double-check your maintenance schedules and get both your roof and siding touched up before beginning the staging process. This way, everything will be tidied, freshly repainted or finished, and ready to show your home’s ‘best side’ to new tenants.
5) Replace Old Utility Appliances
The age and quality of the included appliances like the stove, fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer (if included) and the HVAC units matter a great deal to how valuable a home seems. Really old appliances can negatively ‘date’ your home while brand-new energy-efficient models allow you to significantly up your rental price for the utilities savings and reliability of the units alone. For what you don’t replace, have a handyman do a full maintenance check, empty any filters, clear out any accumulated dust and crud (under the fridge), and give you a new maintenance schedule.
6) Breezy Window Treatments
Whether or not your tenants put up curtains of their own, there are a couple of good reasons why you will want to put up some breeze, attractive curtains. First, a home with uncovered windows looks vacant and creepy, harder to imagine yourself living there. Second, take down those dingy old white mini-blinds. While they were once the height of technology and fashion, now they are a sign of age and broken things that are hard to dust. A few inexpensive but cheerful curtains in neutral colors can make a house seem homey.
7) Polish and Finish any Rough Edges
Finally, do a last detailed check of absolutely everything. Check the grout and caulk in the bathrooms, the quality of the garage door, the edges of counters for chips and jagged places, and repair everything you find. Get the home as close to ‘new’ quality as possible by taking care of any signs of age. Discoloration can be re-finished or painted, chips can be fixed with putty or sanding, and rough edges can be smoothed and and re-sealed. When you really put in the time, your tenants will appreciate how nice their new home is and be willing to pay for that quality.
Here at Property Management Pros, we take pride in taking the best possible care of every property we manage. Keeping track of maintenance schedules making sure repainting is done right, and fixing little signs of wear-and-tear between tenants are what we do best! For more great investment property owner tips or to arrange for the pros to take care of it for you, conact us today!