Holly Welles

How to Fix up Rental Properties Without Overspending
by Holly Welles

Your rental property is an ongoing investment. It may earn you a steady source of income, but it also demands a substantial sum of money in return. Without your attention, it'll gradually fall into disrepair and lose its value, making it far more difficult to find tenants and maintain profitability. 

Fortunately, it's easy to fix up your rental property without exceeding your budget. When you take a strategic approach and prioritize your renovations, you'll secure your investment and ensure your continued success. So where should you spend if you want to improve the quality of your rental? 

1. Repaint the Rental's Exterior

Does your rental property have curb appeal? When you view it from the street, does it look like a place where you'd want to live? If the answer to these questions is anything less than a resounding yes, you may want to consider a fresh coat of paint for your rental's exterior. 

As context, painting has the highest ROI for any rehab budget. Tenants like the look of new paint because it shows the investor cares about the appearance of their rental, reflective of their management style. If the exterior is attractive, the interior is likely to be so as well. 

2. Replace Any Damaged Doors

On the subject of curb appeal, a new door on your rental is a smart investment. Over time, your entry will start to accrue damage until it's ugly and uninviting. Investors will often ignore this or conceal what they can with touch-up paint, both of which are counterintuitive. 

Instead of postponing the purchase, browse the inventory of your local hardware store. You may find a door for less than $100. Building supply companies also carry extra ones at a steep discount if you don't come across any in your initial search. 

3. Install Scratch-Resistant Flooring

When most investors think of new flooring, their minds immediately go to hardwood. However, this isn't your only option, and you have alternatives that are less expensive and more durable. Among the many materials for scratch-resistant flooring, you can choose from tile, vinyl and laminate. 

Ultimately, the material you select will depend on your set of circumstances. Some investors see the appeal in tile for its resistance to water and allergens, while others prefer laminate for its broad spectrum of styles. Whichever flooring material you decide on, you can feel secure in its longevity. 

4. Improve Your Landscaping 

The simple inclusion of flowers in your rental's landscaping can dramatically reduce your vacancy rate. They bring a splash of color and life to an otherwise average property, capturing the interest of potential tenants. Similar to a fresh coat of paint, landscaping has a positive effect on your property's appearance. 

Concerning species, you have a wide variety of options throughout the year. You can achieve color in every season, choosing snowdrops and garden phlox for the warmer months, and Montauk daisies and winter jasmine for the colder ones. These species may differ in availability depending on your region, but they deserve additional research. 

5. Modernize Outdated Hardware

The standard hardware on cabinets, doors and furniture is often stainless steel. While this was a modern look for its time, things have changed. Most tenants now see stainless steel as an outdated finish next to the available alternatives, such as stone, glass, metal and even certain styles of acrylic. 

If you want to upgrade your rental property without a large-scale remodel, you should give thought to replacing your current hardware. As long as your choices align with the rest of your interior design, you'll likely find they're an improvement on your previous selection.

How to Fix Up Rental Properties

Your rental property is an ongoing investment, but it shouldn't feel like a drain on your funds. If your rental isn't earning as much as you'd like, consider the five suggestions above. Whether you invest in exterior paint, new flooring or a similar option, you can feel secure in your choice and be confident moving forward.

Holly Welles
Holly Welles is a freelance real estate writer & blogger covering property management, investment and market trends. She's the editor of The Estate Update, a residential real estate blog for renters and homeowners alike.

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