The Vacant Free

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Written by Chelsea Glaser
on July 25, 2019

Whether you recently purchased a fixer-upper or you know it’s time to make some upgrades, it can be hard to decide where to put your money into rental property renovations. On one hand, you want to be able to compete with competitive pricing and meet the quality your prospective tenants are looking for. On the other hand, you’re not sure if your tenants are really going to be willing to pay more per month to have crown moulding and a stainless steel oven. So, before you start swiping your credit card at Home Depot, it’s important to know what upgrades are going to get the most bang for your buck.

First of all, clean everything thoroughly before you decide what to replace or repair. Sometimes it just takes a Magic Eraser to make those wall scuffs disappear, rather than a new coat of paint. Even a grungy bathroom can be made to look much more inviting when it’s sparkling clean and looking its personal best. When everything is in tip-top shape, it’ll be much easier to tell what needs some additional attention.

The golden rule with investment properties is to repair before you replace. If it looks clean and works well, then you can probably put your investment into other areas that need more TLC. If the carpet is looking stained and dingey, look into carpet cleaning services to try to get it looking fresh and new(er). If it’s ripped, fraying, or smells horrible no matter how many times you’ve tried to clean it, then it’s time for new carpet. Same with appliances. If they are consistently breaking and costing you time and money in maintenance, it’s time for a replacement. If your microwave is from the 1980’s, it’s missing knobs that you can’t buy replacements for anymore, and it’s so noisy your renters can’t get a midnight snack without waking everyone up, it’s probably time for a new one.

When it comes to making upgrades, your money is going to go the furthest in the kitchen and bathrooms. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and many tenants are looking for kitchens that are functional, clean, and modern. Upgrades like new cabinet and drawer pulls, new backsplash, or swapping out broken, outdated, mismatched appliances for more modern, matching ones can make things look polished and new without having to do any major construction projects. Additionally, a really impactful upgrade you can make is to plumbing fixtures. Stained sinks, scratched faucets, and dingey yellow toilets can appear dirty or unsanitary, and upgrading these fixtures can be fairly inexpensive and make a big difference to potential tenants. If your countertops are in rough shape, that’s another investment to consider that will definitely make a difference to your tenants.

All in all, it’s the little things that add up to make a big difference with your rental properties. It’s important to remember that this is not your home, it’s an investment and it does not need to be perfect to be profitable. Avoid major construction projects that are purely for aesthetics, and keep your attention on those simple upgrades and fixes. A few repairs and replacements here and there to keep things clean, relatively modern, and functional is all you really need to stay competitive in the rental market and attract prospective tenants.

If you’re still struggling to fill vacancies despite your upgrades, do some market research to see how your pricing compares to other local rental properties. Then, give Showdigs a call— they can help you fill vacancies faster by providing on-demand property showings to your prospective tenants!

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