Owning a rental means you’re always on the lookout for ways to draw in new tenants. You already know cosmetic appeal is everything, but being a small property manager likely means your budget limits your options. Fortunately, your property doesn’t have to reflect your funds. Cheap and appealing fixes are abundant — all you have to do is use them. From the exterior to the interior, sprucing up your rental is amazingly simple.
Whether you’re renting out a home or own a small apartment complex, you have a world of options for upgrades. Here are seven tips for giving your property a quick — but inexpensive — cosmetic fix.
1. Liven It Up With Greenery
Lay down mulch and plant some hard-to-kill flowers. They won’t require much of your attention other than the occasional watering, which leaves you stress-free for handling other business.
Grow a patch of sunflowers, pansies or begonias. Or, keep it simple by placing potted plants around walkways. Match your flowers to the season, or choose varieties that bloom year-round or are native to your local environment. Lastly, water the lawn regularly to keep it beautifully green, as dead grass signals a neglected landscape to visitors.
2. Change the Light Fixtures
Change light fixtures from outdated looks to sleek alternatives. Natural materials like wicker and bamboo have been trendy for years, while minimalist lighting with straightforward lines is catching on in style. Track lighting offers plenty of benefits depending on your and your tenants’ tastes. Fixtures are relatively easy to replace, and you can do the job yourself to avoid splurging on professional services.
Add bright lighting to dark rooms to open them up and make them appear larger — no matter how small they might be. Renters like well-lit spaces — a general rule that goes for exterior lighting too. People want to feel protected wherever they live, and having path lights when they step out at night contributes to their safety.
3. Upgrade Your Flooring
Touching up the floors makes any building seem brand new, and you can DIY it or call in a professional. If you don’t already have hardwood or a more budget-friendly hard flooring alternative, you may want to consider installing it. Carpets have phased out of popular flooring options, and they require extensive maintenance to keep clean between leases.
Many tenants aren’t interested in carpeting upkeep and will pass on it for hardwood options. Installing hardwood floors offers a return on your money through new tenants and fewer expenses on carpet cleaning. With regular care, you normally only have to replace the flooring every seven to 10 years.
4. Switch Out Appliances
Ensure your appliances exude modernity to match your other improvements. You don’t have to spend thousands on state-of-the-art fridges and dishwashers, however. Invest in secondhand appliances or do repairs yourself to save money. An upgrade can consist of a much-needed solution — such as fixing a leaky faucet — rather than buying a new sink.
Use your judgment with each case. Some appliances may need a fix or two, while you’re better off replacing others.
5. Add New Window Treatments
It doesn’t cost much to hang curtains or install window coverings, and they can transform a unit from drab to interesting. Replace old or worn window coverings with ones that match the rental’s color scheme.
Faux wood offers a sophisticated look without the cost, while white curtains make windows look inviting. Tenants are more likely to go for a rental with treatments than one without, as they may feel lacking in privacy without them.
Even though tenants can bring their own blinds or curtains, many won’t fit on every window — which poses a problem when they eventually move. Save them the trouble by having curtains and blinds in place from the beginning.
6. Repaint the Walls and Doors
A fresh coat of paint is the perfect energizer for a bland space, and choosing the right colors will attract potential renters like bees to honey. Neutral colors work best for interior walls in both homes and apartments, though exact hues may depend on your area. Preferred design techniques change wherever you go — check up on local trends by visiting nearby rentals.
You’ll be safe opting for a warm tan, cool light gray or smooth off-white in most cases. Add a splash of color to exterior doors by painting them dark colors like black or deep brown. An attractive front door can raise your property value by $6,000, and buyers and renters alike prefer dark shades.
7. Power Wash the Outside
Eliminate grime, stains and dirt by power washing the walkways and walls. There’s no underestimating the effect of a spotless exterior, and it can make the difference in taking on a new tenant.
The outside of your property is the first thing visitors see when they come by, which is why it’s crucial to maintain it. You can do the job yourself, although it’s safer to opt for a professional when working with high-pressure tools.
Revamp Your Rentals on a Budget
Recreate your property on a budget by using creativity and thriftiness. Many fixes and upgrades are affordable if you know where to look, and some things you can DIY as well as any pro. In no time, you’ll have a rental any tenant would be glad to call home.
Holly Welles is a real estate writer who covers property management and investing advice for publishers across the web. She also runs her own blog, The Estate Update, where she publishes market trends and tips.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this newsletter as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.