The Top Renovations to Attract New Renters to Your Property
If you are thinking about renting your property — or already own a rental — you’ll want to know how to maximize profits and property value through renovations. After all, straightforward repairs and renovations will help your rental appeal to a broader market audience and allow you to charge higher prices.
To captivate the best renters, you’ll need to beat out the competition, which you can do by creating a noteworthy, well-kept rental. Keep reading to discover 11 of the top renovations to attract new renters to your property.
1. Upgrade the Kitchen
Everyone loves an updated and stylish kitchen. Even people who rarely spend time in the kitchen appreciate the idea of a spacious area to entertain friends and family to visit. This renovation will attract new renters and increase the property value of the residence. Research indicates even a minor remodel can increase a home’s value by thousands of dollars.
To make the renovation work in your favor, choose neutral products that are durable. As a rental property, you’ll want to appeal to a wide range of personalities and styles. You’ll also want products that can stand the test of time. It pays to spend a bit more money upfront rather than renovate every couple of years.
One of the fastest — and cheapest — upgrades is painting the cabinets. If they’re in good shape, you can hire a professional to refinish the outside rather than buying a brand-new product. When you combine the freshly painted cabinets with new hardware, the kitchen will begin looking like an entirely different space.
For a major change, swap out the backsplash and countertops with an updated design. Choose styles that are timeless rather than trendy — it will keep the space from looking dated over time.
To keep renovation costs low, look for clearance items and offcuts. These tips will help you achieve a high-end look at a fraction of the cost. Make sure to measure your space and speak with a contractor before purchasing the products. Buying new appliances will complete the modern gourmet kitchen experience.
2. Update the Bathroom
Like kitchens, everyone loves to see an updated bathroom space. It’s why real estate agents say bathrooms and kitchens help sell a home. At a minimum, the bathrooms should look clean and in good condition. Refinishing an existing tub is a simple way to give the room an updated look without spending much money.
You should consider how much freedom you’ll allow your tenants to have in the space. If you intend to give them permission to paint or add wallpaper, then plan to keep everything else as neutral as possible. Remember, while you may appreciate certain styles, they may clash with your renter’s style and limit the number of potential applicants. Instead of investing significantly in designer pieces, focus on implementing lots of storage space and light.
To ensure this space holds its value, choose products meant to go in the bathroom. Ensure the lights are rated for wet locations, and the vanity has water-resistant materials or a protective coating. Also, you should install a fan to reduce humidity, which can lead to mold growth.
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3. Create Curb Appeal
What’s the first thing potential applicants will notice when they arrive at your rental property? First impressions are lasting, so focus on renovating the landscape and the property’s exterior features to increase curb appeal.
Depending on your property’s size, you may want to hire a landscape designer — especially if you intend to incorporate a lot of hardscape into the design. Hardscape includes non-living materials such as pavers, fences, and stone walls. Trees, bushes, flowers, and living elements are softscape.
Renters like to see low-maintenance designs and prefer quality over quantity. To appeal to the greatest number of people, choose a hardy, pet-friendly softscape native to the region. Incorporating a patio will provide valuable entertainment space and reduce the amount of necessary outdoor upkeep.
Like the inside of the property, you should keep the outdoors as accessible as possible. Skip odd shrubs that require constant pruning, and choose plants that do not overwhelm the property’s exterior. Remember to lay down barrier cloth for weed control and mulch to give the outside a finished look.
Besides the landscape, the residence’s exterior design should shine and invite renters to explore the property. With this renovation, the siding, garage doors, driveway, and entry door should all look attractive.
Paint can breathe new life into any type of siding and can help your property stand out from other houses in the neighborhood. To create a natural flow, choose colors that relate to the home’s interior design.
If your garage doors are looking boring, bland, or outdated, it may be time for an upgrade. Much like the entry door, garage doors should complement your home design while adding style to the exterior. While paint will refresh what already exists, you should consider buying something with a pattern or windows if you have room in the budget. This helps create a level of visual interest without overwhelming the outdoors.
Reseal any driveway cracks and make sure the sidewalk and steps leading to the house are free of weeds and debris. Lastly, choose a quality door that’s secure and stylish. As a bonus, install outdoor lighting to create a sense of safety for renters who may be unfamiliar with the neighborhood.
4. Establish a Cohesive Design
By intentionally designing a space, you create a cohesive design that makes a home look finished. Since you’re sticking to a more neutral theme, you can create this level of cohesion with essential elements such as flooring, outlet and light covers, and material finishes.
When renters walk into the space, they’ll have an easier time picturing themselves and their furniture if each room feels similar. On the other hand, if every room has different design elements, it can make the residence feel chaotic and disorderly.
Before you stage each room — or choose furniture for furnished rentals — take a look at what already exists in the property. Look for ways to draw those styles throughout the home. It could be a simple as using the same color palette and light covers, or more complex, like coordinating wood elements in each room.
5. Install Practical Lighting
Light helps make rooms look bigger and more inviting. When taking pictures or showing the property, make sure to open curtains to bring in as much sunshine as possible.
If you have room in your budget, consider updating the existing windows or adding skylights. Keep in mind that these changes are usually expensive and may require permits, which can complicate your renovation timeline. While they wouldn’t vastly increase the property value, they may appeal to a greater number of tenants — especially those who work from home.
While natural light is preferable, you should also add accessible lighting throughout the house. Accent lights and decorative chandeliers may be fun, but you should focus on practicality. Canned lighting will provide a clean sightline and complement any renter’s style. It also has less chance of getting damaged during the tenant’s stay.
Make sure the lighting and electrical sockets are functional. Strange outlet layouts and multiple light switches can discourage renters from choosing one property over another.
6. Build a Bonus Space
If you can add an extra bedroom, bathroom, or bonus space, you’ll instantly attract more renters to your property. It’s unnecessary to completely renovate the house to create niche rooms like a library or home theater, but you can stage the existing space to inspire renters.
Look for underutilized areas, like under the stairs. You could also divide a large room to create two smaller rooms that might appeal to your targeted audience. Consider what type of renters you’re looking to target. The needs and desires for a family would be different than a single working professional.
Bonus space examples include:
- Reading nooks.
- Laundry rooms.
- Craft areas.
Undoubtedly, it’s better to have more bedrooms a niche space. However, staging some of these bonus room ideas will help potential renters imagine themselves luxuriating or being productive in the property.
7. Refinish and Clean Existing Flooring
Purchasing new flooring is an expensive upgrade, so focus instead on refinishing and cleaning what’s already there. Refinishing wood or tile flooring will make it look brand-new without the hefty price tag. If the rental is carpeted, hire a professional cleaner to ensure it looks its best before a new tenant rents the space.
Keep in mind that wear and tear is a natural part of renting. But certain behaviors can increase flooring damage. For instance, renting to people with pets increases the risk of damage to the floors and walls.
Additionally, smoking can leave stains, burns, and odors throughout the property. While you can still rent to people with these habits, remember the potential repercussions when budgeting for future repairs.
8. Make an Open Floor Plan
Modern buyers and renters both prefer open floor plans. Examine your rental property’s layout — assuming the walls are not load-bearing — and consider creating an open concept for the living, kitchen, and dining areas. This design style will make the house feel bigger and allow for more natural light to flow between spaces. It also allows you to build more design cohesion between the rooms, since it will be one large area.
If a completely open floor plan is too large a project, consider making the existing rooms multifunctional. For example, add an eat-in dining area in the kitchen so family members can still spend time together.
9. Provide Amenities
Renters love to see amenities and perks included with a property. While parking may be out of your control, you can update appliance hookups.
Most people prefer having a washer and dryer unit in their home, which is a straightforward renovation with great potential. To save yourself a headache, install the hookups and have the renters buy their own appliances. That way, they still get to wash clothes in the rental, but it’s their responsibility to maintain the machine.
Security systems and smart technologies are other rental perks that may attract more people to your property. Also, with more people working from home, having high-speed internet can be a major selling point. However, if your target market is older, some of those updates may be unnecessary.
10. Implement Practical Storage
Renters, like homeowners, require practical storage. Installing floating shelves, built-ins, and cabinets gives renters space to store their items without feeling cramped. Additionally, many people dream of having a large closet. Creating a master closet costs very little, and it may sell renters who were undecided.
Since rental spaces are notoriously small, making the most of the area by implementing practical storage can make a huge difference.
11. Finish the Details
All of the renovations in the world won’t boost your apartment’s popularity unless you finish the details. You should prioritize finishing partially completed renovations and fixing any damage. Cracks, scratches, and leaks are glaring details that detract from the gourmet kitchen and walk-in closet.
So make sure to patch holes and repaint — inferior repairs are red flags for potential tenants, so always complete projects to the highest standards.
Before renting out your property, make sure everything included is in good working condition. Replace shabby furniture and update funky designs. After working in the same space for so long, it may be difficult to pinpoint those smaller details.
For more insight, ask an unbiased friend to walk through the house and point out any blemishes or issues they notice.
Attract New Renters With Top Renovations That Fit the Neighborhood
Utilizing these 11 top renovations will help attract new renters to your property. By making your rental more competitive and appealing, you’ll be able to charge higher fees than before.
Best of all, if you eventually decide to sell, the remodel work will have increased the market value in the meantime. Professionals estimate that the average payback in a home’s resale value is 56% of the renovation costs — but that number can increase based on your location and the type of remodel.
As you plan your remodel, remember to choose features that fit the neighborhood. If you install a wide range of high-end finishes, your property may be too extravagant for the area, making the property seem unreasonable when compared to nearby prices.