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Smaller Property Upgrades

What are some of the best rental property upgrades you can make as an investor and landlord? The idea is to improve the property and keep your tenants happy by making upgrades to the rental unit or property but not spend too much money. Let's look at some smaller property upgrades you can make as an investor:

In addition to these major projects, there are smaller upgrades that collectively add to the appeal and value of an investment property. Here's a quick run down of some of the ways you can add value to your rental property with small upgrades and improvements.

Remodeling a property doesn't have to be like you see on real estate reality TV, where they knock out an entire wall. Instead, upgrades can be small but when add together that make the property stand out.

  • Ceiling fans
  • New faucets
  • Light and electrical outlet fixtures
  • Lighting systems - fading and dimmers
  • Dead bolt locks
  • Storm doors and windows
  • Security system

You should also think about upgrades and improvements that will make running the property more efficient, which in the long run will save money for future occupants.

  • Install a lighting system that saves energy, or new windows to increase the amount of light that enters the property (everyone loves a bay window!).
  • Buy new appliances that save energy.
  • Replace the air conditioning and/or heating system with a more efficient one.
  • Easy to clean and durable surfaces.

However, if you intend to rent out the property, you might not want to have any major, overly expensive improvements to the extent of those listed above. Even if you have the cleanest and most thoughtful tenants, your rental units will demand 2-3 times the cosmetic maintenance than a house intended for yourself or for resale. (Plus, the value you earn from rentals is generated from a monthly cash flow.)

Remember that certain areas of the property will experience a pattern of wear and tear that occurs naturally just by living in the property—this is unavoidable. So whenever a tenant moves out, you’ll need to do several things to refurbish the appearance:

  • Repaint the walls.
  • Repair areas where needed, such as floors, doors, walls, countertops, etc.
  • Replace broken or defective items, such as appliances, toilets, sinks, windows, door knobs, etc.
  • Tend to plumbing, electrical wiring, and other services.
  • Look into infestation problems created by rodents, insects, or molds.

What this list means is that particular spots of a carpet will be worn down more than others; specific faucets will leak due to frequent use; stains will eventually become impossible to remove; etc. Therefore, it’s important to keep up with these tasks because you need to maintain the market rate for rent.

But at the same time, you need to spend as little as money as possible, so you’ll need to evaluate the longevity of the improvements and the types of maintenance you’re doing.

More on Property Upgrades & Improvements

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