10 Affordable Rental Property Upgrades You Won’t Regret

Today’s tenants are spoiled when it comes to choosing where to live, so as a landlord you’ve got to make sure your property stands out. If it’s been a while since your units last got an upgrade, it might be time to take a look at what you can improve to make your property attractive to quality tenants. We’ve put together a list of ten rental property upgrades that will be sure to make a big impact without making a big dent in your wallet.

10 Rental Property Upgrades You Won’t Regret

Add a washer and dryer. If space and plumbing permit, adding a washer and dryer will have a huge effect on the desirability of your property. Affordable units can be found used on local marketplace sites, or refurbished from many online retailers. Rather than deal with collecting quarters from the machine at the end of each month, you can simply tack on $25 or $50 to the monthly rental costs— trust us, laundry is one convenience tenants are more than happy to pay for.

Update ceiling light fixtures. Nothing can make an otherwise lovely apartment look dingy than flipping the wall switch and bathing it in cloudy yellow light from an ancient fixture. Modern light fixtures are a simple way to improve the aesthetic appeal of your unit and make it memorable to potential tenants. Plus, most ceiling-mount light fixtures these days can be replaced without rewiring, typically for less than the cost of an hour’s time.

Replace the cabinet hardware. Sure, throwing some new doors on the cabinets is a more complete way to give them a makeover, but if the doors are in good shape, you’d be surprised what a simple change of hardware can do. Swapping out dated-looking pieces for unique, modern looking knobs or handles will make the whole room look fresher.

Add attractive faucets. Along the same lines as the cabinet hardware, taking out your old faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, and replacing them with sleeker, more modern features (like this kitchen faucet from Moen, just $159 at Lowe’s) can turn your unit’s kitchen and bathroom from nothing special into a big wow.

Have it cleaned. According to LegalZoom, one of the least expensive but most dramatically visible rental property upgrades you can perform is simply having the unit professionally cleaned. Especially in the age of COVID, knowing you’re committed to cleanliness will be a big selling point for potential tenants. Plus, it will set the standard for how you want them to treat the unit.

Pressure wash the outside. We wrote about landscaping and its effect on attracting tenants earlier this summer, but that’s not all you can do to upgrade the exterior of your property. One simple tactic that shouldn’t take more than a day is to pressure wash your property’s exterior. Pressure washing not only drastically improves the appearance and curb appeal of your property, but it helps extend the life of the house’s exterior as well, so you’ll need repairs less frequently.

Replace interior and/or exterior doors. Both interior and exterior doors see a lot of wear and tear on an apartment. Many owners and managers will ignore the dings and scratches, or try to cover them up with more and more layers of paint. However, replacing the doors can cost you as little as $100 per door and most come in standard sizes which make for easy installation.

Laminate flooring. We’ll go ahead and call it: the age of wall-to-wall carpeting is over. Once seen as a luxury, it’s now seen as an unhygienic and high-maintenance flooring material, and isn’t a good option for a space that different people may be inhabiting year after year. Instead of making the very costly upgrade to hardwood, consider laminate instead. A synthetic material with the look of wood, laminate flooring is inexpensive to install and upkeep, and lasts much longer than carpet.

Update appliances to energy efficient units. While regular maintenance to the appliances in your units will help keep them in good shape, once appliances get to a certain age, they develop quirks (think: your dishwasher only produces hot water if it’s on a certain setting, or the dryer buzzer drones on anytime the dryer door is open). Plus, most renters care a lot about the energy efficiency of their home, so upgrading to newer units that will save on energy costs is a good thing for you and the tenant both, regardless of who pays the utility bills. The best appliances to consider for these upgrades are the dishwasher, washer and dryer, and fridge.

Add smart home tech. Doorbell cameras, smart locks, Wi-Fi powered by a mesh network, and a security system are only a few examples of smart home technology upgrades that not only will your tenants love, but will also increase the value of your property overall. Safety and technology are two things millennials (who make up over 40% of renters according to a 2019 survey) care a lot about, so this one is guaranteed to pay off.

Ultimately making improvements to your rental units is a cost-benefit analysis that only you can feel confident about— but we hope this list of rental property upgrades is a good jumping-off point for you to get started on the process.

How All County Denver Metro Can Help

Making improvements to your rentals is a win-win solution to attracting quality tenants– but we know the landlord’s to-do list doesn’t end with filling your units. All County Denver Metro Property Management is here to help property owners get the best return on their investment through knowledgeable and trustworthy property management services. From managing tenant relationships to lease enforcement, we look forward to working with you to see how your investment can be a long-term, stress-free asset. For a complimentary quote, call us today at (720) 664-4550.

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