Often I go into rental properties with new clients and we have to do some work to prep the property for the market. As most owners dont want to spend a ton of money for a rental there are some tips and tricks I learned over the years. One of the most important things you can do for your property is make sure you have a fresh coat of paint. Painting is one of those items that can become personal due to room colors, furniture and so forth. The best thing that an owner can do is paint their property a neutral shade. Here are some color paletts from Benjamin Moore that I like. Years ago it was all about the off white shades. Now I am seeing more and more tones of gray coming into play. They work nicely with most furniture and dont leave such a sterile feeling in the rooms.
Accent walls are usually a question or concern. An example of an acccent wall is having 3 out of the 4 walls in a room a nuetral color and the 4th wall bright red for example to go with the furniture. I often get asked what should we do? My answer is typically leave it for the time being as long as furniture is being left in that room for marketing. If the property is going to be left vacant I would highly consider re painting that wall to match the rest. Consistency is the name of the game in rentals. The less questions the tenant prospect askes the better when it comes to "what is the owner going to do about that".
Flooring is always an interesting conversation. Owners ask do I install new carpet, or wood floors? First if you have carpet already and it looks in good shape I would have it professionally cleaned and leave it. For most condo buildings I feel that it reduces noise for neighbors. Wood aesthetically looks better but can be pricey to remove the carpet, level the floors, and place new wood floors. Although this investment can last a bit longer than carpet. It can make a room feel larger at times, and cleaner as well. If your planning to go with wood floors there are now many options one can choose from. A true hard wood is very expensive. I wiould stick with the engineered wood or a laminate for rentals. Both work just fine and they look just as good. Every year those products continue to look and even feel better. A lot of laminates now even have etching in them to give that weathered look. Some of my favorites are bamboo strand. This is one of the toughest surface engineered woods around. This wood comes in a variety of shades and can be installed as a floating floor or nailed down.
Bathroom upgrades are a must these days. That 1940's green tub that sits in these old world homes needs to go. I know some people are historic and like old world charm but its just not my taste. Modern clean lines are what the younger generations are going for. This is a great example of a bath that is not overly done but on the inexpensive side. Home depot is one of my favorite stores and you can make your property look great for not a lot of money. Even less if your willing to do some of the labor yourself.
Kitchens are typically the main focus area in a single family home, or condo. In a rental property there are ways around making a kitchen look good on the cheap. The best way is to use laminate countertops instead of real and costly marble or granite. They wear pretty well and you wont have to worry about a piece of marble cracking. Another way to tone up the kitchen is by using tile backsplashes. Using an accent color or even a neutral color is a great way to make your kitchen look that much better. Re paint or stain your exisiting cabinets. You can even re face them if needed.
With rental properties the name of the game is typically look like you have more for less. The less questions that are asked by a prospective tenant will increase the chance of them saying yes. You want to avoid tenants asking for items to be done prior to move in. This creates an opening for negotiation on rent. Place your best foot forward and price correctly.
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