5 Rental Home Renovations That Are Worth Your Money

Written on October 19, 2015 by , updated on July 31, 2017

Christina El MoussaIt’s easy to get carried away when renovating a property. If you haven’t made the mistake of “over-renovating” a rental, then I would like to congratulate you.

When an investor over-renovates, they add upgrades and features that are not necessary to get the house sold and therefore, they eat into their profits.

Tarek and I have definitely made a few renovating mistakes over the years, and it’s a very common mistake made by first-time real estate investors.

If you’re wondering which renovations are going to give you the “best bang for your buck” then look no further. Here are our top five:

1. Paint

farrow-and-ball-swatchesA carefully created color scheme can do wonders to create an inviting, fresh and even modern space.

Stick to a neutral palette (remember everyone’s taste is not necessarily yours), but avoid making your house a big white box with little or no definition.

Consider painting the trim several shades darker than the wall color, or adding a feature wall or two.

If you’re not confident to choose paint colors then go online – there are plenty of websites that have done the work for you such as Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware, and do a good job of showing you which colors go together.

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2. Flooring

flooringNext step is the flooring. Do you choose a carpet which creates more of a feeling of a warmth (but is susceptible to spills and visual wear and tear), or do you choose laminate or hardwood flooring (if your budget permits)?

The answer is it depends – both on the quality of renters you’re trying to attract and your renovation budget.

For example, executive level renters will appreciate carpet in the bedrooms and possibly a good quality laminate or hardwood flooring throughout. Whereas a rental property in a lower price bracket might just make more sense to put laminate down.

3. Stainless Steel Appliances

ss-appIt doesn’t matter which price point your rental is at – there’s no denying the aesthetic allure of stainless steel appliances.

They can do wonders to instantly modernize a tired kitchen and you don’t have to pay top dollar for them either.

Over the past 3 years especially stainless steel appliances have become surprisingly affordable and if you can get them on clearance it’s an even bigger bonus.

4. Kitchen Countertops

formica-graniteConsider replacing tired, worn out countertops with something new and fresh.

While granite is my preference there are a lot of less expensive alternatives like a good quality laminate that can give a granite like feel to a kitchen and are friendly to your pocketbook.

An 8’x3′ slab (24/sq. ft) will cost between $100-$150, while granite usually runs $50-$60/sq. ft.

5. New Bathroom Vanities

bath-vanityAfter the kitchen, the bathrooms are a top priority. Consider replacing old vanities that are dated with limited storage space with something modern looking that provides ample storage space for towels and bathroom accessories.

If budget permits, we also recommend replacing the bathroom faucets and the shower heads to give your bathroom a facelift without needing to do a full renovation.

Use these five tips in your rental renovations and you’ll have happy tenants and a happy pocketbook!

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2 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • ken dale

    My recommendations:
    Paint everything with semi gloss-lasts longer easier to clean.
    I use one color Kelly Moore Frost semi gloss for all rooms in all the rentals. I always have matching touch up paint. Plus KM sells a matching color caulking.
    Decorating? Let tenants install drapes, pictures, etc.
    For bath and kitchen, I primer with tinted primer to attain better adhesion. The current fad of Paint with primer in it is the worst of both worlds.
    I hate carpet. I like porcelain tile best, then ceramic, then commercial vinyl strips, then real wood. Laminate can be destroyed by excessive wet mopping.

    • Lucas Hall

      Ken,

      Great tip about the semi-gloss paint! I’ve not heard of Kelly Moore paint before, but I’ll keep my eyes out for it.

      I certainly use white semi-gloss for all the trim, but choose an eggshell sheen for walls. I prefer a neutral light tan for the walls, just to make the trim “pop”. My favorite is “Manchester Tan” by Benjamin Moore. I wonder if Ben is related to Kelly? :)

      I also try to use tile or hardwood wherever I can. It just makes for an easier clean-up.

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