It’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:
A 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.
Next 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
It 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
Consider 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
After 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!