Your rental property will inevitably experience some wear and tear over time. Property owners must do general updates every few years to keep their property holding its value. A new coat of paint, new carpet, and updated furniture will all help to keep your home looking fresh. However, property owners may wonder if I want to rent my home, is it worth it to make major upgrades to my property? Will the home upgrades increase the property value? Or will the owner’s return on investment end up not being worth the cost?
Kitchen Upgrades: Pros and Cons
- The pros. With online rentals, it’s easier than ever before for renters to examine and compare a large number of properties online. A gourmet kitchen with granite counter-tops, plenty of workspace, and all of the latest appliances are sought after features for today’s renters. An updated kitchen will increase the value of your home and increase the rates that renters will be willing to charge.
- The cons. How much you spend on upgrades to your kitchen really depends on the market value of your property. If you are in a high-end area where renters expect luxury accommodations, you may need to do some major upgrades just to be competitive. However, if you are in a market where you aren’t going to get over a certain amount for rent, then less expensive upgrades that freshen the space, might have more benefits for you.
Flooring Upgrades: Pros and Cons
- The pros. Although you may be tempted to install a cheap carpet in your home, a more expensive one will last longer, saving you money over the long run by not needing to install a new carpet every few years. Ceramic tile is another choice that is durable, easy to clean, and long-lasting. However, it’s not maintenance-free as it requires regular cleaning and grout repair. Wooden flooring is stylish and beautiful, adding value to any home.
- The cons. Just like with your kitchen upgrade, if you are in a market where you are not going to be able to increase your rent by much, spending a lot of money on a flooring upgrade is not going to be a good return on your money. It might make more sense to look into carpeting (which is less expensive than tile or wood) or laminate. Laminate flooring can mimic more expensive tile and wood floors and makes for easier clean-up.
Digital Upgrades: Pros and Cons
- The Pros. Having your home controlled with smart sensors can save energy costs. Lightning, A/C, and heating can be put on occupancy sensors, saving you money when no one is home.
- The Cons. Older homes may be difficult to upgrade to a smart system. Automated lighting upgrades can be costly and may take years before your energy savings is offset from the initial cost.
Upgrading your rental home will help to keep your property competitive and your rates higher. But you need to be smart about it. Making your rentable home desirable to lodgers may involve planning and market research. You may find that your renters are more likely to respect your property if it is well-maintained with newer upgrades. Do your research and be sure the upgrades you choose are right for your home and property market.