Making rental property upgrades isn't about transforming a rental home into the latest home-improvement TV show model house. When deciding on renovations for an Annapolis MD property, owners must evaluate the necessity of an upgrade, costs—and if renters will actually want it and pay enough rent to enjoy the new features or amenities.
No Annapolis property management company can make this financial decision for you. However, our team has put together three tips to help real estate investors analyze potential upgrades and make smart choices when improving rental properties to maximize returns.
1. Cost-Effectiveness Takes Priority Over "High-End" in Anne Arundel County
Managing a rental property maintenance and renovation budget requires prioritizing cost-effective upgrades. Start by improving features in the home that won’t cost much but will significantly increase your property’s value. With thoughtful updates that work within your budget, you'll also be able to justify a slight rental rate increase to offset costs and keep your rental competitive.
Choosing high-end updates won't always pay off in the long run. Just because the latest home renovation show is excited about something doesn't mean it's worth it to add it to a rental property, and hope renters are excited about the cost of those features, too.
While you want to avoid cheap alternatives to quality updates, don't let something shiny and expensive distract you. High-end countertops or top-notch hardwood floors might be something you prefer for your own residence, most renters won't want to pay higher rent prices for pricey amenities when they can find a more affordable rental with quality flooring that meets their needs.
Thoughtful and cost-effective upgrades can also include:
- Repainting the kitchen cabinets and replacing hardware
- New energy-efficient appliances
- Improve the curb appeal with a new front door and tasteful, low-maintenance landscaping
- Repainting the home (inside and out) with neutral colors that work well with potential renters' design ideas
- Replacing fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom
Your budget might determine the best updates to tackle first. However, an expert Annapolis property management team can recommend any of the items on this list are low-cost, high-impact upgrades that can boost the appeal of your rental and support a rent increase.
2. Always Consider Durability Before Style
When upgrading your home, think of durability before style. Back to our home-improvement show reference, while you'll see plenty of style ideas on television, they won't always stand the design tests of time—or traffic from pets and kids.
Even if you work with Annapolis MD property managers to screen and place quality renters, there is never a guarantee that they will handle your home with care the way you do. Kids, pets, and multiple renters take a toll on flooring, fixtures, walls, and countertops.
Spending budget dollars on expensive updates will look nice for listing photos, but they might not survive the first few months with new residents in your rental home. A property management expert knows that smart upgrades should withstand long-term wear and tear without requiring frequent repairs or making your rental look shabby after a few lease terms.
3. Don’t Make Maintenance Difficult For Your Renters (or Yourself)
A property manager understands that the right upgrades make your rental homes attractive and appealing to renters. However, once you get them in the house, don't make it hard for them to clean it or handle their upkeep responsibilities! Be careful about choosing upgrades that make maintenance and repairs harder for yourself as the property owner, too.
Updates should be easy to maintain or clean throughout the lease term. When they need a repair, you shouldn't need a rare (and costly) specialist to get anything back into working order. What seems like a simple thing to install can become a hassle for residents to deal with while living in the home.
Property management experts recommend staying away from:
- High-maintenance hardwood floors or countertops that require specific products and care to keep them looking nice. Hardwoods also suffer from deep scratches if you have renters with kids or allow pets in your properties.
- Deep grout in the bathroom that can be difficult to clean and keep free of mildew.
- Complicated landscaping that requires frequent watering or trimming to maintain the curb appeal.
- Intricate chandeliers or fixtures that gather a lot of dust and take a lot of time to clean.
Your rental should be a home that the average person can easily clean and maintain while enjoying a quality property. A property manager recommends choosing upgrades that keep your property relevant and competitive at reasonable prices, then enjoy quality residents and better returns!
An Annapolis Property Management Company Guides Investors to the Best Upgrades
No matter how you look at it, investors have to spend money on rental properties to make them attractive to renters. However, spending money on the wrong things to make a property "better" can lead to income loss (and frustrated residents) in the long run.
Hiring reputable Annapolis property management professionals can help you research potential updates and choose upgrades that make the most sense for your long-term investment strategy! If you're thinking about rental property upgrades, Renters Warehouse BW/Metro is here to help! Let's talk about the best updates for your rentals and how our property management services can help maximize your returns.
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