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8 Methods For Upgrading Rental Property: The best ways to add curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Posted by sonrise on May 13, 2013
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It’s time for upgrading your rental property so you can maximize the rent you charge. One of the ways to get top dollar for your area is to have a clean, updated home not in need of any major repairs. The problem is that you can’t afford to spend a fortune on upgrades. This article will discuss high-impact, low-cost projects that will add curb appeal to your property and maximize your profits.

8 Methods For Upgrading Rental Property

1. Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. If you can’t afford to re-paint the whole house, painting the front door in a fresh, vibrant color that compliments the rest of the house can add a lot of appeal with very little cost. You could also add a seasonal wreath or ornament for extra appeal.
2. Upgrade your house hardware/numbers and add lighting. Replace outdated or worn hardware and house numbers to update the appearance of your home. You can search for unique and inexpensive options online or opt for your local hardware store. Adding strategic lighting to house numbers or the front pathway can add safety and appeal to your home.
3. Wash windows, clean gutters and tidy yard. A dirty house leaves a bad impression but people expect a clean house. With this in mind, make sure your windows sparkle and that your gutters and yard are free of leaves and debris. A home that appears to be well maintained inside and out will command a higher asking price.
4. Install window plant/flower boxes. A full landscaping overhaul could cost thousands but you can add outdoor appeal by installing window boxes with low-maintenance plants and flowers. Plants well suited to window boxes include sweet potato vine, coleus, salvia, pansies, primroses and geraniums but you may want to check with a local garden shop for those specifically suited to your climate.
5. Define planting beds with edging. Add edging to your flower beds for a polished, appealing look. You can choose different materials depending on the style of your home but be sure to look for something durable enough to withstand weed-whacking. Inexpensive edging materials include bricks, pavers, concrete curbing and low fencing.
Three Additional Investments worth considering when Upgrading your Rental Property
6. Install quality countertops. If your countertops are severely outdated or worn it is a good idea to replace them. Resist the urge to go with the cheapest option, such as a paper laminate because they stain, scratch and dent very easily which will mean replacing them sooner than you might like. Investing in granite or ceramic tile countertops can save you money in the long run and increase rental appeal.
7. Choose the right appliances. Attractive, well working appliances will attract renters. Think about upgrading the fridge, dishwasher (if there is one), stove/oven, washer and dryer (if they are supplied) to energy efficient models which cost a little more money upfront but save money on electricity and water bills in the long run. Most importantly, pay for the extended warranty so you won’t be caught with unexpected expenses to replace a model.
8. Be smart about flooring choices. Many rental properties are carpeted throughout most of the house but that may not be the wisest option when you consider that renters don’t tend to treat a rental as they would their own home. Carpet easily stains, rips and wears under foot traffic. If the carpet is merely dirty, then pay for carpet cleaning but if it is time to replace the carpet, consider ripping it up and installing laminate wood or tiles. Tiles are less expensive than wood but could be unappealing through an entire house in cold climates.
Styles change and housing features and appliance age and wear out. To keep your property in top condition you should plan to upgrade your rental every five to ten years. The guideline to consider, however, is not to spend more than you can earn by raising the rent. More than likely this means not choosing top of the line products but those of reasonable quality with good warranties. Renting property can be a financially rewarding business if you plan effectively and choose your upgrades wisely.

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