Investing in a rental property is a great idea if you’re willing to put in the work. Many people buy fixer-uppers in the hopes that they’ll turn into cash cows but, without a little elbow grease and some TLC, these buildings become money pits that don’t rent for very high amounts. There are a few key property upgrades to prioritize, however, when you’re looking into investing in a rental property that will help keep monthly rent competitive.
Outdoor and community spaces
Especially if you’re operating a multi-unit building, having some sort of communal gathering space adds a good amount of curb appeal. It’s a great way to get tenants to interact and helps to foster a sense of community within your property. There are many spaces that adequately fit the bill, from your traditional rec room to an onsite theater where you can hold monthly movie screenings. If your building is in a more temperate part of the country, you may even want to consider placing your community area outdoors in the form of a courtyard, expanded porch, patio, or deck.
Even if your property didn’t come prefabricated with a ready outdoor space, installing one won’t put you in a money crunch. Patios are affordable and it’s easy enough to find a composite deck installer to craft an inviting outdoor space at a reasonable rate. If you want to add even more appeal to your amenities, consider furnishing the outdoors as well. While it’s tempting to let your tenants provide their own furnishings, you’re encouraging use of the space and also justifying a higher monthly rent by doing it yourself. Wouldn’t some cute amish furniture make your new composite deck so cozy and inviting?
Repair that roof
If you’ve ever been a renter, you’ve no doubt come across the horror that is a leaky roof or ceiling at one point or another. In larger complexes, it’s often because a forgetful upstairs neighbor neglected to turn off the bathtub. In houses and one story properties, it’s often because of damage to the roof. Not only are these unsightly from the exterior but they can also cause serious problems down the road.
Especially if you’re renting out a whole home, a recently rehabbed roof is a major selling point and earns that extra rent money. It gives tenants a sense of comfort knowing that they’re not going to wake up to an inch of standing water after a particularly nasty storm. If you think your property’s roof needs a bit of seeing to, find a roofing contractor in your area to discuss the extent of the damage as well as an estimate. Not only will your property look better on the outside but your tenants will thank you. Furthermore, your wallet will thank you too when you don’t have to deal with any serious problems caused by a wonky roof.
Revamp the kitchen
Kitchen amenities are one of the largest driving forces for higher rents. Just think about it: Would you pay a premium every month for a suspiciously smelly fridge and a gas stove that looks like it travelled forward in time from the 1950s? Probably not, and your tenants expect the same level of quality and you can achieve it without breaking the bank.
Plenty of modern appliances aren’t nearly as expensive as you might think. If you only need to upgrade one or two units, you’ll quickly make the money back through your higher rent charges. If you’re furnishing an entire complex, you may want to consider finding bulk deals or turning to an online auction house. If push comes to shove, you can stagger the upgrades and rent out the renovated units first to balance expenses.
With a bit of investment on your end, your income property will start to pay you back handsomely. All you need to do is identify where the biggest improvements can be made and get to work.