First Rental, Full Remodel: How Beginner Landlords Should Renovate
If you just bought a new rental property, chances are it could use some updating before it’s ready for tenants. Modernizing and maintaining your rental property is an essential part of being a successful landlord. It helps make the property marketable, attracts reliable tenants, and increases property value.
A full remodel can be overwhelming; many first-time landlords end up investing too much in renovations that aren’t necessary or noticeable. A successful remodel in a rental property should focus on balancing these key ideas:
- Affordability: One of the biggest remodeling mistakes is spending too much on renovations that don’t offer any return on the investment. If a renovation doesn’t increase the value of the home and allow you to increase the rent, then it offers no return. In general, the less you spend on renovations, the better.
- Longevity: Going hand in hand with affordability, you want to prolong the need for a remodel as long as possible. Unfortunately, not every tenant is going to treat the property as well as you’d like. Renovate with longevity in mind; anticipate wear-and-tear and prioritize easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Aesthetics: Giving a property a modern and updated appearance is essential for attracting high quality tenants. Updated properties rent for higher prices, stay rented for longer, and go off the market faster. Focus on renovations that impress and justify any premiums you add to the rent. This will increase the property’s value and put you in a better position to sell, if needed.
The Winning Combination
When it’s time to do a full remodel, the following components create a great standard for renovations that are beautiful and cost-effective:
Pre-made kitchen cabinets: Pre-assembled minimalist kitchen cabinets keep kitchen remodels simple and versatile. There’s no need to invest money into custom kitchen cabinets; pre-made cabinets are cheaper, and save time and money during installation. A modern, minimalist cabinet will maintain its appeal and be attractive to all tenants.
Quartz countertops: Quartz is the preferred material for countertops because it is durable, affordable, and still has a luxurious look. These countertops will withstand tenant wear-and-tear and are easy to clean.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring: We all know that carpet is in the past. Most landlords opt for a hard flooring like tile, and most tenants prefer hardwood. The best bang for your buck lies in luxury vinyl plank flooring. It is easier to install than tile or wood, more affordable than other luxury flooring options, and is extremely durable and waterproof.
Fiberglass shower inserts: When it comes to the bathroom, fiberglass shower inserts are a practical option with a modern look. They are practically indestructible, easy to clean, and won’t deteriorate or grow mildew like tile grout does.
For more remodeling guidance, follow these tips:
- Do what’s best for your property: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all renovation plan. Don’t tear things out just because it’s a ‘standard renovation’. Try cleaning and repairing before replacing. Focus on the specific needs of the property, and capitalize on the property’s strengths.
- Don’t overlook outdoor maintenance: A property’s curb appeal has an immense impact on marketability. Keep the front and back of the property clean and well maintained. There are many ways to optimize outdoor landscaping for energy efficiency and simplicity.
- Keep it versatile: When it comes to styling choices, it’s important to maintain a neutral, minimalist, and versatile look. You need to appeal to a wide tenant audience, so for choices like paint color, stick with something simple.
- Renovate areas with the highest ROI: Going back to the three foundations of a successful remodel, it’s all about your return of investment. Statistics show the most important rooms for remodeling are the kitchen and bathroom. Small updates like lighting fixtures and new hardware can give a space a fresh appearance at little cost to you. Adding a fresh coat of paint is always a cheap and effective way to transform a room. Additionally, flooring is one of the most important updates to make, and can offer up to 90% ROI, especially if the current floors appear dated and worn.
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