Purchasing your first home is so exciting. Through all the appointments with real estate agents, visiting countless properties, hearing a bunch of no’s, driving past any house and wondering how many bathrooms are in there, to a million other little things, there’s nothing quite like finally grabbing that key and walking through the front door.
But what about when you make a purchase a rental property? Do you feel at all excited? Do you still have the same feeling of potentially renovating the living room? It’s definitely a purchase you’re going to have to make with your brain instead of with your heart.
Nonetheless, you’re going to have to start planning the overall layout of the property. You’re going to have to resist doing everything the way you would want to do it as you’re going to have to appeal to the masses.
Try to Steer Away from Carpet
Look, in your own home, there is nothing wrong with carpet. But you have to think about how many tenants could be coming in and out of your apartment and how they’re unlikely to put as much effort into cleaning it as you would.
Besides being difficult to clean, carpets get dirtier, stain easier, and tend to hold on to smells for months. Instead, make sure and go with more durable materials such as hardwood, laminate, or tiles.
Even though it might be a bigger cost up front, you’re going to save yourself plenty of hassle down the road.
Upgrade the Lighting
Have you ever been looking for something in a room and someone turns on a light? That little light makes all the difference. The same principle applies to parts of your house.
Natural lighting and open floor plans are all the rage these days, but making those changes can be expensive and time-consuming. Instead, go the cheaper route and upgrade your lights. New, brighter lights are going to make the room look newer itself.
This is also a good time to install LED light bulbs, which are more energy-efficient and vibrant. In addition, you could install smart light bulbs, which will turn off when you’re not in the room and save money on the electric bill.
Opt for Gloss Painting
Everything looks better with a little shine, right? Not only does glossy painting give your rooms a bit of shine, but it’s also much, much easier to clean.
Splashes, accidents, and spills can happen and they can turn any nice-looking wall into a huge mess. Cleaning up traditional paint can be difficult or may require a new coat of paint, but glossy paint is much easier to clean up.
Make Lawncare Easy
Let’s step outside for a little bit and think about the outside of your house. Yes, a well-kept lawn and garden will raise your curbside value but beautiful lawns also require a bit of care.
When designing the lawn, make sure your tenants will have to put minimal work to keep it looking nice. You probably shouldn’t expect more than tenants occasionally watering the plants or mowing the lawns. If you find someone that wants to plant their own flowers and put their own touch on the garden, then you should know that you hit the jackpot.
Small Upgrades to Big Rooms
Two of the most important rooms in the entire house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. When purchasing your own home or looking through properties, you probably have a vision of how you’d like those places to be.
While it may be tempting to make significant upgrades, it’s best to make small upgrades in order to give them a new feel. Install new cabinets, put in a splash guard, add glossy paint, or put in a new shower head instead of redoing the entire place.
Big renovations are costly and you’re unlikely to see significant return on your investment.
Don’t Forget the Small Things
It’s easy to focus on the big things when sprucing up a home, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the small things. If you’ve got a cabinet door that doesn’t close right, fix it. If a sink is leaking, fix it. Be sure to put all your wall mounts on wall studs.
A small problem at the beginning could turn into a much bigger problem later on. Take care of the small things first, because your tenant may not even notice them or worsen them over time.