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Renovating a rental property

By Monica Boyd

If you’re not getting the rental return you want for your investment property – do something about it!

You can spend a fortune on renovating an investment property but it’s important to set your budget and focus your time and money on adding value – both long term capital value and to increase the rental return.

If you’re like most investors, you let the market dictate how much your property is worth but serious investors look at ways to add value to their property and renovating can be a very profitable strategy.

When done properly, renovating your investment property can be a great strategy to boost your returns and secure better tenants. When renovating a rental property, you need a strategy and budget because it’s easy to spend your money on the wrong things and overspend.

Here are some of the best ways to increase the value of your rental property to increase its rental value.

Paint walls

The first sign of a ‘tired’ property are the walls. Tenants come and go but the scuffs and marks stay. Every few years you should consider freshening up the property with a fresh coat of paint. Keep the colour neutral to ensure that it appeals to a majority of potential tenants.

New Blinds

Blinds can help shape a room so ensure you use natural colours and use durable materials. Good quality blinds last longer than cheap plastic ones. Have a look through other rental properties in your target price range and see what other investors are doing.

Invest in robes

Although this may not increase the value of your property, it will reduce the time your property stays vacant for. Many tenants won’t apply for a property if there are no robes in the bedrooms. If you can save a week or two of vacancy each time your property becomes vacant, then investing in robes makes good financial sense.

New Door Handles

This is one of the most effective ways to improve the look of your kitchen or bathroom. From as little as a few dollars each, you can pick up some modern door handles and make the room feel and look more modern.

Lighten the place up

You don’t have to spend a fortune on light fittings to make your property look good to potential tenants. But old, worn out light fittings can deter potential tenants. If your property is a little dark, you want to make sure that you use high powered globes to lighten the property up.

Install a Dishwasher 

Dishwashers are becoming a deal breaker for many tenants these days. If you have space in your kitchen to install a dishwasher, it would be well worth doing. If you don’t have the space yet, it will cost you a little more to move cupboards around but you should be able to get that cost back over the next year or two in the additional rent you can charge on your property.

Flooring

Depending on where our property is located and your target demographic, picking the right flooring can increase your rental return. Your choice of flooring can also reduce your expenses in the future. Carpet can damage and stain easily so some investors prefer to use floorboards or porcelain tiles.

Heating and cooling

Another deal breaker for many tenants. If there is no heating/cooling in your property, you’re already losing a large portion of potential tenants. Split systems are a cost effective solution to heat and cool a property and will increase the rental value of your property straight away.

Paint kitchen cupboards

To give your kitchen a face lift without the large expense, consider painting the fronts of the cupboards and drawers to make them look new again. Stay away from high gloss finishes as it’s easier to spot imperfections. Together with new door handles, your kitchen will look brand new and you’ll be able to increase the rent you can charge.

You can spend a fortune on renovating an investment property but it’s important to set your budget and focus your time and money on adding value – both long term capital value and to increase the rental return.

www.therealestateconversation.com.au

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