The Best Budget-Friendly Upgrades for Your Rental Property
Property maintenance and upkeep tends to eat into your revenue as a property owner. But don’t fret, there’s good news here. There are easy, budget-friendly ways to keep your property looking its best and increase your rental income at the same time. Let’s dive into the top eight affordable upgrades for rental properties.
1. Replace Cabinet Doors
Although many property owners may consider replacing worn-out cabinets entirely, it’s more feasible to replace just the cabinet doors. However, it’s important to use high-quality, solid wood doors. Afterwards, you can paint them whatever color you like, though we recommend keeping things neutral. By replacing the hinges and knobs, your kitchen will have a fresh look that’s sure to catch the eye of potential tenants.
Potential Cost: $1,000-$3,000
2. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
You may find this surprising, but painting has the highest return on investment of any upgrades to rental properties. To receive an even higher return on investment, try buying paint in bulk. This way, when you need to do any touch-up work, you won’t have trouble matching the paint. You may even be able to negotiate a discount for a large bulk order of paint at your local hardware store. If you prefer to skip this step, you can offer to let your tenants paint the walls themselves, which may be a selling point for some renters. Just be sure to list any conditions you may have in your lease regarding painting the rental property.
Potential Cost: $100-$1,000
3. Replace Interior and Exterior Doors
Both interior and exterior doors often get damaged in rental properties simply because of the amount of times furniture and other belongings are moved in and out of the property. Many property owners and managers will either ignore this damage or cover it up with some touch-up paint. However, over-coating doors with paint will end up looking like a mess if it’s done more than once. Instead, try adding new doors to the property, an inexpensive way to dramatically increase the visual appeal of the unit.
New doors can be found at your local hardware store, and you typically won’t have to pay more than $100 a piece for them (depending on if they’re interior or exterior). With a little help, you can install a new door without changing the frame.
Potential Cost: $100-$5,000
4. Pressure Wash the Exterior
Don’t forget about the outside of your property, whether it’s a house, apartment, townhouse, or condo. Pressure washing is an important, and affordable, factor to keeping up your property. Pressure washing makes a huge difference in how a property looks. You can pressure wash the exterior of the property including the front porch, the back porch (or balcony), and the entryway to remove mold, mildew, or weathered materials.
You can either hire someone to pressure wash, or you can easily do it yourself by renting a pressure washer at your local hardware store if you don’t own one.
Potential Cost: $0-$300
5. Add Landscaping
Landscaping is surprisingly effective when it comes to attracting potential tenants. If you’re willing to put in some work yourself, you’ll have the exterior of your property looking fresh and bright in no time. Landscaping materials are relatively inexpensive, especially if you’re just planting flowers in front of the property. When a renter is touring your property, fresh, well-kept landscaping gives the appearance that the rental is well taken care of by the property owner or manager, and it gives your property a personal touch.
Potential Cost: $50-$500
6. Install New Flooring
Before you choose to place carpet in your rental property, hear us out. Carpet isn’t an ideal option because it is easily stained with the appearance of being worn in after minimal wear. Oftentimes, it even needs to be replaced after every tenant, depending on the quality of the carpet or the wear and tear by the tenant.
Tenants love wood flooring, and we have to agree. It will make your property stand out compared to other renal properties they are considering (perhaps with carpet). Wood flooring rarely needs to be replaced, which is a huge cost advantage for you. Although you’ll spend more on hardwood than other flooring options, you’ll find that it has a measurable impact on your property value. Landlords can market hardwood flooring as a luxury amenity, potentially allowing you to increase your rental rate.
If you feel that hardwoods are out of your budget, try vinyl or engineered wood flooring instead.
Potential Cost: $2,000-$10,000
7. Add a Fresh Backsplash or New Fixtures
Renters love a good backsplash, especially when it’s accompanied by new fixtures. Backsplashes add immediate value to your property. Just make sure to choose a backsplash that’s durable and easy to clean with a classic, timeless look so that each tenant finds that they can easily match their décor and appliances to the kitchen. New fixtures like a modern faucet and overhead lighting immediately freshen up the kitchen and bathroom. If you feel your property is a bit dated, a fresh backsplash and new fixtures are a great (and affordable) way to spruce things up.
Potential Cost: $500-$2,000
8. Put a Washer/Dryer in the Unit
Buying a washer and dryer for your rental property is more affordable than you think, and it’s very likely that this addition will give you a good return on investment. You can even add an extra charge per month in rent for an in-unit washer and dryer, such as $30-$80 a month, depending on the age of the appliances and the price of rent. Try looking for a used set on online marketplaces or buy a brand new set from budget-friendly sites like Amazon or BrandsMart.
Potential Cost: $150-$600
It’s important to keep your property looking its best in order to attract new tenants, but it’s equally important to ensure that you’re keeping revenue up by staying in budget when it comes to upgrades. If you find that you’re interested in continuing the renovation process (and have it in your budget to do so), check out this list of the best upgrades for your rental property.