Keeping your San Jose rental property modern, well-maintained, and updated is vital to its overall success and profitability. You want to keep your investment’s value high, and you want to be able to attract fantastic tenants and charge high rents.
When you’re trying to optimize what you earn and how you attract and retain tenants, you’ll want to make small updates and upgrades from time to time, especially during the turnover periods. This will impact your rental property's value in significant ways.
Unless your property is deteriorating or dated, a complete renovation is likely not necessary. But, making some minor improvements is both cost-effective and a great way to make the home more modern and desirable.
Let’s take a look at where you should focus your efforts, and why.
Stay on Top of Paint
One easy way to update your rental property and increase its value is by giving it a fresh coat of paint - on the inside and the outside. Painting can instantly transform a space, and it's a relatively low-cost update that can reap big rewards. A freshly painted property will look clean, modern, and inviting, making it more attractive to potential tenants.
Be sure to choose neutral colors that appeal to a wide range of preferences. And, invest in good paint. If you don’t want to repaint the walls every year, buying a satin or semi-gloss paint will ensure it remains durable even as tenants and their furniture are touching the walls.
Don’t forget to evaluate the exterior paint as well. New paint may be necessary every five years or every 10 years, depending on how much exposure your property has to sun, leaves, and traffic.
Kitchen Updates are Attention-Grabbing
If you’re only going to make upgrades and improvements to one part of your rental property, let it be the kitchen.
Kitchens are perhaps the most emotional part of anyone’s home. It’s where food is prepared, coffee is made, and lunches are packed. For many people, there’s more time spent in the kitchen than anywhere else in their home.
Make it a place your tenants will love. A good-looking and functional kitchen will attract qualified tenants and have an impact on your rental property's value. Small kitchen updates such as new cabinet hardware and updated lighting are cost-effective, and they can make a big difference. These updates can make the kitchen look more modern, which is a significant selling point for tenants.
Other kitchen pick-me-ups might include:
Tile backsplash behind the sink or the stove.
New, energy-efficient appliances. This will require more of an investment, but if your appliances are aging or mismatched, it’s worth it to replace them.
Updated drawer pulls.
A shiny, new faucet.
Easy-to-maintain floors like tile or plank vinyl.
The dollars you spend updating and upgrading your kitchen will also come back to you. This is one of the areas that tenants look first when they’re shopping for a new rental home.
Bathrooms Need Love, Too
Updating the bathroom is also a great way to increase your rental property's value. Whether you have one bathroom in your property or three, make the small spaces count. Minor updates such as replacing the sink and faucet or updating the lighting can transform the bathroom into a modern, inviting space. Do you still have those large, bulb lights on a brassy mirror over the sink? It might be time for something new.
Consider adding storage options or updating the shower curtain and bath mat to further enhance the space's appeal. Bathrooms are mostly functional. But, they can also have an aesthetic appeal that will get the attention of potential tenants. And, updating a bathroom without any plumbing work will rarely send you over-budget. Even a new toilet seat can make a big difference.
Create Better Curb Appeal
Small landscaping updates can also significantly impact your rental property's value. A well-manicured lawn, fresh flower beds, and trimmed hedges can increase curb appeal and make the property more attractive to potential tenants. A little goes a long way when it comes to landscaping, so consider investing a little time and money into maintaining the property's outdoor space.
Watch for any drought restrictions and consider hiring professional landscapers during a tenancy. This will relieve your tenants from the responsibility of having to care of the lawn. You can roll the amount of that service into rent or offer it as an incentive when it’s lease renewal time.
Think About Hard Surface Flooring
Here’s an upgrade idea that may be pricier than the others, but is still well-worth the investment, if you’re prepared financially.
Hard surface flooring.
Most San Jose tenants prefer hard surface flooring to carpet. Hardwood, tile, or laminate flooring is easier to keep clean. It doesn’t trap odors and stains and it’s actually easier for you to clean and maintain during turnovers. There are fewer allergens and dust particles taking root. If you have a tenant with pets, carpet can hold onto those pet odors no matter how often you clean it.
Trade in that carpet for hard surface flooring. The investment will result in higher rental values for your property and it will also be more attractive to tenants. You don’t have to invest in fancy bamboo or marble. Look for faux hardwoods or easy click-lock laminate floors which look great and are easy to install and maintain.
If you’re not going to put hard surface flooring in, at least make sure the carpets are as clean as they can be. Replace the carpet that’s looking worn, dirty, or torn. Steam-clean the carpet that’s still in relatively good shape but could use a wash.
By making small updates to the kitchen, bathroom, landscaping, floors, and paint, you’ll find that you can significantly impact your property’s value and deliver a home that tenants want to rent. These updates don't necessarily need to be expensive. Even minor upgrades can make a big impact, and you’ll want to prioritize what you can afford and what will work best for the tenants you’re trying to attract.
We can make some personalized recommendations, based on your property and your budget. Please contact us at Cornerstone Property Management.