5 Cost-Effective Improvements for Single Family Rental Properties

As a single family rental owner, there are many upgrades you can make to a property to enhance its appearance and make it more appealing to renters and perhaps more valuable. However, you want to choose improvements that provide the most return for your investment.

Here are some single family rental property enhancements where the cost/benefit ratio tends to be in your favor:

  1. A fresh coat of interior paint.Nothing will turn off a potential renter faster than an outdated color scheme and walls that are peppered with scuffs or are dirty. Painting with a contemporary, neutral color palette provides two benefits. The first is the enhanced visual appeal. The second is that after the paint dries and the strong paint smell fades, a trace of it remains and that scent  says “fresh” and “new.” Plus, the oils and dirt that naturally accumulate on walls and add an odor of their own are sealed away.
  2. New cabinet doors.Property owners often avoid upgrading cabinets because they feel it is an expensive, all-or-nothing proposition. However, you can simply install new doors and hardware, leaving the shell in place, for a fraction of the cost of a complete rip-and-replace project.
  3. Wood or laminate flooring.While wood flooring isn’t cheap, in the long run it provides much more value than carpet, which has to be cleaned frequently and replaced roughly every five years. And today’s laminates are very durable and add to a clean and fresh look.
  4. A kitchen backsplash.Adding a stylish backsplash is an inexpensive way to give a kitchen a classy feel.
  5. Landscaping.For enhancing the curb appeal of a property, there is nothing better than attractive landscaping. Of course, you’ll want a design that is easy to maintain, especially if your tenants will be responsible for taking care of it. But, a little greenery goes a long way in making a house look homey.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Owners in high-demand rental markets sometimes take the approach that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and make few, if any, enhancements to their properties. However, you’ll attract the most qualified tenants if your property shows well. Plus, it’s much easier to keep a property looking good with regular, cost-effective upgrades than to be forced to do major upgrades all at once, especially if the market goes into a down-cycle and your property is no longer competitive with others on the market.