Let's take the phrase coined by Marie Kondo ‘does it spark joy?’ and change it to ‘will this increase my long-term rental yield?’. Coming back to this question when deciding what renovations or updates need to be made to your rental property will keep you on track and make sure you aren’t wasting your time, energy and money on unnecessary things. There is no need to go overboard because sometimes even something as small as replacing the light bulbs throughout the house can make a huge difference.
Starting with some of the bigger more expensive renovations/updates:
Install air-conditioning and heating
Most people expect that the homes they are looking to rent will have air-conditioning and heating so when they find out that the home actually doesn’t have either one, the amount of rent they are willing to pay severely drops. They may still be willing to rent the property if it ticks all their other boxes and the rent compensates but there are a lot of people who will just rule this property out straight away.
Something to remember is that if your house is not properly insulated there may be difficulties with heating and cooling the space efficiently. It may be worth your money to invest in some better insulation solutions before installing any heating or air conditioners.
Install a dishwasher
There is a 50/50 split with dishwashers. To some tenants, they are a must-have and to others, they would prefer just to use the sink but those who don’t like dishwashers will still be more then happy to rent your property if there is a dishwasher, however those who are diehard dishwasher fans will not. They are worth the investment just so you don’t miss out on those potential tenants.
A fresh coat of paint
Cleaning the walls and applying a fresh coat of paint instantly makes a house look clean, bright and welcoming again. You could easily paint the walls yourself however hiring a professional painter can be a good investment. They will most likely be able to knock out the work much faster than you could and they will make sure the rooms look extremely crisp and fresh. If you are a seasoned painter and think you are up for the job go for it! Also, if the property has an outdated paint colour like a 70’s yellow kitchen perhaps consider changing the colour up to something more neutral and timeless.
If tenants even get a small feeling of insecurity in your property during a viewing they will instantly rule your property out especially if it is a family. Security doors and alarm systems make tenants feel safe and secure and in some areas, they are necessary if you want to attract good tenants.
Here are some other smaller ideas:
Clear out any dead plants and overgrown plants. An overall tidy up of the garden can really do a lot. Replacing some of the plants with hardy low maintenance plants might also be a good idea. They will be easy for the tenants to look after and there is a lower chance that you will need to do a garden refresh again.
Replace blinds, curtains and carpets
Let's face it, kitchen and bathroom blinds or curtains can get gross. Food and oil splashes and mould from humidity are extremely common so if you see these issues you can either replace them if they are really bad, clean them yourself or even get them professionally cleaned. No one wants to live amongst dirt. Same goes with carpet. A good steam clean can bring your carpet back to life but if you think the carpet is worn out in high traffic places it might be a good idea to replace it.
Some older houses have lightbulbs that are very yellow and they can make any place look dated or even just a little bit dirty no matter how clean the house is so switching them out to a more neutral colour should help fix that up. It will also benefit you when you go to take photos of your property. The brighter and whiter lights will bring out the features of the home.
Probably one of the easiest things you can do is give the whole house a very deep clean. Cleaning and deodorising every inch of the house will make it feel new and fresh for prospective tenants. Cleaning those things that are usually skipped over such as window sills, skirting boards, tops of cabinets and under the fridge is always a good idea.
Let us know if you have any other good ideas for renovating rentals.