There are many ways to increase the value of a home through renovation, as countless property renovation and styling experts have shown us on television!
While bathroom overhauls, kitchen replacements and improving "street appeal" can improve sale and rental value of a home, often investors are seeking to make relatively low-cost improvements to increase their rental return.
In this post we'll take a look at some great ideas to improve the rent you could ask for your property, in ways which generally cost in the hundreds rather than thousands of dollars.
1. Update the kitchen
Before you run away screaming, we're not talking about a $15,000 kitchen renovation! While a significant update of an older kitchen will add significant rental return, there are several low-cost ways to refresh and improve the appeal of an older kitchen area. Inexpensive options include:
2. Update the bathroom
Again, we're not talking about throwing the bath out with the bathwater. Low-cost ways to improve rental return through modernising the bathroom include:
3. Update the flooring
While not the most budget-friendly action, replacing worn or dated carpet should be considered to lift the appeal of a home to a modern tenant. Keep in mind that there are many options to consider when updating flooring, including carpet, floorboards, tiles, laminate and vinyl (which each have their own pros and cons).
As an example, floorboards look great without dating a property, are easy to clean, are durable and can help to keep a property cool in summer. However they can be relatively expensive to install or replace and can be prone to tenant damage from scratching during furniture moves or if an object is accidentally dropped.
Alternatively, carpet can help to keep a property warm in winter and can also reduce noise (a strong consideration point for apartments). A durable, stain resistant carpet in a colour tone which is less likely to show wear and tear is recommended.
4. Update lighting
Installing downlights can instantly add style and appeal to any investment property, and offer a perfect match to timber floorboards. Downlights are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install, can be added selectively to certain areas (e.g. to lounge, dining and kitchen only), and can help make a room seem larger than when a light fitting is present.
5. Consider temperature control
It's important to consider that you can never be certain of the time of year your property will become vacant and seeking a tenant. Temperature control systems such as air conditioning and ceiling fans are easy and low-cost means of ensuring your rental will have year-round appeal.
Tenants will be especially appreciative of air conditioning in living spaces as well as main bedrooms, while ceiling fans should be installed in all bedrooms to maximise demand for the property.
6. Adding shade to outdoor areas
Similarly, a property with an outdoor area such as a backyard, alfresco or deck will have greater appeal if it can be used in all seasons. A deck which faces blazing westerly sun will have a negative impact on likely rental interest, though this can be overcome through installing a low-cost shade sail, outdoor umbrella or more permanent covering.
7. Updating blinds
Vertical blinds with the often broken or missing linking chain at the base should be updated. Replacing these with a more contemporary venetian or roller blind will add a more stylish look and improve appeal for prospective tenants.
8. Installing built-in wardrobes and storage areas
A property which offers little storage, especially wardrobe space, will limit the number of interested parties and drive rent lower than could be achieved otherwise. Bedrooms should all be provided with built-in robes where possible to improve usefulness and appeal. Most prospective tenants will not expect to bring a wardrobe with them to their next property, so a lack of storage space will limit the interested pool of applicants.
Many of the above ideas can be achieved for well under $1,000 and will significantly revitalise an investment property and maximise rental return.
If you would like an estimate on the current rental return you could achieve for your property, contact us. We're happy to meet to review and provide ideas first-hand to ensure you achieve the best outcome from your investment.
Carnelian Property Management Newcastle NSW
We are a family-owned and run Newcastle real estate agent offering expert property management across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.