Renovations Help you Up the Rent Says TLK Partners Property Expert Matthew Mousa
Well-kept properties can result in better rent, but owners shouldn’t over-spend on renovations. Property Acquisition specialist Matthew Mousa of TLK Partners advises on improvements that will be both easy on the budget, and show extra return on investment.
Some rental property investors might be unsure of where and how to invest renovation dollars for maximum return. “As a property investor myself, it’s easy to spend a fortune and over-capitalise on the property,” warns Matthew. “Rather invest in cost-effective upgrades on key areas, known to attract tenants. Not only will you draw people who are prepared to pay a little extra, but they are also more likely to care for it during their stay.”
Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the major areas – one represents the heart of the home, because it is where food and nourishment originate, while the other is a haven for relaxation and de-stressing. These two rooms could easily become a ‘wow’ factor. However, most importantly, they should be spotless, and leave a squeaky-clean impression.
Sprucing Up The Kitchen
Representing the heart of the home, a tatty kitchen will turn away potential tenants. It should be spotless, and leave a squeaky-clean impression. A full-blown kitchen renovation is a costly exercise, but there are ways of improving the space and creating a ‘wow’ factor without blowing the bank.
Matthew recommends looking at and changing the small details. Add a splash back behind the stove or sink or replace the existing ones with fresh tiles. Splash backs serve a double function in protecting the wall from damage, but can also be a striking feature with clever tiling choice.
Do the counter-tops and cabinet doors look tired? A granite top will make an impressive feature, while new doors with fresh hinges and modern handles will transform old cupboards.
Another practical improvement is the addition of clever lighting, to brighten the space and improve its function.
Cleaning Up The Bathroom
“Keep good design and classic style in mind when you consider renovating the bathroom of the rental property,” advises Matthew. He warns against overly-modern or trendy fittings as they can easily date in a few years’ time. Owners could, however, add contemporary touches with modern towel bars and vanity shelves. Once again, the importance of a brilliantly clean look cannot be overemphasised.
Light Up With Flair
Dark and dingy is a definite no-no if you are looking for a higher rent. Apart from lights being an expression of style, it is most important that your rental property is well lit. “Remember to open blinds and switch the lights on where necessary when you’re showing the property, as light and airy looking properties hold much more appeal,” says Matthew.
Lighting and light fittings can create ambiance in any room, and the variety of styles of lighting available is infinite. It can be used to create any look and feel of your choice, from rustic to industrial. Just be careful not to go too way out there – tenants want to add their own personal touches to make the rental property their home, and they don’t necessarily have the same taste in décor as the owner does. So choose something functional, classy, tasteful and fairly neutral.
When faced with dark corners or rooms, skylights or installed windows are a wonderful source of light and sun, and can often make all the difference in bathrooms and kitchens by lighting them naturally. Choose energy efficient long-lasting lighting, not only to reduce tenant’s electricity bills but also to care about the environment.
Happy Tenants Stay Longer
Renovating rental properties from time to time not only holds the bonus of collecting more rent each month during the tenant’s lease period, but could save other costs in the long run. “Remember, if tenants love their home, they will stay longer, so investors will save on advertising and screening costs. It really is best to show it off the property its best light,” Matthew concludes.
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