So, you purchased an investment property. Are you wondering about an Anchorage Home Remodel project? Perhaps a multi unit apartment building or maybe a townhouse or condo. Now what?
For years, investment and rental properties have been considered a great way for people to make a stable income or second income. This comes with a few caveats, of course. Rental properties can be expensive to maintain. This is especially true when you, as the property owner, are not familiar with how to do some of the typical construction tasks associated with owning a rental property. This is also true when an emergency comes up, such as a leaking sink or broken furnace that requires an after-hours call to a plumber or heating technician. If you are not a contractor, plumber, or electrician, there can be added challenges associated with owning an investment property or “turning” the property when tenants change.
Remodeling your investment property can have significant benefits. It can attract new renters. It can also keep current residents in place. There are so many renovation options to choose from that it can be challenging to determine which are the most beneficial. It is also helpful to have a general contractor such as Crighton & Cooper Construction and Design to help you decide which decisions are most affordable and to help you get the work done in the most timely and economical manner.
As part of a three-part blog series, we have outlined six of the most common upgrades that are the most worthwhile in terms of their cost-effectiveness and return on investment. We have also provided an article about the top design trends to avoid. This article contains information on three renovation choices that are most likely to give the biggest bang for your buck. Many of these investment property renovation options can apply to residential investment or commercial investment properties, so regardless of what you now own, read on to see what you may be able to fit into your budget.
1) Replace Windows and Doors
Heating bills are very expensive, and energy efficiency is at the forefront of most people’s minds. This includes tenants and landlords. If you have decided to cover the heating bills for your investment properties, you should be highly concerned about just how much of your heat may be lost each heating season due to old and improperly sealed windows and drafty doors. If you have chosen to pass the heating expenses on to your tenants, they will want to have a clear understanding of how much their heating bills are going to cost; especially in a climate such as that here in Anchorage, Alaska. If your building contains older, leaky, and drafty windows, they may choose to go elsewhere for their rental needs. The same idea holds true for the doors in your buildings. Many older doors may not be storm doors meant to take the strong gust of an Alaska winter. Still, others may not have their seals intact. This means air can travel from the outside in and vice versa causing excessive heat loss and uncomfortable, chilly drafts.
Many older properties are fitted with wood-framed windows or even metal framed sliding windows. These windows also generally contain single pane glass. According to the Energy Star website, new Energy Star rated vinyl replacement windows can save you (or your tenants) over five hundred dollars per year in heating and cooling costs. If you have purchased a multiunit property, these savings can really add up over the course of each year of building ownership.
The same applies to doors. Many homes from the early 1900s (and older) have wooden exterior doors with lots of glass. These doors are ornate and undoubtedly beautiful, but they are often not very energy efficient. As previously mentioned, these older entry doors often lack intact and adequate seals as they have worn down over time due to exposure to weather. Replacing these older doors with an energy-efficient exterior door can also improve the heat retention of your property.
Finally, newer windows and doors enhance the beauty and appeal of your property. As a landlord, when you are trying to market your property, it is essential to make a good impression on prospective renters. New windows and doors are a great way to achieve this while adding the benefit of long-term energy cost savings.
2) Freshen Up the Paint
If your rental property is older and hasn’t had a new coat of paint in a while, this is a very simple (and affordable) way to make your building smell and look new and fresh. This is also true if you are renovating or cleaning things up in an individual unit between tenants. Paint is one of the most cost-effective remodeling projects for any investment property.
Over time, paint has become more advanced. Many “contractor paints” (those meant for investment and rental properties) are washable as well as designed to be high hide. This means one coat is likely to hide a lot of the sin that may be present on your walls. When it comes to marketing and rental desirability, new paint can brighten up dull rooms and makes your units smell fresh and clean.
3) Change Out Old or Damaged Flooring and Carpets
This may be one of the more expensive renovations you might undertake when renovating an investment or rental property. Carpets and tile in rental buildings take an excessive amount of abuse, wear, and tear. Vinyl flooring may show damage or discoloration in the kitchen or bathroom. This can make your units appear dirty or rundown even if they have been thoroughly cleaned up or had new appliances and fixtures added. A similar thought process applies to the carpet. Over time, carpets can wear down and begin to fray. If there are seams in your rooms, those can become exposed and start to lift. Also, years of previous rentals before the property became yours, may have left behind stains, wear marks, or even burns in carpets or vinyl. These can be unsightly and a turn off to potential renters.
For these reasons, hardwood flooring and some types of laminate flooring have begun to grow in popularity for use in investment properties. Wood and laminate floors are durable and easy to clean. They are also appealing to look at and tend to offer a clean and classy look many renters prefer over carpet and tile. Traditional wood floors can be costly, which is something to keep in mind when budgeting for flooring. However, there are several laminate flooring options on the market now that are waterproof and “life-proof.” These may be a more cost-effective option if you are looking to make the change from carpet and vinyl to wood or wood-look flooring.
Anchorage Home Remodel Today
Many of these projects are challenging and daunting to do by yourself as the landlord. This is especially true if you are not an experienced contractor. Under these circumstances, look to a qualified and reputable Alaskan contractor such as Crighton and Cooper. We can come to your Anchorage property and help you determine which renovation options may be the best for your budget. We can also help you get your Anchorage Home Remodel projects completed in a timely manner so you can start seeing a return on your investment even faster.