Although Anchorage renovations can be costly, they are often essential to making your property desirable to potential renters. If you can’t fill the units in your investment property, you can’t expect to see a return on your investment. This means that even though you just invested a significant amount of money into the purchase of the property, you likely need to spend another portion on renovating, modernizing and cleaning up the property to ensure it meets the standards of potential renters.
During the first installment of this three-part series of posts, we discussed how flooring, windows, and doors and fresh paint could help to improve not only the marketability of your units but the cost efficiency of them as well. In this post, we discuss three more renovation options you may want to consider as they may increase the appeal of your rentals.
In the next post, we will discuss renovations you may want to avoid as they can be costly, but not necessarily beneficial to your bottom line.
1) Modernize and Clean Up Bathrooms
Bathrooms are a very important part of any rental unit. If the bathrooms in your prospective rentals are small, run-down, old, and dirty looking, it can impact the rentability of your units. Over time bathrooms can wear out. The floors of tubs and showers can develop cracks or become challenging to keep clean due to wear and etching of the surface. The caulking around tub walls, sinks, faucets, and other areas can peel and become discolored. Faucets and fixtures can peel, crack, or become clogged. Toilets can become clogged with sediment and not flush properly. This is just a shortlist, but picture any or all of these visual unpleasantries in your rental unit bathrooms. How will potential renters react to cracked porcelain, yellowed caulking and tile, and peeling or faded paint? This is especially concerning if the building next door is brand new construction and at the same price point as your rentals.
When renovating rental unit bathrooms, consider mid-range upgrades. It is not necessary to install first-class fixtures and top-end vanities. You are not likely to see a return on investment for these expenses. Look for low flow versions of faucets and showerheads. These can help to cut water consumption and reduce your water bills. Some newer fixtures can cut water consumption by as much as thirty percent without sacrificing water flow and pressure.
If it falls within your budget, consider new tubs and toilets. There are many affordable ones on the market now, and often, there are additional discounts when buying in bulk. Select tubs that are standard porcelain and toilets that conserve water while meeting any state and local requirements regarding gallons per flush.
Also, as with any room, new paint and new vinyl can also add to the appeal of the room. Older bathroom vinyl can become discolored due to floor mats, staining, and general use. Often, this appears as a yellow or brown discoloration that cannot be cleaned off and is visually unpleasant. The use of hair products and water spatter can cause drips and staining on older paint. This is also unappealing to the eye. A quick paint job and new vinyl tile can help to enhance the visual appeal of your bathrooms.
2) Remodel and Update the Kitchens During Your Anchorage Renovations Projects
As with the bathroom, even a minor reboot in the kitchen carries with it a much larger return on investment than a major kitchen renovation. For example, instead of replacing all of the cabinets in their entirety, which can be heavily cost-prohibitive, consider switching the doors and updating the look with new hardware. It is also valuable to consider updating and replacing appliances. Many older investment properties are not equipped with energy-efficient appliances. As many tenants are responsible for their own electricity or gas bills, energy efficiency will be of concern to potential tenants. In addition, new and updated appliances also offer the appearance of cleanliness and are often safer than older, outdated appliances.
In addition to updating the appliance and hardware, consider replacing the sink and faucet with stainless steel (especially if porcelain sinks are still in your units). Stainless steel sinks are easier to clean and maintain and less prone to staining than ceramic or porcelain.
Installing appliances or changing the fuel source for appliances requires the assistance of a professionally trained contractor such as Crighton & Cooper Construction and Design. There are a lot of rules and regulations associated with electrical and gas work that needs to be followed both for the safety of yourself and your tenants but also to assure your buildings will be up to code and pass any mandatory state and local inspections.
3) Create A Pleasant Outdoor Space to Enjoy Alaskan Wilderness
During the warmer summer months, people enjoy being outside whenever possible. Unfortunately, one of the negatives to living in a rental is often a distinct lack of outdoor space where one can go to get some fresh air. Some properties have porches or small decks, but these are usually under cover, and therefore, enjoying the sun is a little challenging. If your property contains any open-air spaces (terraces or open-air decks), these are great selling points for potential renters. If there is any room in your budget after internal renovations are complete (and these are indeed the most valuable bang for your buck), look to your outdoor spaces. If possible, add a stone patio or pergola with seating for people to sit outside. Perhaps build a series of large containers for seasonal plantings and allow (encourage) your tenants to use them to plant vegetables or flowers.
Another option is an area where tenants can grill without endangering your building. It is valuable to note that grills of any kind within twenty feet of vinyl siding will eventually put the siding at risk of melting or deforming. This damage cannot be fixed, and the siding must be replaced. If you provide your tenants with a place where they can grill safely, it will likely be used during those sunny summer months. A few picnic tables or seating of some kind, and you have an attractive outdoor space your tenants can enjoy.
Connect with a Reputable Alaskan Investment Property Contractor for your Anchorage Renovations Projects
As with the projects we discussed in the first part of this series, some of these renovations are not easily done (nor should be done) by the do-it-yourselfer. Some renovations such as those related to plumbing, electrical or gas work require the assistance of a trained and licensed professional to assure safety as well as ensuring your building will pass any inspections by code enforcement. It is most beneficial under these circumstances to look to a qualified, local Anchorage contractor such as Crighton and Cooper. We would be happy to meet you at your property and go over the renovations you are considering. We can discuss your budget and the quickest, most economical way to complete your projects. When it comes to investment properties time is money, and we understand how important that is.