Remodeling Your Investment Property can be expensive and overwhelming for many landlords. Consequently, it is understandable that many landlords and new property owners try to push these projects off as long as possible. While this may be economically desirable in the short term, it can have unfortunate and costly effects in the long run. Periodically renovating your rental property has many benefits, including making your rental property more attractive to potential tenants, keeping it aligned with market value, and as previously alluded to, preventing a much larger and very costly renovation project down the road.
Previously we have discussed a few of the top remodeling projects you may want to consider when renovating your investment properties. These included addressing cost savings elements such as windows and doors and updating other visually appealing rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens. As the final installment of this three-part series, we will discuss some of the renovation trends you may want to avoid as part of your rental property updates and upgrades. This is especially true when it comes to niche and specialty kitchen and bathroom renovations. These can be popular for a time, and then once that time passes, you are left with a costly renovation that looks outdated and can be a turn off to potential renters.
When deciding which renovations to undertake and how to spend what is likely a limited budget, it is suggested you start with the oldest, most outdated, or least visually (shabbiest) area of the unit first. The goal is not to rebuild the unit but to refresh it and make it appear as though you did. You should also give the most attention to those improvements that will wear the best over the life of the rental.
Below we have addressed a list of five design trends you should likely avoid when remodeling your investment property.
1) Granite Countertops
Granite is excellent for your private residence if you choose to go that route. And yes, almost every home improvement show features a granite countertop during their renovations. This can lead to the appearance or thought process that everyone wants granite. But granite is trendy, and as with any trend, it will become old and outdated very soon. Remember those avocado green appliances from the sixties? Those were trendy and “in” then as well. Eventually, the installation of granite countertops will cause your units to be dated.
Additionally, granite is very costly to install. If you have a multiunit building, granite countertops will remove several thousand dollars from your renovation budget. If you wish to have stone countertops, consider marble or quartz. Treated laminate countertops are much more affordable than all of the above and equally as durable.
2) All White Bathrooms
By all white, we mean white everything-vanity, fixtures, walls, and floors. These do appear contemporary to some tenants, and when they are new, they appear sanitary and clean. Depending on the layout of the room, they may also help trick the eye into believing the room is actually larger than it is, however, unless these all-white bathrooms are kept meticulously clean, they will appear dirty before long. White is not beneficial at all for concealing the dirt and grime that inevitably make their way into bathrooms.
3) Lack of Environmental Friendliness
Millennial renters- those who are currently in their twenties and thirties -are generally very concerned with energy efficiency and environmental pollutants. You will make your units more attractive to millennial renters if you can tout those renovations that are environmentally friendly. You will also be happier at the end of the heating season when you see how much those new energy-efficient windows and doors saved in heating costs.
To satisfy the environmentally friendly desires of potential tenants, look to paints with low VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) as they pollute the environment less and will not bother those renters who are chemically sensitive. Also, if you are replacing your appliances during the renovation process, be sure to replace them with energy-efficient models. Finally, install lightbulbs and light fixtures, which are energy star rated. This will help to ensure maximum energy conservation.
4) No Window Treatments
Not so long ago, it was common for interior designers to skip on window treatments. The premise behind this was to signify a minimalistic approach. The problem is that the naked windows are too minimal. Window treatments are desirable for a reason; to provide privacy from the outside world. This is especially desirable if your rental units are ground level, and people can simply look inside your rental units. Window treatments also hold heat in during the winter months and can help to keep heat out during the summer.
Blinds, shutters, and curtains all have a purpose. Choose the easiest and most affordable to install and maintain. Be sure to choose simple styles and neutral colors.
5) Distressed Cabinets and Faux Paint Finishes
Remember, faded jeans? Distressed cabinets follow the same premise. Worn, distressed paint on the visible portions of the cabinet sides and doors. Although these once were “in,” now they make your cabinets look worn, old and uncared for.
Many renters prefer cabinets that look clean and are easy to wash and maintain. When renovating cabinets, choose a neutral color and cleanable finish. Avoid very dark tones as they hide dirt, and this can lead to issues with grease buildup and mold over time. Also, dark colors such as blacks and grays make your rooms look smaller, which is the opposite of what you want in a kitchen. Basic colors such as ivory and light grey work very well in rental units.
The same thought process can be applied to unique, and niche paint finishes. When renovating your rental units, do not pick something that will be challenging for your tenants (and you) to maintain. Also, do not choose something that is highly trendy as that trend could end soon, and then you are left with a dated looking rental unit. When selecting paint for the walls, choose a neutral shade that is easy to touch-up, clean, and maintain. Ivory, pale yellows, and washable whites are good choices.
Spruce Up Your Alaskan Investment Property
On a final note, consider the longevity of your rental and the preferences of your future tenants. If you have just purchased your investment property, it is reasonable to believe you will own it for a while. It is not economically wise to implement dated trends and renovations that will turn off potential renters. It is also not wise to put yourself in a position to have to renovate your property each time a tenant moves out. Keep your renovations logical and economical, but functional.
While deciding which renovation projects to tackle and which to skip, consider contacting a professional and reliable contractor such as Crighton & Cooper Construction and Design. Using the services of a professional can help you determine how much a project will cost as well as get the project done in the timeliest manner possible. Foregoing the do it yourself route will also ensure your renovation projects are up to code, and you do not put your tenants or your property at risk. If you are looking to spruce up your new investment and make it more appealing to potential renters, a remodel is the way to go. Contact Crighton & Cooper Construction and Design today to get started on renovating and updating your investment.