If you have recently acquired a rental property or are planning on making some renovations to one you already own, you may want to consider the property as a house, and not a home. This would mean you should avoid renovating the property as you would renovate your own home, but as a way to fulfill the needs of your tenants. By thinking this way, you can make decisions you may not choose for your own living space; including making decisions based on how long something will last or how easy something is to clean rather than how good it looks.
This doesn’t mean you should consider things from your future tenant’s perspective—you still want the property to be a good place to live. But when you choose things like flooring and cabinets based on function rather than form, it’s possible that you can prevent your tenant needing something to be replaced in the future.
People use floors whether they like it or not. How nicely they treat them is a whole other question. There are several options when it comes to flooring; carpet, hardwood, linoleum, tile, the list goes on and on, and each flooring option has its own set of pros and cons. Carpet is great standby, but it needs to be replaced at least every 7 years, and smells and stains can stick to the carpet even after your last tenant has moved on which means you may have to replace it even more often. Many renters don’t like the look of linoleum or vinyl flooring, but it’s a great option for landlords because of its durability. Hardwood can be expensive, but it will catch renter’s eyes and boost the value of the house altogether.
The kitchen is almost always a highlight for renters. If a kitchen looks small and closed-off, prospective renters will take notice. If you are going to renovate any part of a property, renovate the kitchen because it yields the largest ROI of any room in a house. However, it should not only look nice, but it should be user friendly as well. You can do this by installing counter tops that are easy to wipe down, splash guards behind every counter, and soft-close cabinet doors and drawers. Renters will appreciate these features, and you will too when the cabinets are still good as new after a year of use thanks to slam-proof doors.
When it comes to painting the walls at your rental property, not every paint is equal. Paints don’t only come in different colors, but different finishes. While it’s usually best to stick to neutral colors for the walls of an apartment, it is also a good idea to stay away from flat paints. Eggshell or satin paints are ideal because they have some sheen to them without being too glossy. Because of their consistency, the paint is not only more durable, but easier to clean in case your tenants are messier than expected.