Most investor do not get into owning rental property for the fun of it. It is hard work. Not to mention frustrating, expensive, annoying, time-consuming and a whole host of other adjectives that I probably should not express uncensored! Most investors buy rental property for the current income, but more importantly to build long-term wealth.
With that plan, it always amazes me the investors that do nothing or little work on their rental properties over the years they own them. They let them run down and then don’t get to capitalize on the increase in value as much. It is like buying a new car and never-changing the oil, going to a car wash or vacuuming the interior. Just letting the car rot and rust.
So here are some cheap and easy improvements you can do to increase the value of your rental property:
- Maintain the yard-I am not suggesting that you spend a fortunate on fertilizer and flowers, but do some simple things once or twice per season:
- Keep the trees/bushes trimmed. I see huge bushes growing by the sides of rentals all the time. Like they have not been trimmed in decades.
- Each spring, pay a service to come out once and lay down a fertilizer and weed killer. Not that your grass will look amazing, but at least you are not drowning in dandelions or crabgrass.
- Consider adding rock around the perimeter of the house. This will not only make it look nicer, but if you use plastic under the rock it will help with moving water away from the foundation and discourage weed growth.
- If you have a fence, make sure it is maintained and no weed are growing out of it.
- Paint-Letting the paint fade until you see raw wood not only makes your rental property look bad, it can lead to damaging conditions including rotted wood and water intrusion.
- Replace the appliances-I swear that some landlords take pride in having the oldest appliances they can find. Trust me, tenant’s notice and they will quietly not apply for your property when they see that!
- Clean out the junk-Is the basement still full of stuff from 3 tenants ago? Do you even know who has stuff in the garage? I have seen properties that have couches from 10 years ago still in the garage. I know that it is expensive to remove that stuff, but if you just leave that old stuff it is a great place for mice and mold to linger.
- Add lighting-Most people like a bright basement. More rental properties I go into have dark, smelly basements. Add a couple of lights to brighten it up.
- Replace/cover old flooring-Yeah, that 1960s vinyl in the kitchen is in decent shape with no cuts, but let’s be honest, it is ugly and prospective tenants agree! You don’t need to spend a fortune, but give that a make over
Every year walk through your property and plan to do a cheap and quick projects that can continue to improve your property and increase the value.