Keeping up with the latest trends in real estate can make your property more desirable to tenants and allow you to command a higher rent. Sometimes even small improvements can make a world of difference. By updating your rental property you increase the chance that your renters will stay on, thereby reducing the risk of your property lying vacant between tenants. Updated kitchens and baths in particular are an excellent investment to lure renters and increase the value of your property.
Whether you oversee the renovations yourself or hire a professional property manager to supervise the job, it pays to keep up with current trends. Here are some ideas when you are considering updating your rental property:
Image Source: Pinterest
Open layout concept with living room, dining space and kitchen featuring hardwood flooring.
1. Open Concept Layouts
Bright and airy open concept layout designs are more popular than ever. Today’s casual lifestyle goes along with large great rooms and open spaces that offer flexibility for family life and entertaining. Gone are the days when the purpose of an area was defined by a specific room with four walls and a door. Areas within a great room are now defined with creative furniture groupings, changes in flooring and distinctive area rugs with different colors or patterns.
Great rooms integrate living and dining areas into a single open gathering space with an informal vibe. A new development is the integration of the kitchen as well. Square footage that was required for hallways in traditional layouts can now be incorporated into the great room. Open concept designs work particularly well in smaller spaces like rental apartments, and most new single-family homes feature open layouts as well. As a landlord, creating a more open space for your tenants may be as simple as taking down a wall.
2. Modern Kitchens
Kitchens are now considered part of the family living space and are often integrated into the open concept design of the main living area. Today’s kitchen may be separated from the rest of the room by a breakfast bar or larger center island/dining table combo, drawing people in. This kitchen dining area is sometimes the only dining space in the house. You can use architectural elements like decorative molding to integrate the kitchen with the great room visually.
Softening the look of high tech kitchens with features like quartz countertops and large farmhouse sinks is now trending. Some kitchens are returning to the traditional white-on-white color scheme, and open cabinetry is popular. Landlords can create the updated look by removing cabinet doors to create open shelving. Other easy kitchen updates include enlarging windows to bring the outside in, and including built-in wine racks and wine coolers.
3. Updated Baths
Bathrooms have become quite elaborate, but simple changes can have a strong impact. One easy way to update the bathroom in your rental property is to change the faucets and shower hardware to provide a luxurious look at low cost to you. Sinks now offer a wide selection from striking contemporary counter top models to interesting wall mounted options. This year’s modern metallics like bronze and brushed nickel are gaining in popularity. Updated lighting can also give your bathroom a modern look. You can choose recessed lighting, or make a statement with a dramatic chandelier.
If your bathroom needs extensive remodeling, you should know that bathtubs are strictly optional these days, while frame less shower enclosures with heavy glass remain popular. If you need to replace the vanity, raised panel bathroom cabinetry in dark wood tones is trending. Large floor tiles in neutral colors are common in updated baths.
4. Natural Interior Materials and Outdoor Living Spaces
Wood flooring in the main living space and in bedrooms, hallways and kitchens is still a huge plus for renters. Darker wood tones are popular to add visual warmth. If you are contemplating replacing worn or tired looking flooring, you can use real wood planks or go with a less expensive but equally attractive option. Engineered wood, laminate flooring, or ceramic tile designed with the look of wood are some of the choices available.
Iron balusters are being used on stairways and attractive natural materials like stone and glass are making their appearance in modern kitchen backsplashes. If your property lends itself to outdoor living space, capitalize on your patio or balcony with outdoor furniture. Sometimes the tenants’ ability to extend their living space for outdoor enjoyment can make or break a rental deal, especially if you have a desirable view.
5. Energy-Efficient Improvements
Smart landlords know that the long-term value of their rental property depends on improvements as well as overall maintenance and repairs. Energy-efficient upgrades can add value to your property and attract tenants who are concerned about their energy bills and the environment. A small change like installing a programmable thermostat with settings for different time periods can make a big difference in heating and air-conditioning costs. Inexpensive low-energy light bulbs improve light quality, last longer and save energy.
Energy-efficient windows are a more substantial investment, but consider the fact that they can increase the value of your property and while reducing energy consumption. Replacing an old furnace can provide energy-efficient features like multi-stage modulating heat units and variable speed fans increase comfort inside the home and decrease the chance of mechanical failures.