What types of Roanoke rental properties earn the highest rent prices?
That’s easy. Homes that are attractive and well-maintained.
When it comes to earning rental property income and setting your rental price, there are many things over which you have no control. You cannot control the market strength. You cannot control the amount of competition that happens to exist when you’re looking for tenants and setting rents. Unless you’re about to buy a new investment property, you cannot control the location of your property and whether it’s in a desirable neighborhood.
One thing you can control, however, is property condition.
Making rental property renovations is important in terms of value and tenant placement. A well-maintained rental property always performs better, regardless of the market’s strength. You’ll find better tenants and earn more money.
First, we’re going to tell you why these improvements are important, and then we’re going to recommend some specific renovations that will help you increase what you earn.
How Renovations Can Maximize Roanoke Rental Income
A Roanoke rental property that has been recently renovated will earn more rent in the short term, higher ROI in the long term, and ultimately attract better tenants. The fact that your renovations will reduce vacancy and turnover costs is often overlooked. But it’s true – you’ll lose less money when you keep tenants, and renovated, modern properties contribute to tenant retention.
When it comes to establishing your market rental value, upgrades make good investment sense. You can earn more on a home with new flooring than on one with old carpet. You can also attract better tenants with energy-efficient, stainless appliances than you can with those outdated refrigerators and dishwashers from decades ago.
At some point in the future, you’ll want to sell your home. Whether you’re planning to do that in one year or five years or 25 years, keeping your property up to date with tenant trends and new finishes will drive up the ultimate sales price of your home. That’s going to help you earn more.
Upgrades don’t have to be expensive. They can actually be cost-effective. You don’t have to rehab the entire kitchen or add a new bedroom or install garden tubs in the bathrooms. Simple, easy improvements can give you the most benefits.
Here’s another way that renovations help you maximize your earnings: they can be part of your preventative maintenance goals.
Preventative maintenance needs to be a big part of your plans for protecting the condition of your home. You don’t want to let small problems turn into expensive repairs. When you’re constantly looking for ways to improve your rental property, preventative maintenance will occur naturally. You’ll notice what needs to be fixed and plan for future repairs so there are fewer emergencies and surprise costs.
Consider Upgrading Security with Smart Home Technology
Tenants today are increasingly more tech-savvy, and when you can meet their technology demands, you’re going to be able to charge more rent. A lot of the functions and gadgets tenants want to use at home will have to do with syncing their phones and their apps into every part of their lives.
Tech upgrades in the home can be expensive, so you don’t have to provide all the latest upgrades and security features. However, you should at least make sure your property is wired to accept whatever they’d like to implement. Strong Wi-Fi signals will be important and they might want the option of turning on a security system for the home.
Another hot item is video doorbells. Tenants can install a doorbell that shows them who is at the door before they answer it. Even if they’re not home, they can access the link on their phones. You’ll find tech-savvy residents will also want to set their lights to turn on at a certain time and smart thermostats will be appealing. Choose which smart home upgrades will be most important to your residents, and offer them.
You’ll stand out in the rental market and have an easy time charging higher rents.
Upgrade Your Walls with Fresh Paint
Evaluate the condition of your walls. A property that earns high rents has walls that are sturdy, clean, and modern. They should be well-insulated and painted in neutral colors. You don’t want purple paint in the bedrooms or wood paneling in the living room.
Paint is not something that many owners think about as a renovation, but it’s a cost-effective tool that can easily be used to improve rental amounts and the value of your property. Paint the walls completely during every turnover, and if you’ve had the same tenants in place for years and the walls are looking worn and faded, schedule some time for repainting.
Invest in high quality paint that will last longer, and remember that there’s more to painting than the walls. A fresh coat of paint on your baseboards and door frames will make the rental home appear refreshed and clean. You could whitewash a brick fireplace or put new paint on the ceilings if they’re looking discolored or stained.
Renovate the Flooring in Roanoke Living Rooms
Carpet is no longer appealing to many tenants, especially those with children and pets. It carries allergens and odors. Think about hard surface flooring instead, especially in common areas like hallways, living rooms, dining rooms.
Hardwood floors would be great, but they’re also pricey. Take a look at laminates and faux woods. Even some types of vinyl look great and don’t cost a lot. These floors will increase your earnings because they’re cleaner and easier for tenants to maintain. You’ll also have a longer lifespan, which means you won’t be cleaning and replacing carpet every year.
Improve Interior and Exterior Lighting
Lighting plays a role in establishing a welcoming and attractive rental property. Tenants will notice what the interior lights and exterior lights look like, and that will impact what you can charge in rent.
When you decide to make some lighting upgrades, thing about energy efficiency. Choose light bulbs that are greener and likely to keep energy costs down. Tenants will appreciate this, and you’ll save money when you’re paying for utilities during turnovers and other periods.
Exterior lighting should be ample. Your residents want to feel safe, and you’ll want to be sure exterior doors, walkways, and parking areas are well-lit. Motion lights are a great idea, and can help tenants feel more secure.
Inside the home, bright and modern lighting is important and usually fixtures are all you’ll need to replace. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Take a good look at your lighting and make upgrades wherever you can.
Invest in Kitchen Renovations
Kitchens carry a lot of value when it comes to setting a rental price. Most tenants want an open kitchen with plenty of counter space, storage, and matching appliances. They won’t be willing to pay higher rents if your kitchen has faded cabinets and drawers that stick. Think about attention-grabbing renovations like shiny faucets and new hardware. Energy-efficient appliances are a great idea, especially if yours are often needing to be fixed or looking old.
Consider a backsplash against the kitchen wall, near the stove or sink. It looks modern, tasteful, and expensive – even if it’s not. You don’t have to use marble tiles, but something like plain white tiles or glass will not only improve the look of your kitchen – it will also protect your walls.
Bathrooms Must Be Clean and Fresh
How can you renovate a bathroom in a rental property? They often seem like small spaces that are designed more for functionality than aesthetics.
But, you can do a few things to make them more attractive to your ideal tenants. Change out any mirrors and lighting that make the place look dated. The shower and tub need to be in good condition, and a low flow toilet is not terribly expensive to install. All these things will result in higher rents.
Landscaping and Curb Appeal for Roanoke Rental Homes
Improve your rental value with better landscaping that is clean and easy to maintain. When the outside of your property looks great, tenants will be eager to go inside. They’ll be willing to pay for nicely trimmed bushes, green grass, and trees. When tenants see a pretty exterior, they can really get excited about living there. This type of curb appeal can also translate to higher rents and better home values.
These are just some of the best upgrades and renovations that we always recommend for owners who are looking to earn a little more on their rental properties in Roanoke. We can make some personalized recommendations that are unique to your property once we take a closer look at where you are and what you have to offer.
Please contact us at Lawson Realty Group if you need help increasing the value of your rental property or you’re looking for ways to make some cost-effective renovations and improvements. We manage properties in Southwest Virginia throughout the Roanoke Valley, including Salem, Cave Spring, Hollins, Vinton, Glenvar, and Southwest Roanoke County.