The look, feel and functionality of your property goes a long way to attracting quality long-term renters who will stick around for years. This makes your home renovations key when trying to attract renters. We spoke with industry experts and found the best home remodeling ideas to make your property look more appealing to prospective tenants.
The following are the 25 best home remodeling ideas to attract renters from the pros.
1. Replace Items That Need Ongoing Maintenance
Alyssa Tomashek, Marketing Specialist, Visio Lending
One important thing to consider before doing any renovation project on a rental property is if it will reduce the long-term cost of ongoing maintenance. If items like plumbing, electrical wiring or appliances are in need of constant repair, it’s better to just replace them with something new to save money on repairs in the long term.
2. Add Extra Storage
Ryan Coon, CEO, Avail
Most long-term tenants want to stay in a place with good storage capacity. See if there’s space to add an extra closet or built-in shelving in your property. You can even make the unused basement space as an extra storage room but redesign it to make it look more presentable.
3. Modernize the Kitchen
Christian Rodgers, Property Manager & Co-Founder, Superhost Realness
If it’s an old house you are fixing to rent out, it probably has an old kitchen design. Most prospective tenants nowadays prefer to live in a house with a modern kitchen. You can enhance the kitchen by changing the cosmetic elements like cabinets, faucet and light fixtures. These simple touches can create a more luxurious look, potentially commanding a higher premium.
Looking for a rehab loan to help you with your kitchen update? Head over to our article on the best hard money lenders for more information.
4. Upgrade to Wood Flooring
Kelley Lauginiger, Lifestyle Blogger, American Freight Furniture and Mattress
Outdated flooring styles like the use of linoleum and shag carpeting are no longer appealing to the current renters’ market. Wooden floors are a huge positive selling point for many renters. Consider upgrading to wood flooring if you want to attract the younger renters looking for more modern home styles.
5. Reglaze the Bathtub & Caulk the Bathroom
Raphael Fetta, Real Estate Broker, Bohemia Realty Group
One way to improve the physical appearance of your rental property and make it look brand new between rents is to reglaze the bathtub and put new caulking in the bathroom. This is specifically applicable for long-term rental properties where the bathroom could possibly look used and worn. This method is generally inexpensive and will totally enhance your bathroom.
6. Don’t Change the Home’s Style
Justin Krzyston, Contractor & Designer, Stonehurst Construction
When renovating an old home to make it a rental property, it’s important to keep the home’s integrity and style. Just renovate what is needed — repair what is damaged, refresh the paint and update the old fixtures. Try to keep the structure and what makes the home like it was when you bought it, which also helps you save on costs.
7. Touch Up Paint Between Tenants for Long-term Rentals
Sotereas Pantazes, CEO & Co-Founder, EFynch
If you are into long-term rentals, touch up your paint between tenants. You can use eggshell white color, although it does mark easily than other paints and is harder to clean. You can touch up walls that haven’t been painted in more than two years and not have to worry about matching it. The paint does not fade and touch-up spots blend right in.
8. Make the Space Brighter & Lighter
Blake Aylott, Project Site Manager, Project Build Construction Group, Inc.
If you are renovating on a budget, the best thing you can do to increase the value of your rental property is to make the space brighter and lighter. A dark and cramped home is a turnoff to both older and younger renters. You can brighten the space by painting the walls a lighter color, adding more windows and upgrading the lighting to a brighter setup.
9. Install Granite Counters in the Kitchen
Krystyn Elek, Real Estate Agent & Sales Associate, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty
An easy renovation project with huge ROI potential for a rental unit is to install granite counters in the kitchen. Not only do they give the impression to prospective tenants that the unit has been fully renovated, granite countertops also will last longer than a laminate. This means it won’t easily get worn out and can save you money in the long run.
10. Choose Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles
Luis Dominguez, Real Estate Agent, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Most tenants are looking for a clean, comfortable, low-maintenance place to call home. If you need to update the flooring of your rental property, do away with using rugs or laminate and go for ceramic or porcelain tiles. They are easier to maintain and clean, and they will also last several years.
11. Repaint the Cabinets
Jamie Crouch, Real Estate Broker, Home Again Properties
Repainting the kitchen cabinets is a fairly inexpensive way to update a property and get a higher chance of being occupied. The kitchen is an important room in the house that needs to be maintained properly between rents and cabinets often get worn out easily. You don’t have to change the entire cabinet if it’s still working — you just need to refresh its appearance with a fresh coat of paint.
12. Add Large Windows
Charmaine Wynter, Luxury Interior Designer, Charmaine Wynter
Adding large windows is a great renovation project for a rental property. Big windows increase the sense of space and make the room look brighter. They usually attract tenants who want a brighter place and the illusion of open space. Adding windows can help increase your rental return on investment too because properties with big windows usually have higher rent than those with smaller windows.
13. Improve the Lighting
Robbie Nevens, Co-Founder, LampTwist
Adding clever lighting improvements is a cost-effective way to increase your profit margin on a rental property. If you install simple fixtures, such as soffit, cove or ceiling lighting, you can improve the curb appeal of any property. Lighting improvements require little to no further investment. Once you install your lighting fixtures, you won’t have to incur the cost of maintenance.
14. Add a Kitchen Backsplash
Brian Augsberger, Director of Sales, Rehab Financial Group
Kitchen improvements are the most important renovations you should do for a property. One way to improve your kitchen is to add a backsplash. This is a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing improvement that will help increase the occupancy rate of a rental property. It can enhance the general appeal of the kitchen, making it more attractive and welcoming.
15. Upgrade the Bathroom & Increase Its Space
Matt Langan, Founder & Creator, Stuccco
Bathrooms can make or break a rental property. You need to make sure that your property’s bathroom is clean and not outdated. You can increase the space of your bathroom to make it more comfortable. You can also work with an interior designer to help you redesign the bathroom to make it look and feel more spacious and convenient for the users.
16. Add Features That Differentiate the Space
Mary Clare Bland, Blog Editor, Moving2Madrid
The best renovation projects are ones that make a rental property pop. Because most tenants find their properties online, it’s important to focus on adding features that differentiate the space. For instance, adding French doors, elegant transom windows and decorated patios or terraces will make your property stand out in a field of generic listings.
17. Install an Air Purification Device
Rick Stein, Vice President, Patriot Comfort Systems
Installation of an air purification device will help keep the environment healthy for your tenants. This is specifically recommended if your property targets families with small children or older or senior tenants. This can also help increase your ROI as you can charge a higher rent for this.
18. Disguise Damaged Walls With Art
Vadim Gershon, Director, Design Flow Pty Ltd
Damages on the wall or other unwanted views may be disguised by using wall art for short-term rentals. Geometric designs complement the clean lines of modern architecture. Organic designs suit both traditional and new buildings. The use of wall art is an artistic and inexpensive way to enhance the physical appearance of a home.
19. Consider Adding an Outdoor Eating Space
Ryan O’Donnell, Marketing Director, Avalara
If your property is a vacation rental property, you should focus on providing a comfortable and relaxing vacation experience to your tenants. Consider adding an outdoor eating space, such as a deck or patio, where your tenants can share some quality time together with their family, friends or significant other. You can also add a food preparation area, such as a dedicated gas grill or cooler, for more convenience.
20. Use Dark Grout
Carrie McBride, Contributing Writer, Apartment Therapy
According to Apartment Therapy, maintaining white grout is very difficult to do. In time, your white grout will become stained and look dark. Using dark grout is a better idea because if you start with something dark, it will at least look intentional. Tenants still need to clean it but at least they don’t need to try to keep it white.
21. Improve Your Landscape
Firebird Housing Staff Writer, Firebird Housing
Create a curb appeal by improving your landscape. Landscaping needs to have the balance of being attractive and also have low maintenance. According to Firebird Housing, a well-manicured front yard will add value to your home as well as create a good first impression to prospective tenants.
22. Add a Bathroom Vanity
Nathan Richard, Contributing Writer, Rev N You
Adding a bathroom vanity will add value to your rental property, especially if your target tenants are younger. You can find inexpensive but good-looking bathroom vanities from IKEA or Costco. Make sure that it matches the general appearance of your bathroom and that it won’t look out of place when you finally install it.
23. Use Removable Wallpaper
Keri Sanders, Assistant Online Editor, HGTV
According to HGTV, some tenants find plain, neutral-colored walls boring. Removable wallpaper is more popular and affordable these days and comes with a variety stylish the designs from which to choose. You can install removable wallpaper in a certain portion of the living room or bedroom wall to enhance the house’s appearance and make it more appealing.
24. Replace the Front Door
Gateway Arms Realty Staff Writer, Gateway Arms Realty
If you’re fixing an old house to rent out, Gateway Arms Realty recommends replacing the front door. The front door is one of the first things that your prospective tenant will see when they check your property. A new front door can increase the value of your home as it will make the property look more elegant and appealing.
If your bathroom is not spacious, consider installing shelves instead of putting a vanity cabinet. Shelves take up less space but they provide additional storage. Plus, they are easy to install and generally cost less. This is a cost-effective way to enhance the look of your bathroom and make it more functional to attract tenants.
Bottom Line – Remodeling Ideas for Rental Properties
Rental properties need to be both comfortable and physically attractive to make it appealing to prospective tenants. Knowing what the best home renovation ideas for rental properties are is a terrific first step to ensure that you attract the best tenants. Follow these 25 rental remodeling ideas from the experts to make sure you’re on the right path.