Contrary to what some may think, it isn’t difficult to improve the value of rental properties. And while it is an upfront investment you may hate to part with, the higher monthly rent and asset value of the home makes it a worthwhile investment… if you choose the right projects.
To make sure you don’t invest your valuable time and money in things with a low rate of return, here are the DIY projects to get the most out of your rental properties.
DIY Project 1: Open Up the Rooms
If you’ve ever watched those remodel shows on HGTV, you know that one of the most common tasks is to open up space. Sometimes this means knocking down non-structural walls. It can also mean taking out the kitchen island or built-in bookshelves.
Fifty years ago, people liked having lots of small rooms. The living room, sitting room, and dining room would each be walled off. You didn’t see many lofts, as every inch of space upstairs was used for either a bedroom or bathroom.
These days, our tastes have changed. Your tenants want open spaces, and are willing to pay more for them! And if you look at most newer homes being built, you’ll see this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.
DIY Project #2: Boost Curb Appeal Through Landscaping
When prospects drive up to your home, the first impression may make or break their decision. Even if the inside of the house is immaculate, an unkempt or crowded yard isn’t something they want to see.
The good thing is that improving landscaping isn’t very difficult. It’s probably the easiest thing to do yourself, plus it has a high rate of return. Some experts will tell you the ROI can exceed 400%! Not bad- especially if it lets you charge higher monthly rent.
DIY Project #3: Install New Floors
Let’s face it- floors take a beating. Whether you have kids and pets or not, your floors are likely much dirtier than you think!
Installing new floors doesn’t have to be expensive, but can make a world of difference. The ROI for new floors is usually at least 50%, if not over 100%. Your tenants just feel better seeing new floors, knowing that there’s no hidden dirt, grime, hair, or other nastiness stuck in the carpet!
And speaking of carpet, installing new floors allows you to get rid of carpet… at least, some of it. Carpet is nice for wrestling with kids and pets, but most people prefer hardwood right now. Hardwood (or laminate) floors are easier to clean and are seen as a luxury commodity compared to carpet. Plus, it’s very easy to install hardwood yourself. Most models easily click or slide into place- no glue required.
You also win, because most landlord horror stories involve carpet. By removing that element altogether- at least in most of the home- you’ll save yourself a lot of headache!
DIY Project #4: Update the Bathroom
Updating a bathroom is almost universally agreed upon as a great way to increase home value. It doesn’t take much to overhaul a bathroom- maybe $500. But that $500 can make it feel completely different, meaning more money in your pocket from tenants.
Most projects in the bathroom aren’t difficult, either. Cleaning grout, removing rust stains, installing a fan, putting in a new shower head and buying a new toilet seat can go a long way.
DIY Project #5: Paint!
Everyone has different tastes.
…unfortunately, your tenants may have very different tastes than yourself, or the person who owned the home before you bought it.
But instead of just waiting for “the right tenant,” it makes more sense to just do a little painting. Neutral colors always work well, especially an off-white. Something like a light brown or dark grey can work, but keep in mind they’ll make the room feel darker, which most tenants don’t like.
The same goes with that hot pink room that used to belong to a little girl, or the dinosaur wallpaper. A little paint and sweat equity put into painting the walls and ceilings will both improve the home value and increase rent from tenants.