You want to get the most out of your investment property in Washington, DC. Part of this includes making improvements over time to maximize your rent and appreciation of your property over time.
But home improvements are rarely inexpensive, so choosing ones that will translate to the most value is important. So how do you know which ones those are?
The following are some of the most cost-effective home improvement tips to help you get the maximum amount of rent and keep your property performing well even during market fluctuations.
Keep Your Property Freshly Painted
You’ve heard it said before, but it’s worth repeating: a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your rental property. Whether it’s the interior or exterior, painting gives your rental a major facelift that can make the property look newer and cleaner.
So when should you paint your rental property?
Painting between tenants is always a good idea, as it allows you to cover up scuff marks or paint fading. It’s also a good idea to paint every five to ten years, or more frequently, if the paint is dramatically scuffed, faded, or damaged.
Add a Home Office
As more people work remotely, a home office is a valuable addition to a rental property. It’s also one of the most cost-effective, as you can easily turn a room or a small space into an office by adding a desk and proper lighting.
Places to consider adding a home office in a rental property include:
- The kitchen
- A loft
- A hallway or alcove
- Under the stairs
- A closet
- A spare bedroom
Upgrade the Lighting
Poor lighting can make any space look small, dark, and dingy, so upgrading the lighting at your rental can have a big impact.
Upgrading the lighting can be as simple as swapping out dark lamp shades for lighter ones, supplementing lighting in dark corners with lamps or wireless light fixtures, and updating fixtures for a more modern touch.
Remember, a brighter space will look larger and cleaner, helping to increase the value of your rental immediately and in the long term.
Ditch the Carpet
Renters increasingly don’t want to see carpet in a rental home, especially if they are not the first tenants to use it.
Carpet gets dirty easily and is more difficult to clean than hardwood floors, tile, or luxury vinyl plank, and it needs to be replaced more often, especially if you allow pets at your rental property.
Swapping out carpet for a different type of flooring—one that is easier to clean and ages well over time—is one of the best ways to improve your rental and maximize your investment.
Install In-Unit Laundry
If your rental doesn’t have in-unit laundry, consider installing a washer and dryer if possible. Renters will pay more for a property where they can do their laundry at home, so this is a cost-effective investment and an excellent feature to highlight when marketing your rental.
A stacked washer and dryer is a good choice as it allows you to save space and forgo having a dedicated laundry room, especially when your rental is short on square footage.
Offer Additional Security
Security is another essential feature of a rental property, whether you have a single-family home (SFH) or an apartment complex.
Having home security cameras for a SFH and an updated access control system for an apartment complex can help tenants feel safer and increase the value of the unit.
Enhanced security also lets tenants know you take their safety seriously and makes it easier to investigate incidents or have proof should there ever be a dispute.
What Improvements Should You Make to Your Rental?
The improvements you make to your rental can dramatically impact rental income and property value over time. What improvements have you made to your income property, and which ones are you planning? FAS Management can help you identify the most cost-effective improvements with the most impact for your Washington, DC rental. Call us today at (202) 337-5080.