by Attorney William Bronchick
It’s easy to fix up your properties if you have unlimited cash. However, you need to keep your repairs to a minimum to stay profitable. You also need to keep your properties in good shape to attract tenants or buyers. It also has a lot to do with your knowledge of how rental properties work with both the logistics and the numbers. There are the basic improvements, such as carpet and paint, but these can still cost thousands of dollars. The following are some inexpensive ways to improve your properties with very little cash. In addition, knowing what to fix or spruce up on a rental vs. a rehab is crucial.
In Part One we identified 5 ways to upgrade that rental or rehab. As promised, here are the last 5 ways!
#6) Tile Foyer Entry
After the front door, your next first impression is the foyer area. Most rental property foyers are graced with linoleum floors. Consider a nice 12″ Mexican tile. An 8′ x 8′ area should cost about $100 in materials.
#7) New Shower Curtains
It amazes me that many landlords and sellers show properties with either no shower curtain or any ugly old shower curtain in the bathroom. Don’t be cheap – drop $40 and buy a nice new rod and fancy curtain.
#8) Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Replacing kitchen cabinets is expensive, but painting them is cheap. If you have old 1970’s style wooden cabinets in a lovely dark brown shade, paint them. Use a semi-gloss white and finish them with colorful plastic knobs. No need to paint the inside of them (unless you own a spray gun), since you are only trying to make an impression.
Americans spend 99% of their time in the kitchen (when they are not watching TV). A fancy modern faucet looks great in the kitchen. They can run as much as $150, but not to worry – most retailers (Home Depot, Home Base, etc) often run clearance sales on overstocked and discontinued models. I have found nice Delta and Price Pfister faucets for about $60 on sale.
#9) Add Window Shutters
If you have ugly aluminum framed windows, consider adding wooden shutters outside. They come pre-primed at most hardware retailers and are easy to install. Paint them an offset color from the outside of the house – (e.g., if the house is dark, paint the shutters white. If the house is light, paint them green, blue, etc.)
#10) Add a Nice Mailbox
Everyone on the block has the same black mailbox. Stand out. Be bold. For about $35 you can buy a nice colorful mailbox. For about $60 more, you can buy a nice wooden post for it. People notice these things… and they like them!
There you go! Remember that it’s a great idea if you are new to the game to have a trusted advisor or mentor in your corner!