Whether you are renting out your home when you move to a new location or you are scooping up reno properties with the intention of building multiple income properties, knowing the ins and outs of renovating a rental property can save you time and money. Many new landlords waste a lot of money in renovations that don’t fit the locations they are renting. Check out these top tips for getting a property rental ready…..without breaking the bank.

1-) It’s a House….Not Your Home. Especially for first time landlords, it is easy to get caught up in the renovation process. You may envision the upgrades that you can do and have lofty expectations for the increase in rent you’ll receive from those upgraded counter tops, custom cabinets, or fancy floors. A vital part of learning to renovate and manage rental properties is realizing that the upgrades and modifications you make are for a rental, not for your personal home. Keep in mind that the renovations and upgrades that you do to the property do not increase the rent that the property brings as drastically as you may think. It’s important to do market research to know what other similar properties in your area are renting for and keep your upgrades and renovations in keeping with your market. While you may love granite counter tops, custom kitchen cabinets, and hardwood floors if these upgrades don’t yield an increase in monthly rental income in your market….skip those upgrades. Tenants may love the custom finishes but if they aren’t willing to pay more per month for those features…you wasted money.

2-) Repair Before Your Replace. A big cost associated with rental properties is repairs and tenant turn overs. While it may be tempting to tear out the carpet each time a tenant moves, many times repairs are easier and cheaper than replacing damaged items. Know the rules and laws for your area and be sure that you are meeting landlord requirements. If carpets are in god condition, hiring a carpet cleaning company to deep steam clean the carpets is a much cheaper option than replacing the flooring. Fixtures such as light fixtures and cabinet hardware can be updated or painted for relatively low costs and can yield a great visual update to the property. Instead of replacing outdated light fixtures, consider removing them and painting them with an update color. Getting rid of those shiny gold fixtures is as easy as grabbing a modern color can of spray paint at the hardware store. Consider painting outdated kitchen and bathroom cabinets instead of replacing them. Small changes can update the look of your property and save you money. When making repairs or upgrades to your property, keep in mind the durability of the items you are using. Rental properties typically are treated more roughly than a person’s personal home. Select materials that are easy to clean and inexpensive to replace or repair.

3-) Focus Upgrades On Kitchens And Bathrooms: Kitchens and bathrooms typically give you the biggest “bang for your buck”.  When repairs don’t cut it and upgrades or replacements are required, try to focus the bulk of your budget on the kitchen and bathrooms. Consider low cost/ high impact touches like tile backsplashes or nicer flooring. While these areas of the property pack a big visual impact, they are typically smaller areas of the home so the cost of materials is lower. Try using the same flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms to create a united theme throughout the property and to cash in on bulk material purchases. Utilize paint colors that highlight the space and draw attention to small upgrades or details such as new hardware on the existed (but newly painted!) kitchen cabinets. Keep in mind that whatever features you include in these rooms should still be in keeping the rental value of your surrounding area. Upgrades are great and can help rent your property more quickly, but installing upgraded range hoods, expensive appliances, or other costly details do not typically translate to higher rental income each month. Also, the higher-end the details you put in the unit, typically, the higher the cost there is repair or replace.

4-) Keep It Clean And Well Maintained. It’s amazing how much traction you can get on getting a unit rented simply by keeping the property and yard clean and well-maintained. Simple is key for a rental property. Be sure to keep the outside of the property power washed and painted. Keep the landscaping simple and tidy. If the tenant is responsible for yard maintenance at the property, keep in mind that they may not want to keep up with high maintenance flower beds or plants. If your property has lawn care included as part of the rental, keep in mind that a simple landscape will often save you money if you choose to hire a grounds crew. Keep in mind that small, simply details like a nicely trimmed yard, new mulch in the flower beds, and a clean exterior can make a huge visual impact without a high cost.

Inside the property, be sure to keep the walls painted and fixtures clean and repaired. Doors that stick, knobs that don’t work, faucets that leak, and toilets that run all give the illusion of a poorly maintained property. Some of these small fixes and repairs can drastically improve the overall look and feel of your property.

To get the tailored policy coverage that you need for your home, valuables, auto, LIFE, or business, call The CHOICE Insurance Team today at 757-416-5100 and ask for a free, comprehensive review.  Give us a call today!


All the Best,



In 2008 Choice Insurance Agency was created out of the former Realty Consultants Insurance Agency founded in 1980 by George Ayers Capt. USN Ret. Since 2008 the Choice Insurance Agency has more than tripled in size and is continue on a track of rapid growth. The Choice Insurance Agency focuses on four areas of expertise: Private Client Group, Coastal Coverage, Senior Programs and Commercial/Business Insurance. Our business model has allowed us to expand into all of the states on the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Florida including Pennsylvania and DC to better serve our ever-growing client base. As an Insurance brokerage stationed in Hampton Roads with access to well over 40+ insurance carriers, the Choice Insurance Agency is able to shop for the best rates, cover those picky coastal zones and create a tailored plan to fit your insurance needs. The Choice Insurance Agency. Call us today and see why we are the top “CHOICE” in Hampton Roads.

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