Tips For Renovating Your Rental Property

When it comes to a rental or income property, make sure your property stands out, especially if you happen to own in a competitive real estate market. While full-blown renovations and remodeling can be daunting (and expensive), small updates can help your property shine. If you’ve been thinking of remodeling your rental property, find some useful tips below to help you decide where to put your funds.


Bathrooms are a necessity in every home. But bathrooms can often be overlooked when renovations are concerned, especially smaller bathrooms and powder rooms. While renovating or upgrading a master bathroom is on the top of many homeowners’ lists, giving the other bathrooms some TLC often falls to the wayside, but it shouldn’t! To help increase the value of your rental property and catch potential renters’ eyes, ensure that ALL bathrooms in the home are functional, meaning there is ample storage, plenty of countertop space, and that the bathrooms are clean and don’t frighten people away (you can even replace the toilet seat).


For many, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in an entire house. For a rental property, the kitchen needs to not only be practical in terms of working appliances and ample storage, it also should look nice and updated. Does this mean you need to put granite countertops and top-of-the-line appliances in your rental’s kitchen? No, but it does mean that if the home was built in the 1980s and the kitchen is original, it’s time to upgrade. Not only will upgrading help increase the market value of the home, it will also help attract a new group of potential renters.


With the advent of green movements throughout the country, more and more energy efficient appliances and items can be found almost anywhere you look. Don’t shy away from converting your rental into a more energy efficient property. Not only do people like knowing they’re being energy efficient, many of the new appliances help cut down on operating costs, meaning smaller energy bills for everyone. While you don’t need to go investing in geothermal heating for your rental, consider changing appliances to energy efficient ones, installing a programmable thermostat, and changing out any incandescent light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs.


While yard work and gardening are enjoyed by many homeowners and renters alike, investing in low-maintenance or no-maintenance landscaping for your rental property can give it an extra boost above the local competition. You can’t guarantee that your renter is going to take care of your yard, which can prove burdensome if your home is in a neighborhood with a covenant or an HOA that mandates yard upkeep. Prevent any kind of future problems by looking at alternative options to grass and plants that need to be regularly maintained. By doing this, you prevent any kind of future issues related to landscaping, and potential renters will see a home that only needs minimal outdoor care, which is a win-win for both sides.


Privacy is important in every home, especially in a rental unit - your renters want to know they can feel safe when at home and that the neighborhood can’t see them should they decide to walk around in their underwear at night. While it may not be something that immediately jumps to mind for a rental renovation or updates, adding window treatments is a must. Privacy aside, window treatments also help keep heat in or out depending on the season. Again, you don’t have to go wild and put in elaborate silk drapes -- adding basic shutters or blinds can definitely help your property stand out from others.

Rental properties are great for extra income for many homeowners, but if you want to have a consistently rented property, you’ve got to know where to invest your money to get the highest return on your investment. Minor upgrades and renovations not only help boost your rental property’s value, but they also attract renters that may not have been interested before. You don’t need to break the bank when it comes to changing things up: invest wisely and always be aware of ways of keeping your home competitive for your local market to ensure a constant stream of additional income for you and/or your family.

The Watsons are active in local communities and have lived in the Northwest Suburbs for over 40 years. Their knowledge and experience will get you the results you want! ~ Jayne Smith, Palatine, IL