by Michelle Stuart
There are some decided differences between fixing up your own home and a property you plan to rent out.
One of those differences is often your budget for repairs.
If you want to make a profit on your investment property, repairs must be kept to a minimum. Since repairs are also a necessity to attracting and maintaining quality renters, it is also important to learn how to make repairs on a limited budget. The good news is that there are some repairs and improvements which can be made to your property without spending a lot of money.
First, make a point to go through the house and replace all of the older and outdated switch plates. New switch plates need not be an expensive investment. In fact, most switch plates can be replaced for just a couple of dollars each, at the most. You can easily replace all of the switch plates in a property for around $20. In some areas, you may wish to go ahead and ante up for switch plates which are slightly nicer, such as in the living room and foyer. You will pay a couple of dollars more for brass plates; however, even at around $5 each, that is still not much money to pay for an improvement that can really make your rental property stand out.
Doors are another area where you can make a big difference in your rental property without spending a ton of money. Doors are one of the first things that a prospective renter will notice so it can really be a worthy investment to make when you are trying to attract good renters. While you are changing out the doors, be sure to also consider changing out the handles as well. Older door handles can really make a place look drab. For just a few dollars, you can easily replace those old handles with brass finished models. ˜S’ handles are popular for bedroom doors and bathroom doors and only run a few dollars more.
The trim is another area where you can make a big impact for not much money. Take a good look at the trim in your rental property. If it appears worn and cracked, it could be time to replace it. You do not necessarily need to spring for crown molding throughout the entire property; however, adding it to the entryway or the living room can create a great first impression.
Another area where you might wish to focus some attention is the entryway or foyer. Keep in mind that once prospective renters step through the front door this is the first area they are going to see, so you want to make sure you make a good first impression. Tiling it can be a great way to do that. For a small foyer area measuring around 8×8 you can easily tile it for about $100.
Kitchens are one of the most important areas for most people when they view a property for rent, especially women. While it may not be practical to replace all of the cabinets, it can certainly help to paint them. Consider repainting them using a semi-gloss white paint and do not forget to replace the knobs when you are finished. Even less expensive plastic knobs can breathe new life into older kitchen cabinets.
Michelle Stuart is a property manager with Pythias Management LLC in New York, providing property management with a personal touch! Residential property management in Queens, Brooklyn, and Nassau. Other areas can be negotiated. Pythias Management can handle all of the problems and headaches of ownership while allowing you the time for enjoyment of the benefits.
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