How to Maintain Your Investment Property over Time - Article Banner

Owning investment properties means preparing for maintenance. It could be something as simple as a door that sticks or something as huge as a roof replacement or a new furnace. As someone who owns rental property in Prince George’s County, you probably stay pretty busy responding to emergency and unexpected repairs as well as routine maintenance that shouldn’t be deferred. 

All of that is expected, and if you’re a smart investor, you’ve budgeted for the ongoing repair requests and the occasional big ticket items. 

What about a long term maintenance plan? 

Unless you’re planning to sell your investment properties in the next year or two, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the next five, 10, even 20 years. How can you protect the condition and the value of your Prince George’s County rental homes? How can you keep them modern, updated, and attractive to new tenants? 

Most importantly – how can long term maintenance help you leverage the rental value of your property?

It can be difficult to think beyond the immediate needs, but if you want to increase the value of your investment and protect its condition for many years to come, you need to have a plan in place for how you’ll take care of your property over time. 

The key is preventative maintenance and good vendor relationships.

Select Good Prince George’s County Tenants

Does tenant placement have anything to do with long term rental property maintenance?

Actually, yes. 

Property owners are responsible for the normal wear and tear that occurs during a tenancy. When you have good tenants in place who are treating your property with respect and helping you take care of it, you can expect less work and fewer expenses between those tenancies. That’s going to help you keep your property in excellent condition for many years to come. If you don’t have to do too much work after a tenant moves out, you can quickly get a new tenant in. You can make the necessary cosmetic repairs and move on. 

When you’re screening tenants, look for the following indications so you know you’re getting a tenant who will contribute to long term property maintenance:

    • No prior evictions
    • A solid, positive rental history with good landlord references
    • No judgments or money owed to former landlords or apartment communities
    • Long term tenancies of more than a year or less

With the right tenants in place, you can put together a long term maintenance plan that doesn’t have to leave space for excessive tenant damage or abuse and neglect of your property.

Prince George’s County Rental Home Turnover Opportunities

Keeping your Prince George’s County rental property modern, fresh, and in good repair is necessary to keep it occupied with those great tenants. 

Making renovations and upgrades every so often is an important part of keeping the investment in good condition over the course of several years. 

When we talk about renovations, we aren’t suggesting you need to remodel the entire unit. There’s no need to put in a brand new bathroom or finish the basement or rehab the kitchen – unless these things are sorely needed. 

Instead, focus on the cost-effective updates and improvements that will do a few things:

    • Keep your property maintained now and in the future.
    • Attract high quality tenants who are looking for modern homes.
    • Increase your rental value.

The best time to make these improvements is during turnover periods. When you have tenants moving out, for example, and you were called to fix an appliance more than once during that tenancy, it might be time to replace your appliances. Why continue repairing stoves and refrigerators that keep breaking down? Upgrade to something that’s energy efficient and attractive. 

Without any tenants in the property, you can work quickly and maximize your time. Get as much done as you can while the property is vacant. Look for opportunities to make the necessary repairs and then go a step further and make some upgrades that will protect your property’s condition and make your home more marketable on the Prince George’s County rental market. 

Focus on Fundamentals: Floors and Walls for the Long Term

Floors and walls are especially important, considering that they keep your property standing. 

Smart investors are going to do whatever is necessary to keep those floors and walls in excellent condition for the next 10 or 20 years – maybe even longer. When you’re making upgrades or responding to repairs, remember that you’re not just putting a Band-Aid on a problem or making a temporary fix. If you’re holding this property for several more years, you want to invest in the right repairs. 

As an example – pay attention to paint quality. You’ll likely do a lot of repainting over the years, especially during tenant turnovers. Invest in paint that’s going to stand up to tenants, pets, and weather. Take down wallpaper. Scrape off those popcorn ceilings. You’re looking for durable and reliable paint and wall coverings. No one wants to move into a home with wood paneling in the living room. Long term maintenance means keeping up with design trends and ensuring your property is attractive to a large pool of diverse tenants. 

Flooring is also an important part of maintaining an investment property over time. Floors are about aesthetics as well as function. 

If you have hard surface floors, you’re likely going to have an easier time keeping them in good shape for several years. Laminate, tile, and even hardwoods are good investments. It saves you money because you don’t have to clean and replace carpet every time one tenant moves out and another moves in. 

For rental homes with carpeted floors, you should consider having those carpets professionally steam-cleaned at least once a year, or require your tenants to have them cleaned. Don’t hesitate to replace the carpet when stains start showing up or it begins to look worn and faded, especially in high traffic areas. 

Preventative Maintenance is Cost Effective for Long Term Investments

If you prioritize preventative maintenance, you can save money on the long-term care of your investment property. A good preventative maintenance plan will reduce the number of emergency repairs you have to make and extend the lifespan of some of your home’s most expensive functions. 

For example, having a professional HVAC technician inspect the heating and cooling systems is a great way to keep those systems functioning well. It will also let you know if there’s a problem or a future replacement that will need to be made. Pest control is important, and so is having your electrical systems and plumbing looked at from time to time. Replace those appliances that are old and draining energy. 

Make a preventative maintenance checklist. Many items will be seasonal. When you keep up with these types of repairs, you can be sure you’re not missing any potential issues from year to year. There should be a consistent process in place for things like snow removal, gutter cleaning, and window care. Long term maintenance is also about safety and habitability. Checking smoke detectors, window screens, and door locks should be part of your preventative maintenance checklist.

Outdoor Spaces and Landscaping

You can’t stop at interior features when you’re maintaining your rental property for the future. 

Make sure your outdoor space, yards, pools, and balconies are also in great condition. They should be safe, attractive, and updated from time to time to reflect the best safety standards and maintenance precautions. 

Your outdoor maintenance plan should include:

    • Lawns that are regularly mowed and watered.
    • Plenty of exterior lighting that works.
    • Windows and doors that lock and handrails that are in good shape.
    • Plants, flowers, and shrubs are weeded, trimmed, and watered regularly.

Always make preventative maintenance a priority when it comes to your roof. Regular inspections are important to make sure shingles aren’t falling off or deteriorating. Have a professional roofer check for leaks and water intrusion at least once a year. 

Relationships with Prince George’s County Vendors and Contractors

partnershipPart of maintaining your Prince George’s County investment property over time is working with reliable, professional vendors who know you, know your property, and understand the urgency of your repair needs. Look for professionals who are licensed and insured, and willing to offer competitive rates in exchange for your loyalty as a customer. 

Property managers often have the best vendor relationships. In some cases, you’ll find property management companies like ours who specialize in maintaining rental homes. We have an entire division of professionals who provide outstanding maintenance for cost effective prices. Having such relationships in place will allow you to maintain your investment now and in the future. 

Putting together a preferred list of plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, roofers, landscapers, and cleaners is more important than ever. There’s high demand for good work, and if you don’t have access to these professionals, you might find yourself waiting a long time before they can fit your needs into their schedules. 

We can help with that, and we’d love to work with you on a long term maintenance plan for your investments. Please contact us at Stripe Management. We work with owners, investors, and properties in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., Capitol Heights, District Heights, Baltimore, and anywhere in the DC metro area.