Renovations to Maximize Your Rental Income

To earn as much as you can on your Prince George’s County rental home, you need to ensure you’re offering tenants a property that’s attractive, well-maintained, and modern. Rents are high right now in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and they’re only expected to climb. You don’t want to be left behind with a property that’s outdated and incapable of earning top dollar. 

While the market is always going to drive what you can charge and how you establish a rental value, you have some flexibility when it comes to pricing and property conditions. You do have the power to set a higher rental price when you know tenants are willing to pay it. 

Rental property renovations can help you increase the value of your rental property and it can also contribute to higher tenant retention and lower vacancy costs. A property that’s been updated and upgraded will always perform better, regardless of the market’s strength. 

We’re here to help you maximize your rental income by suggesting the following renovations.

Landscaping and Curb Appeal in Prince George’s County Rental Homes

Let’s start with first impressions. 

They matter, and you know they matter because you’ve probably made some decisions yourself based on how things look, especially when it comes to real estate. The curb appeal on your rental property has to be inviting and welcoming. The home has to look good, or tenants aren’t going to want to see it, let alone rent it.

This is going to be important whether your real estate portfolio is made up of single-family homes or units in multi-family buildings. 

Take a look at the landscaping. It should look good, but it should also be clean and easy to maintain. A tenant looking at a single-family home wants a yard that looks great, but they don’t want to spend all of their weekends mowing and trimming and weeding. 

Higher rents can be expected for single-family homes when there are nicely trimmed bushes, green grass, and trees. A few pots of flowers outside the front door will be attention-grabbing. 

When you’re renting out a small building or several units in a building, you want to make sure the exterior paint is fresh, the walkways are clear of any debris or hazards, and the common areas all look good. No tenants living in a building will imagine themselves taking care of the lawn or watering flowers, but you still want to provide an attractive exterior, especially if there’s a courtyard. 

Hire some good landscapers to take care of this on an ongoing basis, and roll the cost into your rental amount.

Owners must be willing to invest in curb appeal and exterior renovations. The landscaping will matter when it comes to attracting tenants and setting higher rental values. 

Wall Upgrades: Fresh Paint and Trim

Something that’s also a simple upgrade and absolutely necessary is your paint. 

Take a look at the condition of your walls. Maybe you’ve just been touching up the dull spots and the nail holes during every turnover, but it’s been a while since you repainted the walls in their entirety. We suggest you do it now. A Prince George’s County rental property that earns high rents has walls that are sturdy, clean, and freshly painted. Take down any wood paneling if you still have it. Peel back the wallpaper. These are not wall coverings good tenants look for. You want well-insulated walls that are painted in neutral colors with high quality paint. 

Maybe you don’t consider painting a renovation. It’s actually a cost-effective tool that can easily be used to improve rental amounts and the value of your property. Paint the walls completely during every turnover, and if you’ve had the same tenants in place for years and the walls are looking worn and faded, schedule some time for repainting. It’s worth the investment of time and resources.

If you’ve been using low-budget paint, consider investing in a higher quality paint. You will notice a difference, and so will tenants. You also want to think about how you can make your walls stand out and look great. A fresh coat of paint on your baseboards and door frames will make the rental home appear refreshed and clean. If the ceiling has some stains or looks worn, paint it.

Technology Upgrades Attract Prince George’s County Tenants

Maximizing what you earn might depend on providing better technology access. 

You are probably using more technology today than you did a decade ago. All of us are. It’s the same for renters. Tenants today are increasingly more tech-savvy, and they’re looking for ways to access that technology in their rental homes. When you can meet this demand, you can charge more for the privilege of things such as super-fast internet or smart home technology. Syncing phones with things like outdoor lights, appliances, and security has become essential. 

Consider some technology upgrades, even though they can be expensive. You don’t have to provide all the technology yourself; you simply have to make the high-quality tech accessible in your home. Think about video doorbells, for example. This has become one of the most popular ways for tenants to feel more secure in their homes, to avoid answering the door to someone they don’t want to deal with, and to keep an eye on deliveries and packages left at the front door. 

Ring doorbells and other similar devices will allow tenants to see who is there before they open the door. They can record video of people approaching their home, and watch it live on their smartphones or computers. 

You don’t have to install these doorbells yourself. But, give tenants the option to bring their own technology and security into your home. Make your property as friendly as possible to smart home technology and increased security. You’ll be able to earn more and your tenants will be attracted to your home. 

You’ll find tech-friendly residents will also want to set their lights to turn on at a certain time and smart thermostats will be appealing. Choose which smart home upgrades will be most important to your residents, and offer them. 

You’ll set your property apart in a crowded rental market and have an easy time charging higher rents.

Upgrade to Hard Surface Floors for Higher Rents

Perhaps the most important and impactful renovation you can make is to your floors. No one likes carpet anymore. It gets dirty. It traps allergens, dust, and pet odors. Consider hard surface flooring instead, especially in common areas like hallways, living rooms, and dining rooms. 

Hardwood floors would be ideal, but don’t spend thousands of dollars installing bamboo floors. You don’t have to use hardwood. Consider faux wood or tile or even laminates. You can find laminate flooring that looks like real wood and is easy to clean and maintain. 

Another benefit to hard surface flooring is that it’s more durable. You won’t have to steam clean or replace carpets between every tenant. You’ll find you can earn more when you have hard floors instead of carpet. This is a renovation you should strongly consider. 

Look for Lighting Improvements

Lighting is another excellent opportunity for low-cost renovations. Tenants want bright and efficient interior lights. They don’t want to replace bulbs every few months.  

With your lighting upgrades, pay attention to energy efficiency and sustainability. Choose light bulbs that are greener and likely to keep energy costs down. Tenants will appreciate this, and you’ll save money when you’re paying for utilities during turnovers and other periods. 

Exterior lighting needs to be installed from a perspective of security. The path from parking to the doorway should be well-lit and bright. Residents need to feel safe, and you want to deter potential criminals. 

Invest in Prince George’s County Kitchen Renovations

Kitchens are both functional and emotional. Tenants are going to put a lot of weight on how the kitchen looks before they rent a home. The state of your kitchen will impact what you can charge in rent. 

Open floor plans are popular in rental homes, so make sure your kitchen, even if it’s small, looks into the dining and gathering area. There should be counter space, storage, and appliances that are in good condition and matching. You don’t need the granite counters and the stainless steel. But you do need an attractive, modern place for tenants to prepare food, make coffee, and entertain guests. 

Think about a backsplash, updated fixtures like drawer pulls, and cabinets that are free from chips and scratches. Shiny faucets and hardware will get the attention of good tenants. 

Bathrooms Must Be Clean and Fresh

clean bathroomIs it worth your money to renovate a bathroom in a Prince George’s County rental property?

Yes. It may be a small space, but you can do a few things to make them more attractive to your ideal tenants. Change out any mirrors and lighting that make the place look dated. The shower and tub need to be in good condition, and you want to make sure there are no cracks in the toilet seat, the shower wall, or the floors. Put new caulk in where it’s necessary and make sure there’s enough storage for bathroom essentials. 

These are the renovations we know will increase rents and applications. If you’d like some help maximizing what you earn, 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.