Today, we are talking about good versus bad upgrades in rental properties. This is a question that we get quite often from our owners who want to modify their homes for a new tenant.
One area of potential upgrades is your flooring. When you are considering tile versus wood laminate, we recommend a tile product rather than man-made wood laminate products. It can be hard for a tenant to maintain a laminate product and it doesn’t stand up well to water or other substances such as pet urine. I would recommend that if you want a wood look in your property, you use a ceramic tile. A six inch by 24 inch piece of tile looks like wood. It can be steam cleaned and is very durable. It will last twice as long as laminate wood or three times longer than carpet.
When you want to upgrade your windows, put in a low energy window. Look for the Low E products that could make you eligible for a tax break. Also, do some weatherproofing of the home. The house won’t get as hot and the air conditioner won’t have to run as long. This will save on energy bills and extend the life of the air conditioner.
Fresh paint is an important upgrade. Paint the trim and the eaves at least every five years. Painting the fascia boards will add to your curb appeal and it will also prevent them from drying out and causing roof problems. The flashing the holds the roof on to the house is attached to the fascia boards. As it dries out, it won’t take much of a wind to grab a hold of the roof and throw parts of it into the back yard. If something happens that you need your insurance company’s involvement, an adjuster will check your fascia boards and get an idea of how any damage may have happened. You don’t want your claim denied just because you didn’t upgrade this part of your property. It also looks good.
The yard has to look nice, but you want the outdoor space to be as maintenance free as possible. Tenants don’t rent properties because they want to mow lawns and trim hedges. It takes 12 inches of water to keep grass green. We live in the Mojave Desert, where there are four inches of rain each year. If you haven’t seen it on the news, we’ve been in a drought for the last few years. Green grass is expensive to maintain. Consider artificial landscaping, which is expensive to install but it stays good for many years and gives your house a golf course look. We recommend desert themed landscaping. Colorful plants will give your property curb appeal.
If you have any questions about reasonable upgrades to your property, please contact us at Blackbird Realty and Management.