Is It Time To Reno?

The cost of housing has been in the news quite a bit the last few months. Rising house prices are causing more people to remain in the rental market longer.  Discouraged knowing it will take more time before they purchase a home these potential tenants are looking for properties that are new, refurbished and offer amenities.

If your property is older, and the only upgrade you’ve done since you purchased it was to give it a fresh coat of paint, it might be time to do some renos.

There are a few good reasons for renovations and improvements

Remember, updating your property often results in an opportunity to raise rents, maybe find better tenants and over time more money in your bank account.

Showcase your property from your competitors. 

Consider completing renovations that make your property as attractive as possible to potential tenants. What little extras can you add, a unique storage room, contemporary powder room, modern window casings and baseboards?

Improve energy efficiency.  If you are like me, you are doing all you can to be more environmentally friendly.  Are the windows in your property old?  Consider replacing them and adding new ones that are energy-efficient and a programmable thermostat.  They can be a selling feature for tenants when you highlight and remind them that their utility costs will be lower.  You can also tell them that the unit will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Adding an energy efficient air conditioner is also a great feature and benefit for tenants.

Create a WOW factor for renters when they view your property. Look at changing out old light fixtures with new energy efficient and modern ones. Does your budget allow for a full kitchen renovation?  If it doesn’t, a few key changes can make a big difference. Are the countertops showing years of spills and chopping? An updated countertop with a new sink can totally transform a kitchen. Instead of replacing cupboards, consider repainting or refacing them. New appliances will also ensure future tenants have a great experience in your property. An energy efficient dishwasher is a true nice to have and a bonus selling feature for potential tenants. A tired bathroom can be easily transformed with new tile, low flow toilet and upgraded fixtures.

Laundry is often a real chore for people. Does your rental unit have space for a washer and dryer?  Having in unit access to a washer and dryer any time is another WOW factor for tenants and can set your property apart from others.  New products will also require less maintenance, resulting in savings for you! Another added bonus, fewer phone calls about maintenance and items that need fixing. Don’t forget happy tenants are more likely to renew a lease.

There are lots of affordable flooring options. Flooring can set the tone when your potential tenant first walks through the door. If the unit is carpeted and showing years of wear and tear, consider replacing it with durable laminate, or luxury vinyl flooring.  Both are a fraction of the cost of real hardware and will last for years.  You may clean your carpets regularly, but carpets can still hold dust and other irritants for tenants with allergies.

Outdoor Spaces

Canadians love to BBQ and chill with family and friends during the summer months.  Is there an outdoor space that tenants can utilize?  If not, is there room for a deck, patio or porch? Does the backyard need to be re-sodded?  Try to create a space where your tenants can relax, enjoy a nice meal and an evening under the stars.  Do you allow your tenants to have pets? A fenced backyard for a tenant with a dog, that could be the deciding factor between your property and the one around the corner. 

Don’t forget you should always speak to your accountant for professional advice. Needed repairs to your property can often be tax deductible so any work done to maintain your rental property, could likely be deducted on your taxes. Sometimes improvements or renovations are often not tax deductible and may come with a higher price tag, the resulting higher rental rates will certainly provide long-term financial benefits to YOU!