Smart vs. Terrible Upgrades for Your Rental Home – Phoenix, AZ Landlord Advice

Young plumber fixing a sink in bathroom Property owners often ask us about the upgrades and improvements they should make to their properties. This is an important question because the right upgrades will help you maximize your rent and it will also ensure you’re able to rent your property quickly to high quality tenants. The wrong upgrades, however, will have the opposite effect and will only end up costing you money.

Smart Upgrades

Converting grass to a low maintenance landscape is a great idea. Utilize patio pavers, pressed stones, mulch and other materials to create a natural look that’s easy to maintain and won’t require a lot of water and work. An automatic garage door opener makes a big difference to tenants. If you don’t already have one installed, consider putting one in. It’s fairly inexpensive and it will be an attractive selling point when you’re showing your property to potential renters. Stick to neutral colors on the walls and floors. Pink paint might work for your own daughter’s bedroom, but you never know who your tenants are going to be, and you want the property to appeal to everyone. If you’re going to make changes to your flooring, upgrade to tile instead of carpet. This will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to replace the tile as frequently as the carpet. Tenants will also appreciate it because it’s cleaner, healthier and easier to take care of than carpet.

Terrible Upgrades

An overly landscaped yard is not a good idea on rental property. Tenants will not maintain it the way you expect them to, and they’ll be intimidated when they see it. Keep it simple and manageable. Investing in custom drapes, blinds and other window coverings is also a bad idea. This upgrade will cost you a lot of money, and you’ll be very upset if those expensive blinds or drapes get damaged. Excessive upgrades that are overly complex or out of place for the neighborhood will not work either. Stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are great for your own house if that’s what you want, but tenants won’t be willing to pay extra for those things. Alarm systems are also not necessary. As long as you have a well-lit home with deadbolts on the doors, your tenants will feel safe. They aren’t going to want to learn the complexities of alarm codes and security systems when they move in. Wallpaper is never a good idea. Your tastes are not necessarily going to be the same as your tenant’s, so keep the walls neutral. It’s also harder to maintain. What will you do when it starts peeling off the walls? You don’t want to replace wallpaper every few years. Finally, avoid softwater systems. It’s not great for the environment, especially here in Phoenix where rainfall is not always consistent. It also requires upkeep and maintenance, which your tenants are not going to be willing to do. If you have any questions about which upgrades make sense and which do not, please contact us at PRS Property Management, and we’d be happy to talk to you.

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