With the nature of the rental market being competitive, some Alexander property owners want to gain the advantage. Some of them think that if they build a dream kitchen, they would attract higher-paying tenants. Good tenants do inspect the kitchen and want it to be high-quality, but there is a difference between high-quality and luxury. The truth is, high-end or luxury upgrades rarely result in a higher rental rate. The exception to this is if your rental home is positioned in a market that will support higher rent. In this case, your entire home should be similarly upgraded. However, if this isn’t the case, your best option would be to create a kitchen that features less expensive and more durable elements.
Homeowners often dream of upgrading their kitchens with high-end cabinets, appliances, countertops, and flooring. However, in most cases, expensive materials such as granite and hardwood aren’t easy to look after. They get damaged easily and the upkeep requires a lot of work. While a homeowner may really want to live in a beautiful kitchen and they feel that the extra effort is worth it, a tenant may not feel the same way. Tenants may not want the additional responsibility of maintaining that level of luxury. Also, these materials tend to be expensive to repair or replace, which would increase your maintenance costs— especially since you’d need to do it more often seeing how fragile they are.
There are more reasons why creating your dream kitchen is not the best project for your rental property. Tenants typically favor rental homes that were designed to reduce the amount of upkeep. They do still want quality appliances and updated features. But quality and luxury aren’t synonyms, and tenants are more likely to look at a high-end kitchen as more of a hassle than a bonus. So, having a high-end kitchen alone does not mean you can charge more in rent. In fact, many tenants may not be willing to pay a higher rate for that feature alone.
There are other issues that would come about when you are planning to remodel your kitchen but don’t match its quality to the rest of the rental property. Inconsistent upgrades to your rental property would actually have negative implications. When a home has a beautiful kitchen but has dingy, dated bathrooms or worn carpeting, it may raise some red flags for the prospective tenant. They may look at the house and think that it is an unfinished project and not a complete rental home ready to be lived in. Upgrading one room in the house doesn’t do much to increase your property values as well unless the home is in an upscale area.
You don’t need to spend big on a high-end kitchen. Instead, think about doing a few simple updates. An inexpensive and durable countertop and floor, a matching set of new appliances, and some new fixtures can make an older kitchen feel fresh and modern. You can give a worn cabinet a fresh new look by simply having it painted or resurfaced. By doing this, you quickly bring a dated kitchen into the present for only a fraction of the cost. Do not underestimate the little things. Even a new light fixture and drawer pulls can add charm and make the room feel updated. What’s more, there is the added benefit of no longer having to worry about your expensive tile, stainless steel appliances, or granite countertops. You can rest easy and not have to wonder if your tenant is taking care of them properly.
In the end, if you aren’t willing to spend for a complete high-end upgrade of all the areas of your investment property, then you would be better off using your budget to make quality mid-range improvements. Still, determining which upgrades to go for isn’t simple. You’ll need to find out which ones add value to your rental property and correspond to rent increases. This is where the professional Alexander property managers at Real Property Management Hometown can help. Our industry expertise and quality remodeling contractors can help you decide how to best improve your rental property to optimize your rental rates and increase your property values. Contact us or call us at 501-701-4702 or 501-239-5811 for more information.
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