We are talking about how to get your investment home ready for the rental market, and we’re going to work from the outside in. Remember that curb appeal is very important. If you watch any of the landscaping shows on television where everything outside a house is transformed, you know what a difference good landscaping can make. We’re not saying you have to completely redo everything, but you want it to look nice outside.
First impressions mean a lot, so even if you have simple desert landscaping, keep everything trimmed and the rocks raked up. You don’t want any weeds. Look at the paint and trim around the property and make sure it looks clean, fresh and manicured. We want it to look like someone cares about what’s going on out front.
The backyard is important too. We see a lot of investment properties with a bare backyard. There’s just flat gravel and nothing else. If you’ve got a three or four bedroom property, you’re probably going to end up renting to a family with kids who want to play back there. The tenants might want to entertain as well. It makes a big difference to tenants when there’s a space out there for them to enjoy. Low maintenance outdoor space is great, but make sure it looks inviting.
Inside, there are two things you’ll always have to deal with when you have a rental. Those things are paint and carpet. If you’re lucky, the carpet might last three years with a tenant. The paint will need to be touched up or completely redone every time you have a new tenant moving in. Nothing looks better to a tenant in a rental home than new paint. We often recommend putting down tile in the main living areas so you aren’t replacing carpet in the entire house so frequently. If you are wondering whether you should try to get another year out of worn carpet, just get fresh carpet and simply write off that expense on your taxes. It will make a difference in finding tenants.
When it comes to contractors who are going to work on your house, make sure you know and trust who you are working with. If you’re using a property manager or you get a referral, ask what the company has done before. Take a look at their past work and look for reviews online. We always put our reviews online and a lot of them come from tenants raving about work our maintenance guys do. Get the right people in there so you know you’re getting good work. You want to show your tenants that you care about your house.
Finally, marketing is an important part of getting your house on the rental market. We recommend using videos and taking a lot of pictures. Show off your rental home and make sure the ad is everywhere that potential tenants are looking. Talk about the fresh paint and the new carpet, and it will make a difference in attracting tenants and renting your home quickly.
If you have any questions about how to get your home ready for the rental market, please contact us at HomeQwik, and we’d be happy to tell you more.