Thursday, February 29

10 Affordable Improvements for Rental Homes

A rental property can be a very valuable investment. If you properly maintain your property, you’ll be able to bring in rental income for many years to come. Making affordable improvements is a great way to increase the value of a rental home and keep your tenants happy.

Upgrading Your Air Conditioner

If your rental property has an older HVAC system, you may want to start talking to AC companies about updating that unit with something new. While this can be more costly than many other affordable improvements for the home, it could help you save money in the long run. Newer HVAC systems are more efficient, which means energy costs are lower.

A brand-new HVAC system can provide better climate control throughout your property, which should increase the overall comfort of your tenants. Newer systems also tend to be much quieter than older units. If tenants have complained about the noise from an old unit in the past, it may be time for an upgrade.

In addition to installing a new air conditioner, there are a number of upgrades that can make an AC unit more efficient. For example, upgrading to a better HEPA filter could improve the air quality in your home. If you own a larger property, you may also want to look into upgrading to HVAC zones.

Water Heater Upgrades

Typically, water heaters last for around 10 to 12 years, though some types of heaters can last longer. If your heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, it’s a good time to start looking at potential upgrades. While you could opt for a conventional storage-tank water heater, there are other options that are also worth exploring.

Tankless water heaters are energy efficient and take up minimal space. They tend to have higher upfront costs than other types of water heaters but can save you over time. These heaters can also provide hot water on demand, making them an appealing option for tenants.

If you’re interested in more affordable improvements, you could also look at options like point-of-use water heaters. These types of water heaters can be an especially great option for vacation properties or rental homes with bathrooms in the basement. Other options to consider include condensing water heaters and heat pumps.

Talk to water heater installation professionals if you plan to upgrade your water heater in the near future. When you reach out to professionals, you’ll have the chance to ask questions and learn more about your different options before you decide on the type of heater you’d like to use.

Better Insulation

Many older homes are poorly insulated. This can make it harder to keep the property at a comfortable temperature, and it can also lead to higher heating and cooling costs. Thankfully, there are many options available to you if you want to add insulation to an existing property.

Since heat rises, insulation contractors frequently recommend adding insulation to your attic. One of the more affordable improvements you could make is insulating the attic’s access door. You should also look into insulating the floors and walls of the attic.

If your property doesn’t have the proper insulation in its walls, another option that’s worth exploring is blown-in insulation. It’s one of the least invasive ways to insulate an older home. Contractors will drill a small hole in the wall, blow in a lightweight insulation material, such as shredded paper, and then reseal the hole.

Fencing

A backyard fence provides privacy and can also make a property feel more secure. Having a fence can also block out unpleasant views and can even reduce the amount of noise around a home. If you’re interested in adding a fence to your rental property, there are several options to consider.

An aluminum fence is similar in appearance to wrought iron fencing, but it’s available at a much lower price. It’s also an excellent option if your rental home is in an area with uneven ground. Aluminum is considered to be a trackable fencing material, which means it can be adjusted to fit your yard.

Composite and modern vinyl fencing are also affordable improvements. While these materials are similar in appearance to wooden fencing, they require less maintenance, which means you’ll spend less money on your fence over time. Chain link fencing is very inexpensive, but some renters may not like the look of this fencing material.

Furnace Repairs

If the furnace in your rental home isn’t providing enough heat, or if it’s difficult to keep the unit running, you may want to look into heating repairs. There are many issues that could be causing your heating problems, including leaking ductwork or a faulty thermostat. Addressing these issues could lower your heating costs and could also help keep your tenants comfortable.

Furnaces can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, but if you have an older furnace, it may also be time for a replacement. If you do choose to install a new furnace, you should focus on finding an option that’s energy efficient. A two-stage furnace is a quiet option that makes very little noise.

Another potential furnace upgrade is a modulating variable speed furnace. While these furnaces are more expensive than other options, they’re also more efficient. Installing a furnace like this in your home will make it easier for tenants to keep the property at a comfortable temperature, and it can also reduce heating costs over time.

Roof Upgrades

Roofs keep rain, snow, and other elements out of a home. The roof is one of the most important parts of any home, and the right upgrades can make it easier for your roof to do its job. Some upgrades can even protect your roof from damage, which can help you increase the roof’s lifespan.

If the flashing on your roof is in bad condition, you may want to look into installing a new type of flashing that will provide better protection. There are many types of flashing to choose from, including copper, aluminum, and galvanized steel. Eave flashing is an excellent option if you live in an area that gets a lot of ice and snow.

One of the more affordable improvements you can make to a home with a chimney is installing a new chimney cap. Older chimney caps aren’t very efficient, and they tend to let hot and cold air escape your home. A brand-new chimney cap will give your chimney an airtight seal.

It’s also a good idea to take a closer look at your roof’s ventilation, especially if you’re in the process of replacing your roof. Soffit vents are one of the best ways to keep a roof properly ventilated. These vents come in a variety of sizes and are designed to rest beneath your roof’s underhang.

New Faucets

While renovating your kitchen can be a big investment, replacing your faucets will allow you to update your kitchen without spending a fortune. In fact, it’s even a project that you can take on yourself. If you’re comfortable installing new faucets, companies that provide plumbing services will replace your faucet for a small fee.

A brand-new faucet can enhance the appearance of a kitchen, but it can also make it more functional. Older faucets often have knobs that are difficult to turn. In contrast, there are plenty of older faucets that can easily be turned on with just one hand.

When you replace a kitchen faucet, you should also consider installing a kitchen sink. A matching sink and faucet can make your kitchen look modern and sleek. You can also look for sinks with useful features, such as a sink that has a double basin.

Faucet upgrades can be very affordable improvements, and they can also increase tenant satisfaction. If you don’t have a dishwasher in your property, and tenants have to wash dishes by hand, a new faucet that’s easier to use could save them a lot of time. You may want to look into updating the faucets in your bathrooms as well.

Better Gutters

Gutters help control the way water flows around your home. Damaged or clogged gutters can cause residential roofing damage, which is why it’s worthwhile to look at low-maintenance solutions. Seamless gutters, which can be custom fitted to your roof, are one of the best options available.

Since seamless gutters don’t have any seams or joints, they’re less likely to form clogs. Not only are these gutters clog-resistant, but they’re also less likely to leak. Seamless gutters are more expensive than seamed gutters, but they can be a worthwhile investment.

Another major benefit of seamless gutters is that they have a long lifespan. If you’re not able to clean the gutters on your property regularly, installing new seamless gutters could help you to avoid issues with your gutters in the future.

If you’re interested in more affordable improvements, you could also look into gutter guards. Gutter guards are made from a variety of materials and are designed to serve as shields for your gutters. When you fit your gutters with gutter guards, it’s harder for leaves and other types of debris to get into your gutters.

New Overhead Doors

The appearance of your garage can have a significant impact on the way your rental property looks, especially if the garage is attached to the rest of the home. If your garage door is showing signs of age, you may want to look into installing new overhead doors. This is an upgrade that can provide an excellent return on investment.

Replacing the door on your garage could benefit you in other ways as well. When people try to break into properties, they often try to access the home through the garage. Newer overhead doors tend to be more secure and are specifically designed to prevent people from gaining unauthorized access to a home.

Newer overhead doors also have a variety of safety features that older doors are lacking. These features are specifically designed to prevent issues like accidental injuries. If the door on your garage needs repairs, replacing it could also make it easier for your tenant to get in and out of the garage, increasing its utility.

In addition to all of the benefits listed above, new overhead doors could improve a garage’s insulation. For properties with attached garages, this can improve the insulation in the rest of the property as well. Not only is this a nice option if you’re looking for affordable improvements, but it can also lead to savings over time.

Property Management Services

Caring for a rental property can easily be a full-time job. If you don’t have time to give your rental home the care that it needs, you may want to look into working with a property management company. These companies can handle tenant emergencies, regular maintenance, repairs, and other issues.

Using rental management services can help you find the right tenants for your property. These companies typically use screening systems that can help you find responsible tenants. Management companies also have marketing budgets, which can help you find new tenants right away.

While hiring a property management company is an added expense, it’s something that could reduce your expenses over time. Since these companies provide preventative maintenance and handle tasks like rent collection, they can help you lower your operating costs. This can leave you with money that you could put towards other affordable improvements for your property.

Most importantly, outsourcing property management will give you time. There’s only so much time in the day, and if you have other responsibilities, essential property maintenance tasks could wind up being put off. Working with a company like this will help you maintain the value of your property over time.

Making affordable improvements to rental homes can ultimately help you increase your income. Properties that receive upgrades are more appealing to tenants and can be rented out at higher rates. Explore some of these improvement options and decide on the types of improvements you’d like to make to your rental home.

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