So it’s a bit of a fixer upper! 5 must do’s when renovating to rent

So you’ve bought your first investment property, you stuck to your budget and the area is just right! The only thing that needs a bit of love is the property… Well not to fear because a little bit of love is much easier than you think!

Renovation can sometimes feel like a big job, and it can be easy to be caught up in all of the ‘renovating hype’, but the trick is to know what needs the love and what doesn’t. Don’t waste thousands of dollars on getting rid of the things that could quite possibly be your best assets! Cherie Barber, renovation expert and founder of Renovating for profit agrees, “You need to know where to spend money.” The verdict is in and the experts agree that the best place to start is with a fresh coat of paint!

A touch of the 21st Century

It is often underestimated, but a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in the look of your property. This ‘Liquid Gold’ as Barber says, has the power to completely transform your property. “My number one tip is to paint the whole house, inside and out” she says. This has the power to completely transform your property and bring it into the now!

This tip is something that will undoubtedly help you get that property rented but there is a trick. Don’t do it for you, do it for them! This is something that people forget when they are renovating, this project isn’t for you, it is to make your property more appealing, and thus you need to put your personal opinion aside and look to the market. Even though you may think that the kitchen would look so much better in pink, the average consumer may not agree. It is for this reason that sticking to neutral colours; such as grey, beige and cream, is a sure-fire way to appeal to the masses.

Getting them through the door

The most important part about renting out your property is getting people through the door, and the most important part of getting people through the door is street appeal! You can have an absolute gem but if you can’t get people across the threshold, then your property might as well be invisible. A good façade, on the other hand, can help set the tone for inspections and give a good first impression to potential tenants.

The number one tip when sprucing up the façade of the building is rendering. “If you can afford to renter the whole exterior,” Barber states, “it will instantly modernise your home.” This is something that we definitely recommend however is not possible for everyone. Don’t worry though because there are less drastic things that can help you get that façade looking amazing.

1. Cleanliness is key
Cleaning up the façade is a quick and easy way to get the property looking new! This can be as simple as getting the exterior pressure cleaned or even doing it yourself.

2. Tend to your garden
A bit part of the façade is the front garden and if you have one, you are going to want to make sure it is neat and tidy. This can be as simple and making sure that the grass is mowed and giving the hedges a trim before they get out of control! It doesn’t seem like a lot but it is something that can really make the difference.

3. The finishing touches
This is something that a lot of people forget about but the finishing touches are the things that people notice the most. If you property has a doorbell, make sure it is working. Garage door? Keep those remote batteries charged. A difficult door is not going to give potential tenants a good first impression. These things may seem insignificant and are often overlook during renovation but they are the things that can make or break an inspection.

Good kitchens sell properties

It is a common thought that kitchens sell properties. Although no one thing can outweigh the rest, the kitchen is definitely something that makes a big impact. This being said, you don’t have to start from scratch and most of the time, the kitchen just needs a little bit of love. Jane Eyles-Bennet, award winning interior designer and founder of Hotspace Consultants, believes that a total kitchen redo can sometime be overkill. “You don’t have to spend a fortune on stripping out the whole kitchen and replacing it.” Eyles-Bennet says, “Sometimes we can salvage it by installing a new benchtop, splashback… and replacing the cupboard handles.”

Bring that bathroom back to life

Although admittedly not as important as a food façade and kitchen, the bathroom is definitely something that can influence the outcome of an inspection. Elyse-Bennet believes that, “Once the exterior, kitchen and living spaces have been taken care of, you might get away with a quick bathroom spruce-up.” This is something that is definitely scalable depending on your budget. You can go from replacing all fittings, glass and mirrors, to something as simple as getting the wall and floor tiles sprayed for a modern look.

Light up your life

Once the tenant is in the house and you’ve got everything looking how you want, it is important to make sure that the lighting is just right. It is common for the fittings in older properties to not be replaced and this is something that is going to stand out to potential tenants. This is something that is going to make a huge difference and won’t cost much at all! Now that you have those fitting looking modern and fresh, it is important that the spaces are lit up. This can be achieved in two ways.

1. Natural Light
Natural Light is going to be your best friend come inspection time and is definitely something that potential tenants notice. Make sure that none of your blinds/curtains are blocking out the light and that your windows and clean and bright!

2. Artificial Light
If natural light is scarce make sure that your artificial light is bright enough! A dark room is never going to appeal to a potential tenant so make sure that you check your fittings, find out what the maximum wattage is and get the brightest possible bulbs. Dimmable light fixture are also a good option however this can ramp up the price.

With all of these tips you are certain to get some return on that investment property. You’ve stuck to your budget, the area is just right and now, with these small fixes, you are the best property on the block!