One thing you certainly have control over is how up-to date your rental property appears. This blog post, part 3 in a series of posts, focuses on cosmetic upgrades you can make to improve your Oklahoma City rental property. Part 2 presented nine upgrades you can make to improve your OKC rental property.
You can spend a lot of money in this area. However, you’ve got to keep in mind what your market expects and what your competition, that is, other Oklahoma City landlords who are leasing properties similar to yours, is offering.
What tenants want are clean, safe, and affordable homes. Focus your spending on what will provide a clean, safe, and affordable house to your tenant. Make sure you you bring your property manager into these discussions.
You don’t need to provide a designer house. Your competition is not providing that, although I do lease some houses with trendy finish work.
If you have a newer home, you’ve likely got a house with the latest in finish work. I have clients with homes that are only a few years old in Edmond, which is a city that borders the north side of Oklahoma City. These types of houses are currently in high demand.
If you own older homes like most of my clients, you need to decide what cosmetic updates you care to make between tenants. I personally feel like going hog wild spending money on elaborate kitchen and bathroom remodels is a big mistake if you are just leasing the property. It’s hard to get this money back once it’s been spent.
Investing in the basics gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Fresh paint when the unit needs paint. Installing new carpet when the unit needs it. If the kitchen is a bit dated, install new counter tops and some ceramic tile. Sometimes it does need to just be gutted, but not most of the time.
The property management company needs to make sure the property is very clean when you are trying to lease it. A house that is 90% ready to ready is 10% NOT ready to rent. You’ll pay a price for a house that is 10% incomplete. Money investing on cleaning the property has the highest return on investment because it is relatively inexpensive to clean, and without that it’s difficult to get good, qualified tenants interested in the property.