The thing about renting is the power of choice. Renters have a lot of units to choose from, whether resort-themed, Mediterranean- or Balinese-inspired, or modern contemporary chic. They could just stroll along one corner and get offered several condos.
While these are all good for renters, it also makes leasing a condo a real tough job for landlords. Generation rent is on the rise, with young professionals, couples, and small families opting to lease than buy property due to financial constraints. But while putting a condo up for rent looks like a really profitable venture, the task isn’t easy. The market may be huge, but the competition is really tough.
How do you make your condo stand out from the rest? How do you increase your condo’s value without hurting your budget? Here are the 13 condo renovations that might pay off.
Paint is mighty
Never underestimate the power of a dash of color. If the condo you are renting out has worn-out paint, making white look like yellow, devote a weekend to repainting it. Applying wall paint is among the most affordable upgrades with the biggest returns. You might also want to consider painting the walls a different color other than the usual off-white. Gray, for example, is the new neutral. If you are leasing a furnished condo, white furniture against a gray wall is ultra-chic.
A fancy entrance
Want to get a good first impression? How would you like a keyless entry?
Potential renters will definitely give you the oohs and ahs once you install a biometrics reader. Not only is this gadget cool, it also enhances the security of the place. Additional safety nets such as smart locks are good condo upgrades that increase value of a property. With this, renters need not worry about duplicate keys that previous tenants are still holding on to. They can also configure the technology so that it only responds to the people actually living in the condo.
Condos in the Philippines have their own security personnel roving around the community and monitoring surveillance cameras. But it wouldn’t hurt to add another layer of security at home. Michelle Johnson, external communications director of a property insurance company, said that “taking advantage of modern technology is a fantastic way to add market value” to any home because the world seems so consumed with convenience and connectivity.
Surveillance cameras that can be accessed and controlled remotely via a smartphone will especially appeal to working parents who leave their toddlers at home with a babysitter. Or to renters who are always away and want to check on their home every now and then.
Go for a smart home
Smart homes are gaining popularity these days. The idea that you can control anything in your house using your smartphone is winning a lot of hearts. A 2015 survey by Better Homes and Gardens found that 64% of millennials, the hottest real estate market today, are interested in smart home technology. A smart home absolutely increases a condo’s resale value, should you decide to offer it in the market. By automating your home, you can control your thermostat and control the lights appliances from a distance. That will surely make potential renters excited, especially with savings in electricity. With smart technology, your condo’s value will not just increase, it will skyrocket
Modernize the kitchen
Modernizing the kitchen doesn’t mean turning it upside down. Be realistic with the cost. The kitchen, or how messed up it looks, is a total deal breaker. According to the Housing Sentiment Report, after the size of the property, the kitchen is what 27% of renters look for.
Remodel your kitchen by adding a small counter or island, even the one with wheels would do. Update the tiles if they are all cracked and old. Replace them with granite if possible. Paint the kitchen cabinet and spice up the knobs. Install pull-out dish shelves, which tenants are surely going to appreciate as these save space.
The bathroom project
Some people are just simply obsessed with bathrooms. If you are putting a condo up for rent, this is definitely something you should improve on. You don’t have to install a bathtub or a jacuzzi, just do some minor changes that renters will appreciate. If you think the tiles are okay, just repaint non-tile areas that need a retouch. You may update the faucets and add some fixtures such as towel hangers, a nice mirror, and floating shelves for toiletries. Even a magazine rack will surely impress.
Add some storage
One condo design tip for landlords is to add storage. Forget bulky and expensive ones. In the room, for example, mount floating cabinets for personal items, books or DVDs. You can use crates or palettes to make inexpensive DIY shelves. Storage is also important in the kitchen. You may install a basic rack for spices.
Wow with a secret cabinet
Condo living is compact. Every corner has to be useful and almost everything should be multi-purpose. Wow renters with a secret storage. It’s like revealing a magic trick. For example, an unexpected accessories rack behind the dresser or a pull out shoe cabinet somewhere can entice would-be renters.
All appliances are working
Pieces of furniture and appliances surely increase your condo’s value. Semi- or fully-furnished units cost a few thousand more than bare ones. But if you are going to capitalize on furnishings, make sure everything is in top shape. There’s no sense putting an air conditioner there that won’t let the tenants sleep because of the noise it produces. Check all the appliances.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Mirrors are a condo’s best friend. They create the illusion that the place is bigger than it actually is. Mounting a mirror on the wall is an inexpensive way to improve the property value of your condo. Aside from the size illusion, it also makes the condo easier on the eyes and truly stylish.
An urban garden
If you are leasing a condo with a balcony, it would be nice to grow a small garden. That way, you can increase the unit’s value by telling the renters just how much valuable having a balcony is. It doesn’t have to be grand, just a few pots and hanging plants would do. You can also build a herb garden near the kitchen.
Keep it smelling fresh
There is something soothing and comforting about smelling the scent of flowers or the ocean as soon as the door to a unit opens. A nice-smelling condo will surely make renters interested. This is a good way of making a really good first impression.
Tidy it up
You can have all the fixtures and the upgrades, but if the place is a mess, you don’t stand a chance. When leasing a condo, you have to make sure that every corner is cleaned and maintained. Make sure there are no stains in the kitchen or on the walls, no popcorn-like formations in the ceilings, the windows are clean, and the carpet and sofa are vacuumed, if you’re offering a furnished unit.
Doing some easy fixes and upgrading the look of a condo is a must for landlords who want their units to be always competitive. Renters have a lot to choose from and landlords should always be on their toes. Increasing the condo’s value need not hurt your budget, just add a little something extra that renters are going to remember you by.