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Should I Remodel Before Renting – Seattle Landlord Advice


System - Monday, July 6, 2015
Property Management Blog

We get a lot of questions from landlords and property investors who want to know if they should remodel their properties before putting them on the rental market. It really depends on how your home looks to prospective tenants, and whether you have the necessary money to invest in large upgrades and updates. Make the repairs and upgrades that will attract more tenants and bring you more rent, but forget the big projects that won’t matter to tenants. 

It’s always a good idea to remodel anything that looks old, worn or dangerous. Paint the exterior of the house if it’s faded, spend the money to install attractive landscaping and make sure the floors are in good shape. You aren’t going to attract high quality tenants if your kitchen looks dated or your appliances are on the verge of breaking down. Before putting your property on the rental market, do a thorough inspection to make sure there aren’t any habitability issues at the home. Those are the things that should be upgraded and remodeled without question. 


A complete remodel simply for cosmetic purposes probably isn’t necessary. It will be expensive to install stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and hardwood floors. A master bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub might sound like a great idea, but it’s not necessarily something renters are going to care about. Don’t invest money that you might not get back. Tenants want a home that is clean, updated and inviting. As long as you can provide that, you don’t have to spend a lot of money and time remodeling the entire property. 


Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms. These are the areas where it pays to make minor upgrades. Even installing new fixtures on cabinets or faucets on sinks can make a big difference, and won’t cost a lot of money. 


Think about your investment goals as well. If you’re planning to hold onto your rental home for 10 years or more, it’s probably a good idea to make as many upgrades to it now as you can. That way, you’ll have several years to benefit from those upgrades. However, if you think you’ll hold onto the property for only a year or two, it might not make sense to spend a lot of money fixing up a house that you’re only going to be renting out in the short term. 


A professional property manager can be a good judge of what should be remodeled and what is unnecessary. If you have any questions about what kind of remodeling you should do before putting your rental property on the market, please contact us at Dave Poletti & Associates, and we’d be happy to help you.


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