Owning a long-term rental in Towson can be a profitable and enjoyable experience. But to keep the property profitable, you’ll need to start planning various property improvements and renovations from day one. Maintaining the house in great shape means periodically updating the kitchen, bathrooms, floors, and exterior. How often should you renovate?
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any house, rental, or otherwise. Most kitchens see constant use, whether tenants are simply cooking a meal or using it as a gathering space for friends and family. If you took measures to do regular maintenance on your kitchen cabinets, floors, countertops, and appliances, the chances are that your rental property’s kitchen will stay in good condition anywhere between 10 and 15 years.
Nonetheless, each situation is unique, and you might need to complete upgrades more frequently than that. Appliances are typically built to last about seven years, while cabinets and countertops might hold up a little longer. Simply replacing each element as it starts to look rusty or disintegrate is one approach, or you could lay out a timeline for upgrades to better control the expense.
However, it’s important to consider how your future tenants may respond to current trends in style and décor. A kitchen with a trendy look may attract tenants in the short term, but that attractiveness may soon lessen. Alternatively, experts recommend choosing colors and durable materials that feel both up-to-date and ageless.
Bathrooms are another heavily used area in your rental house that will require regular updates. Many of the same concepts of making a sturdy, appealing kitchen can be applied to a bathroom as well. Good quality, mid-grade fixtures, and materials will hold up better in a rental home than elegant, more pricey products. Things like faucets and showerheads will need to be replaced every few years, although an exceptional quality toilet can last several decades or more. If your rental’s bathrooms don’t already have durable, easy-to-clean tile or solid surfaces in and around the bathtub, shower, and so on, consider planning to upgrade to prevent mold and water damage and to keep the bathroom in good shape.
Flooring is another aspect of a rental house that must be replaced periodically. Laminate or vinyl flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas will typically last anywhere between 15 and 30 years, while heavy wear can have a considerable impact on this timeframe. On the other side, the carpet in a rental home has a useful life of about five years. Although the carpet in your rental may last longer than that, it is also possible that it will need to be replaced even more frequently. Again, five years is a good rule of thumb to start with and then change as necessary.
Lastly, several houses will need the exteriors updated regularly as well. If your rental property has stucco or painted wood exterior, you will need to check the condition of the paint regularly to know when you need to update. Most paint jobs on both wood and stucco will last around seven to 10 years, though the frequency varies depending on your climate. Vinyl siding and stone will last much longer with regular cleaning and probably won’t need to be repaired for at least 25 years or more as far as no visible damage is present.
Updating your rental home is a crucial aspect of owning a profitable property. If you take a moment to plan and budget for different upgrades every few years, you can keep your cash flows steady and your investment increasing in value.
Whether you own a newly renovated rental property or need some guidance on how to update it, the Towson property managers at Real Property Management Metro have your solution. You can contact us online or call us at 410-290-3285 for more information.
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