Upgrades: Do I Need Them to Rent out My Nashville Investment Property?

Lee Blackburn

When you’re renting out your Nashville property, the goal is to earn as much rental income as possible. You also want to attract high quality tenants who will be happy in your home, help you take care of it, and renew their lease year after year.

One of the best ways to increase your rental value and attract and retain outstanding tenants is by providing a well-maintained property that’s modern and attractive. Making upgrades and updates to the property can help.

There’s no need to completely renovate your home. But, making a few cost-effective upgrades can help you earn more on your investment.

Functional Upgrades vs. Cosmetic Upgrades

You can make your own decisions about whether or not to make cosmetic upgrades that many tenants prefer to see in a rental home. However, the upgrades that make your home functional and habitable are not optional. You must make them.

Conduct inspections of your rental property annually to ensure everything is working the way it should. If there’s an appliance that’s aging and not worth repairing, go ahead and replace it. Have your heating and cooling systems inspected and serviced, and make sure all the outlets and wiring are safe and working. Check the sinks, tubs, and toilets for leaks.

A well-maintained home does not have any deferred or unreported maintenance. Make sure your tenants understand that you want to know about repair issues immediately, even if they seem minor. Then, respond to the problems in a timely manner and make any upgrades that are necessary to keep your property working and habitable.

Choosing Which Upgrades to Make

We know you don’t want to spend a lot of money upgrading a rental property, but it’s worth the time and the investment to make a few small updates that will really deliver when it comes to rental value, return on investment (ROI), and tenant retention. For example, a fresh coat of paint between tenants is a good idea. Painting the entire wall is better than doing touch-up work. Instead of having a five-year-old carpet cleaned, pull it up and replace it. Better yet, install hard surface flooring that’s less expensive in the long term and easier to maintain.

Bathrooms and kitchens are always important to tenants. When it’s time to install new appliances, consider energy-efficient models and upgrade to stainless steel if other properties in your neighborhood have them. If you want to make some inexpensive upgrades that will really make a difference, consider updating the lighting or installing new hardware on faucets or cupboards.

Set a Budget for Upgrades

You should already have a maintenance budget in place. Maybe you save a little of your rental income every month to hold in a reserve in case a maintenance expense or a repair need pops up. You can do the same thing with upgrades and save a little money every month to repaint or improve the landscaping. Or, if you’re saving money for maintenance regularly and you haven’t had to use those funds in a while, go ahead and spend some of the money on the updates and upgrades that will really make a difference to the value of your investment property.

We’d love to talk to you more about how to improve the value and appeal of your rental property with some simple and inexpensive upgrades. Contact us at Omni Realtors & Property Management.