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Maximising Your Investment: A Guide to Property Upgrades

Upgrading your investment property can be a great way to increase your property’s appeal, boost your rental yield, and enhance the value of your asset.

The trick is to avoid overcapitalising – the goal is maximum results for minimal investment. We take a look at which rental home improvements and renovations will give property investors the best bang for their buck.

Starting small – quick and easy ways to upgrade your investment property

Updating your investment property doesn’t have to mean major renovations that break the bank. There are plenty of small (and inexpensive) fixes you can make to give your rental home a new lease on life, make it more appealing to potential tenants, and increase its rental value.

  • Add a lick of paint. One of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to breathe new life into your rental property is to give it a fresh coat of paint. Repainting can refresh a home that’s feeling worn out or update an older, outdated property. Opting for neutral shades with a contemporary feel will ensure your property appeals to the widest possible range of tenants.
  • Install air con. Given our hot summers, Perth tenants no longer consider air conditioning a nice-to-have – it’s become a standard inclusion. Some renters just won’t look at rental properties without it. If your investment property doesn’t have air conditioning, consider installing it in the living area and possibly the main bedroom. Do your research and opt for a cost-effective system well-suited to your property.
  • Build some storage. Adding built-in storage, like wardrobes and cupboards, can be a cost-effective way to entice new tenants and make your rental property more liveable. Renters want to know they’ll be able to fit their belongings into the home. Adding a garage or a carport can make a big difference to the rent a home can command.
  • Enhance security. Installing secure locks and security doors, improving outdoor lighting and adding robust gates, fencing and security technologies like a camera or smart home system can boost your property’s rental appeal and increase its rental value. Savvy tenants know that living in a secure home with security features may get them a discount on their contents insurance.
  • Look at the lighting. A light, bright home feels more spacious and modern than a poorly lit, dim one. Making sure your rental home has ample lighting and updating old-fashioned light fittings can modernise a property and make it feel larger than it is, thus increasing its rental value. Replacing old, yellowed light switches and power points is another quick way to bring a home up to date.
  • Modernise window treatments. Dated curtains or discoloured blinds can drag down the feeling of a home and make it seem worn out and shabby. Replacing old blinds and curtains with a simple contemporary window covering, like roller blinds or Venetian blinds, is an inexpensive and quick way to brighten up a home and increase its desirability.

Going big – undertaking larger upgrades to your investment property

More significant property upgrades can be ideal for lifting your rental home’s resale value as well as the rent it commands. But make sure you don’t overcapitalise – you can often boost a property’s value without breaking the bank.

  • Upgrade the kitchen. Updating or replacing a tired old kitchen can transform a rental home. But don’t feel you have to renovate the entire kitchen from top to toe – small changes like updating cabinet doors (or giving them a coat of paint) or replacing door and drawer handles can go a long way. Tenants notice and appreciate functional, modern appliances, so installing a new oven or dishwasher could be a wise move. Smart Property Investment estimates that kitchen renovations deliver a return of between 60 and 80 per cent when it comes time to sell.
  • Update the bathroom. Everyone loves a clean and contemporary bathroom. But just like the kitchen, your outlay doesn’t need to be huge to reap the returns. A simple but thorough bathroom deep clean can make a world of difference. Update old-fashioned tapware, showerheads and light fixtures, replace shower curtains or install a new vanity or basin. Repainting and retiling will also instantly make any bathroom feel brand new. Like a kitchen makeover, refreshing a bathroom can deliver returns of between 60 and 80 per cent.
  • Boost the kerb appeal. Although we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the truth is the first impression your property makes matters. Improving your rental home’s street appeal will help you attract quality tenants and encourage them to pay more for a home that’s clearly been well looked after. Touches as simple as a freshly painted front door and a new doormat can make a world of difference. If your property has a yard, make sure the grass is mown, the garden beds are weeded, and the fences and gates are in good condition. Garden landscaping or the addition of a deck or a patio are bigger-ticket outdoor upgrades that instantly raise your property’s rental appeal and its resale value. Smart Property Investment suggests a new patio can add a 65 to 75 per cent return.

Tips for upgrading your investment property

  • Don’t overcapitalise. Remember, it’s an investment, not your home. Don’t spend as much time and money on improving it as you would your own place (and keep your personal tastes and preferences for your own home, too. Stick with neutral options all the way).
  • Use professional tradespeople. Poorly done DIY improvements are more likely to put prospective tenants off than boost your property’s rental value.
  • Talk to your property manager. An experienced property manager is the best person to advise you on which renovations and upgrades are most likely to boost your property’s appeal and, in turn, your rental yield.

Find out more about who rents in Perth and what they’re looking for here.

Looking for guidance about upgrading your Perth investment property? Get in touch with our expert local property management team today.

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