I'm looking to buy my first rental property. My target is to find 3/2 (or bigger) homes in B-/B+ neighborhoods. I think I can find some in the $35-$45k range and Craigslist indicates that rent would be in the $700-$900 range.
One thing that I seem to struggle with is in drawing the line between what's suitable for a rental vs what I would personally want. I was hoping to get some other landlords and property owners opinions on some things below to help me better understand the expectations within the rental market.
The general thought that I have had while looking for my first property is to invest initially in hardening the property (no carpet, etc).
I'll share a few scenarios and would love if any one can shed some light on their opinions:
- Property has a bright blue insert bath tub. It's in fine condition (usable, just needs cleaned). Is this something that would impact the appeal of the property to a renter? Or is it something that you just clean and leave since it's functional?
- Walls need repainted. Do you just go with bland neutral colors (eg a coat of primer and grey/tope) or do you do something else?
- Light fixtures are outdated. Is this something worth swapping out or is it the rule of function over fashion?
As you might be able to see, one thing I struggle with is the line between function and fashion (and how valuable fashion is within the rental market).
I suppose a good example would be -- if you were to buy a property whose interior was straight out of the 70's (heavily outdated but in mint condition), what would you be updating/putting money into before putting it on the rental market?
Yes to paint and light fixtures. They are both relatively cheap and fast fixes with a lot of bang for the buck. Yes, stick with a neutral color. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray is popular. Only replace the carpet if it is worn, a horrid color, cannot be cleaned or stinks. (You will replace carpet on subsequent turnovers.) Leave the blue bathtub. Hang a curved shower rod, and a coordinating shower curtain so the tub doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
We have been going all in on our remodels because the apartments are in such bad shape. So when we finish we often say to ourselves, "Boy, I could live here." With that being said bang for the buck items:
ceiling fans- I have found that tenants just love them
I put down inexpensive but durable laminate. as well as allure in the bathrooms and kitchens. This is something that I can do myself and you just get better and quicker as you go. The difference is huge- huge.
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