Upgrading your Charleston rental property will accomplish several things for you. Those updates and improvements increase your rental value, allowing you to charge more in rent every month and earn more over the long term. They also attract high-quality tenants and contribute to tenant retention.
There’s something else: an upgraded property will stand out in a crowded rental market. When your rental home has something that all the other properties in Charleston lack, your best tenants will know you’re offering something special. They’ll be eager to see it, apply for it, and rent it.
Residents want a well-maintained property that’s safe, functional, and attractive. When you make some of these attention-grabbing upgrades, you’re helping your property stand apart from the competition.
Nearly every rental property will have a fresh coat of paint and a freshly mowed lawn. If you really want to make a difference, it’s important to think more creatively.
Here are some of the renovations and upgrades you should consider when you want your rental property to be the one everyone wants.
Pull Out the Carpet: It’s Time for Hard Surface Flooring
Aren’t you tired of cleaning the carpet in your rental home during every turnover? Doesn’t it get expensive to replace it every five years or so?
There’s a good way to avoid that hassle and expense.
Upgrade to hard surface flooring. Tear up that carpet and replace it with tile, faux hardwood, or some laminate surface that looks great and remains durable. Carpet has had its day as a rental property go-to, but it’s not terribly attractive to tenants. Most rental property grade carpeting stains easily and begins to look worn just months into a lease term.
When you offer something better, prospective tenants will notice.
Tenants prefer wood, laminate, or tile flooring. Here’s why:
- It’s easier to maintain. Instead of scrubbing stains out of a carpet, there’s a simple wipe or mop that’s needed on a hard floor.
- The floors look cleaner. They’re easier to maintain and they just look nicer than worn carpet.
- There are far fewer allergens and health concerns. All of that dust and dirt that catches in carpet fibers is hard to remove. If you have a tenant with pets, their hair and dander can live in carpets for years.
You won’t have to replace hard surface flooring as often as you replace carpet, so it saves you in the long term as well. Hardwood floors would be great, and so would ceramic tile. If those surfaces are out of your budget, consider a vinyl floor or some engineered wood products. There are a lot of options.
Focus on Kitchen Features
The kitchen is an excellent spot for attention-grabbing upgrades. You’ll find that tenants are particular about the kitchen, and they’ll be closely inspecting its functionality as well as its aesthetics.
Consider upgrading with design elements that are cost-effective but still powerful when it comes to marketing and showing your rental home. A tile backsplash, for example, will look great behind a stove or a sink. You can also install new, shiny fixtures on the sinks, cabinets, and drawers. A fresh faucet and better lighting overhead will also improve the way the room looks and feels.
Take an objective look at your appliances as well. If they’re aging or looking worn down, replace them with energy efficient models. Stainless would be great, and your prospective tenants will definitely notice them. They’re also expensive. If you can install stainless appliances, do it. Otherwise, just make sure all of your kitchen appliances match.
Pay attention to counters as well, because tenants will. No one wants to move into a home with plastic laminate counters or old surfaces that are stained, chipped, and scratched. Over time, laminate countertops deteriorate and look bad. Install a solid surface material. The counters don’t have to be granite or quartz, but there are some acrylic composites and even concrete that will look better and be easier to maintain.
Make the Lighting Work in Your Charleston Rental Home
You might not be thinking too much about lighting when you’re piecing together the design elements that you want to include in your property. However, lighting can make a big difference, especially with tenants who are thinking about energy efficiency.
Lighting must be efficient, abundant, and attractive.
Start with the exterior lighting, and make sure there’s enough of it. Your residents want to feel safe at night, and you’ll want to be sure exterior doors, walkways, and parking areas are well-let and easy to see from the street or inside the property. If you’re renting out a single-family home, consider a motion light on any outdoor structures like garages or sheds.
Inside the home, make sure the lighting is bright and modern, especially in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Ceiling fans are popular, especially in bedrooms and living rooms. Take a good look at your lighting and make upgrades wherever you can. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it will make your home look good.
Tech Upgrades are a Plus for Charleston Tenants
Tenants today are looking for technology. If you’re thinking about how to make your property stand out, consider making some tech upgrades. A video doorbell, for example, will be immensely popular. You can also incorporate some smart home technologies. Smart thermostats are a great way to conserve energy and keep your tenant’s electric bills down. They’ll appreciate that. A security system is also a good idea. You can set it up and give your tenants the option of paying to activate it.
When you’re looking for ways to rent your Charleston property quickly and for the most money, consider the improvements and the upgrades that will help it stand out in the market and give you a competitive advantage among tenants.
We can help. Contact us at Meridian Residential Group.
Meridian Residential Group in North Charleston provides both single-family and multi-family property management in the Charleston, SC area, including in North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner, among other cities.