Property Management Blog

Upgrades to Make Your San Diego Investment Property Stand Out

Bob Preston - Friday, July 7, 2023
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Why do we make upgrades to our San Diego rental properties? 

That’s an easy question to answer. Those upgrades keep rental properties modern. They protect property condition and value. Upgrades and updates to San Diego investment property will help you increase your rental value. You’ll also find and retain great residents who appreciate living in a modern, well-appointed home. 

You’ll reduce vacancy with upgrades as well because tenants are always going to choose the home that looks the best. If you want your San Diego investment property to stand out in a crowded rental market, take a look at these specific upgrades that we recommend. 

San Diego Tenants are Looking for Fresh Paint

Why bother upgrading your property at all if you’re not going to paint it? 

Start with the basics. Fresh paint can make any rental home look brand new. It’s an easy upgrade that makes your property look, smell, and feel new. Your walls get new life and your tenants immediately notice the excellent condition of your paint. 

Whether you’re preparing your homes for the rental market or turning it over between tenants, give the place a fresh coat of paint. This will look far better than touching up areas that are faded, scratched, or imperfect. 

Use a neutral color, but don’t feel bound to the off-white shades that show up in every rental home. Light grey can work and so can different taupe or beige hues. Paint the baseboards and the door trims white for extra texture and interest. 

When we talk about painting a rental property, we’re usually talking about the interior of the home. But, remember that exterior paint can make a big difference, too. When you paint the outside of your home, you really help it to stand out in the neighborhood and in the rental market. 

Remove the Carpet and Install Hard Surface Flooring

Inexpensive carpet is typically found in rental properties, and if you want to set your home apart, consider pulling up that carpet and installing hard surface floors instead. 

Hardwood is lovely but it’s also expensive. You can put down laminate floors, tile, or even faux hardwoods that look clean, smooth, and modern. Tenants are always going to notice a rental home that has nice floors. Here’s why they prefer hard surfaces to carpet: 

  • It’s easier to clean. A spill can be wiped up rather than scrubbed out. 

  • It’s easier to maintain. Even with a lot of foot traffic, hard surface floors get less worn than carpet. 

  • It’s cleaner. Allergens and pet dander and dust can easily get trapped in the carpet fibers. That’s never a risk with hard surface floors. 

    You don’t have to completely renovate your property with expensive hardwoods. You can also leave carpet in the bedrooms. However, common areas like kitchens, dining rooms, and living areas look much better with a hard surface floor. They’ll rent faster and for more money, too. You’ll attract good tenants who care about cosmetics as well as ease and convenience.

Make Some Lighting Upgrades 

Light is an important feature in any rental property. Those boring bowl structures and overhead lights are found in nearly every rental home. Help your property stand apart from the competition with some bright, eco-friendly, and innovative lighting. 

Tenants are looking for well-lit kitchens and bathrooms. Make sure they have options when it comes to overhead lights and vanity lights in the bathroom. Kitchen lighting should be abundant, especially near stoves and sinks. 

Outdoor lighting should make your tenants feel secure and safe. Your property needs good lighting at the front door and there should also be bright lights in parking areas. Consider a motion light on the garage or on the side of the house. Make sure it’s easy for tenants to walk from the parking area to the house. 

Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, but they’re not very efficient. Try halogen or LED lights. You’ll have to spend a bit more, but the lighting will be more appealing. Dimly lit kitchens will not impress tenants, and they’ll want to have enough light in the bathroom. 

Attractive, Energy-Efficient Appliances

The condition of your appliances will either attract tenants to your rental property or repel them. 

You need functional appliances. The refrigerator, stove, and oven all have to work well. Maybe you have included a dishwasher and a washer/dryer in your property. If so, you’ll need to maintain them and when necessary, replace them. 

When your appliances are mismatched or aging in an obvious way, consider replacing them. When you’ve had a repair person out to look at the fridge three times in the last two years, why keep making repairs? Upgrade to a newer model instead. 

New appliances will immediately increase your rental value, especially if they’re energy-efficient models that are likely to save your tenants money on electric bills. Matching appliances in a kitchen get attention from tenants. They look good and they make your kitchen look modern.

Stainless steel is nice, but you don’t have to install expensive appliances. Look for quiet models that don’t use a lot of energy or water. This will impress your tenants, especially when their utility bills are lower.

Upgrades to Curb Appeal and Landscaping

Look at HouseFirst impressions count. 

Especially when it comes to helping your investment property stand out in the San Diego rental market. 

The market is tight for tenants, but good tenants always have choices. Why will they choose your property instead of all the others that are available? 

Curb appeal can help you draw them closer to your investment home. The first impression you set for your prospective tenants will help them decide whether they’re willing to pay the rent you’re asking. Attention to curb appeal and landscaping will increase your rental value by setting a welcoming and attractive entry into their new home. 

Take steps to upgrade your landscaping and your first impression. Mow any grass and trim any trees and bushes. Put out a few pots of colorful flowers. Sweep the cobwebs and debris away from the front door. Set an inviting exterior so you can earn as much as possible on your San Diego rental home. 

We’d be happy to talk about some specific upgrades you can make at your rental property. When you’re ready to chat, contact us at North County Property Group.

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