Industry Insights

Don't Break the Bank: Small Upgrades with Big Returns

Feb 1, 2018 9:42:03 AM / by RenovationsPlus

bigstock-New-Modern-Faucet-And-Kitchen--208453093.jpgWhen considering a renovation or refresh for a property, there needs to be a significant rent growth to obtain an acceptable investment profit. What many people don’t realize is that there’s no need to spend a fortune on improvements to boost the value of a property.

There are several affordable ways to add value to your properties, which can generate higher rents and increase revenue and net worth. Focus on low-cost upgrades1 that shine because of how noticeable they are to renters. Below are a few options for adding value to your properties without breaking the bank:

Install a Backsplash

Instead of granite countertops, stainless appliances, and wood flooring, try low-cost alternatives that are appealing to the eyes. Many people believe that kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that impact a sale the most,2 so start by installing a backsplash in the kitchen. Since it’s situated directly at eye level, a backsplash may get noticed before the floors and ceilings do.

  • Introduce Faucet and Handle Finishes

Sometimes, the simplest fixes are the most noticeable. Install faucets and faucet handles with new finishes for an eye-catching look in any bathroom or kitchen without the expensive costs that come with new appliances. Instead of an entire renovation, keep the area current with these upgrades.

  • Add a Curved Shower Rod

Another appealing accessory is a curved shower rod, which can be an easy, elegant, and economical gateway to transforming the look of your bathrooms.

  • Bring in a Kitchen Island

Install a kitchen island for an affordable way to add appeal and countertop space in any cooking area. Whether it's basic or extravagant, the island is a practical and attractive upgrade
that adds extra cooking and table space.

  • Resurface Cabinets

Instead of enduring the cost and labor of replacing kitchen and bathroom cabinets, look at options for resurfacing your current ones. Additionally, if it’s not quite time for resurfacing work, or if there isn’t enough time for the work due to a short turnaround, you can upgrade knobs and hinges to add new life to cabinets. You may also want to give the cabinets a paint job for a fresh, and appealing look.

  • Paint the Walls

This may seem simple, but applying a fresh coat of paint to your walls can quickly improve the overall appearance of your property. Painting the walls every five to seven years3 will rejuvenate your rental and make it look fresh to potential residents. However, a paint job between long-term renters is a good idea for upkeep.

Think About Potential Renters

As new renters enter the market, consider adding a community area either inside of or close by your property. Since more than three in four millennials (78%)4 report choosing to spend money on fun experiences like events and recreation, add-ons like communal areas, dog parks, and other event-friendly spaces can entice them to spend an extra few dollars a month on slightly higher rents,5 all the while being relatively simple to implement.

As with any other businesses, property management is all about the bottom-line. Invest wisely, opportunistically, and with your target demographic in mind, and you’ll find that renovating your properties won’t require renovating your budget.


  1. Multifamily Executive, 2014
  2. CNBC, 2012
  3. RentPrep, 2015
  4. Eventbrite, 2017
  5. Multifamily Executive, 2017

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