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Call 408-559-5649

Six Basic, Quick and Inexpensive Tasks to Make Rental Properties Pop and Amaze Potential Tenants

Written by Dave Roberson on . Posted in Landlords, Non-Owner Occupied Properties, Property Management

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Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Due to external factors such as significant capital gains tax exposure many people are choosing to rent out their homes versus selling.  The more forwarding-thinking people are employing a strategy where they rent their property for two years or so, then sell their property (maintaining their IRC 121 & 1031 benefits) and exchange into another more potent cash cow.  After all, in California a real property sale can trigger a 38% tax hit the following April due to capital gains issues – assuming one’s gains are greater than the IRC 121 exemption of $250,000 for a single person or $500,000 for married couples.  Thus, many people are renting by themselves or through a property management company to preserve their tax efficient options.  Below is a quick hit list of easy and inexpensive design ideas which may help you separate yourself from your competitors who have also listed their homes on the rental market.  Importantly these improvements and/or expenses are either tax deductible against rental income or depreciable.

Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Curb Appeal is Critical

You never get a second chance to make a first impression so make sure the first one dazzles as the potential tenant pulls up in their car for their initial visit.  Fresh landscaping, fresh exterior paint, fresh plantings, automatic sprinkler systems and a gardener that comes weekly are all great ideas to improve curb appeal and entice the potential renters into the house in the first place.

Paint is an Efficient Improvement

Nothing says “fresh” more than a new coat of professionally applied paint, both interior and exterior.  Painting is clearly one of the most efficient and beneficial home improvements one can make, and you shouldn’t hesitate to do this improvement.  Neutral colors with bright accents are all the rage.  White walls and different off-white trim and ceiling accents are critical to make the rooms “pop” and allow the room occupants to feel like they are in a well-lit environment.  Flat grays and neutral blues can provide optimal and trendy accents.

Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Kitchen Improvements Provide Competitive Advantages

One of the first things a potential renter sees inside the rental home is the kitchen – and for good reason as they are anticipating spending significant time preparing and eating meals there.  A well-functioning kitchen with a gas cooktop is a must for a gourmet cook.  A suitable microwave and ample counter-space is another top priority.  Finally, above average appliances make a potential renter happy and will help separate your property from the older properties on the rental block.  Some inexpensive kitchen upgrades include painting older cabinetry – to brighten the room – adding new door knobs or pulls, and adding new flooring.

Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Bathroom Changes Make a Difference

After you’ve painted the bathrooms consider replacing the older cabinetry with a bright, new pedestal sink new plumbing fixtures, and improved lighting.  Making your bathrooms fresh, bright and appealing will make the rental feel like a hotel – which is a competitor believe it or not.  Always consider installing an efficient low-noise bathroom fan to improve ventilation – especially for older homes.

Clutter Removal is Key

Never show your rental with clutter.  Better yet, it is more practical/professional to have a completely empty property than showing a property with occupant belongings – that are not professionally staged.  Although staging is an expensive proposition it should be considered if your property is at the upper end of the rental market, i.e., greater than $10,000/month rental price.  Another great idea is to create a floorplan with dimensions that can detail for a potential tenant what furniture they will be able to shoe horn in the rental.  A floorplan can be created with several online apps and will take about 10-15 minutes to create a good-looking professional document you can handout or send via email.  Quality professional property managers do this as part of their listing services.

Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Photography Matters

Renters sometimes judge a book by its cover and the photos you post with your rental property advertising can make or break your showings.  As with anything ‘A Picture Tells a Thousand Words’ and is never truer than with rental real estate.  Don’t take photos with a camera phone as they pale in comparison to a professional camera with a wide-angle lens.  Try not to have anything other than the realty in the photos, i.e., no animals, no people, no dirty laundry.  Make sure to include all the relevant portions of the property including the yards, the garage, the amenities.  Any areas of the property that are excluded with be questions you will be expected to answer.

Photographed by Blu Skye Media

The Consensus says Improvements are Critical to be Competitive

Capital gains tax exposure are forcing many people to rent out their homes when they previously would be selling.  The rental marketplace is competitive, so you need to prepare your property to maximize exposure, and garner as many showings as possible.  The quick hit list of easy and inexpensive design ideas we identified above can help you have an edge over your competitors who are also trying to rent their homes.  Remember that improvements and/or expenses are either tax deductible against rental income or depreciable so keep accurate records.  If you employ a professional property manager, they can help you with this process including the record-keeping tasks.  If you would like further property management advice or have questions don’t hesitate to contact us at Silicon Valley Property Management Group.

 

Dave Roberson

Dave Roberson

David is a licensed real estate attorney, a licensed real estate broker, and has been involved in the real estate business since he graduated from college in 1986. David has personally been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions, has personally inspected over 2,500 residential properties, and is an expert in 12 separate building code categories. He has managed a portfolio of real properties in California and Arizona since 1998.
Dave Roberson
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Dave Roberson

David is a licensed real estate attorney, a licensed real estate broker, and has been involved in the real estate business since he graduated from college in 1986. David has personally been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions, has personally inspected over 2,500 residential properties, and is an expert in 12 separate building code categories. He has managed a portfolio of real properties in California and Arizona since 1998.

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Silicon Valley Property
Management Group

1900 Camden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124
408-559-5649

We manage residential and commercial rental properties in San Jose, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos Hills and every point in between.

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Great services organization. They get things done right and right away, highly professional and no nonsense. I would highly recommend this firm for leasing or renting/selling a property.
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Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 1 reviews

CA RE Broker #01942886