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Make-Over Your Rental Property Kitchen Cheap – And Get Bigger Rents; Less Vacancies

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Uncategorized


kitchen-remodel_2Updated and modern kitchens are huge in the eyes of prospective tenants.  Clean and remodeled kitchens rank higher than newer bathrooms and in-house laundry facilities when it relates to overall tenant satisfaction and desire. Tenants desire the clean kitchen where they hoard their food, cook gourmet meals, entertain guests, and every so often eat.

Today’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, attractive cabinets, new light fixtures, and conveniences like dishwashers and garbage disposals are must-haves for many desirable tenants.  A professional property manager can help you decide what is the right path to take when remaking the kitchen.

Return on Investment – Kitchens

Investing in a modern, beautiful and functional kitchen will significantly help in leasing your property for many years to come.  It will also help increasing demand, increasing rent, decreasing vacancies, and driving up the property’s value when you are ready to sell and buy a bigger investment property.  Kitchens are one of the most important ROI dollar investments.  Your professional property manager should be able to help you answer these questions. Today’s sophisticated tenants are demanding a kitchen that looks and feels great, inviting, updated, and healthy.

Moreover, most people today like to hang out in their kitchens, not just to eat there.  See this article written by a very experienced real estate agent on home improvement projects ROI and “Cost Value-Ratio” right here.

Facelift or Remodel?Kitchen_Remodel

There are two ways to attack the kitchen update project.  First, you could merely do a facelift where you replace the light fixtures, paint the cabinets, change the hardware, handles, and drawer pulls, change out the countertops, and replace the appliances.  This is a quick, clean, and inexpensive way to make a kitchen look updated, or even remodeled.

Depending on the overall real estate market where your property is located, you may want to invest in a more extensive kitchen remodel with higher-end refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers. Upper scale cabinets, indoor BBQ grills, marble and granite countertops, and skylights are all also important features to think about.  In a wealthy neighborhood where properties rent for $10,000/month and above, amenities like these are often expected – and frowned upon if your property is lacking.

Kitchen_remodel_6Planning Is Key for Kitchen Projects

Because kitchens are large capital investments they are usually the most expensive rooms to remodel.  A brief run-down of the pros you will need include a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter and a tile or countertop person.  If you are lucky you will find someone who can do all of these things for you.  You also may have to find a designer to help you – but a good quality property manager with extensive knowledge of the market can probably be the only person you are looking for.

Cost for Kitchen Projects Varies

The cost of a kitchen facelift today is between $20,000 and $25,000.  For a luxury kitchen remodel the price can run upwards of $50,000 to $100,000, or even more, which depending on where your property is located can bring you even larger returns when you go to sell.

Tax Benefits Come with the Kitchenkitchen_remodel_5

Importantly because your rental property is a business you will get to expense and/or depreciate the capital improvements you make on the property.  This is a critical financial component to analyze when contemplating your budget.  Please contact your tax advisor about capital improvements to your rental property.  See this tax article for some ideas.

Where to Start

If your budget is limited remember that everything doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can start with new appliances, add new countertops the next year, followed by newer flooring, then new light fixtures.  Next, either resurface or paint the cabinets and so on.   Sequencing is important so before you begin any projects make sure to check with the professional who you are working with.

kitchen-remodel-4Get Help from a Professional

Whether you’re interested in investing in a kitchen facelift or remodel for your rental property, you’ll need a knowledgeable, professional property manager to help you along the way.  Identifying your best investment return is critical going forward for your business. Don’t make these important decisions alone.  The professionals at Silicon Valley Property Management Group are here to help!


David Roberson, Esq.

David Roberson, Esq.

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, 12 million square feet of new commercial construction, and is an expert in 12 separate building code categories. David and his wife Shelly have owned a personal portfolio of investment properties in several states including the bay area since 1998. David currently is the broker/owner of Silicon Valley Property Management Group (SVPMG) which manages 150+ client properties on the San Francisco Peninsula. Trust, transparency, and performance guarantees are the foundation of SVPMG. David challenges anyone to find a PM company that offers services similar to the extensive education, customer service, and performance guarantees provided by SVPMG. David also provides consulting for his clients on property development feasibility, construction, and complex real estate transactions. David has authored a published law review article, two real estate books, and over 120 real estate blog articles.

Silicon Valley Property
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1900 Camden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124

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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