By Jessica Thiefels
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-time renter or seasoned landlord—if your space isn’t appealing, you’ll have a hard time finding renters. A mix of functional and vacation-inspired features will allow you to attract more people all year round.
Consider whether your home needs some small upgrades, from sprucing up the backyard to adding better lighting, by asking yourself the following questions.
Is there enough accessible storage space?
Save money and add more organization with DIY storage hacks. This will keep your overhead costs low, while giving the tenants creative and convenient options for stashing their clutter. For example, convert reclaimed wood pallets or reclaimed wood into kitchen or bathroom shelving, mason jars into office supply holders, and stacked crates into book, magazine or DVD cases.
Does the backyard draw them in?
Whether it’s summer, spring or fall, the backyard is the best spot for hanging out, day and night. If you don’t already have an appealing outdoor space, give your backyard a face-lift with a nice table and chairs or bench. Don’t forget to make room for a cozy fire pit and a few strings of lights.
Are the stylistic elements classic and simple, yet memorable?
Keep your home’s interior timeless and understated, rather than trendy, retro or elaborate. This makes it appealing to all renters, rather than a small subset. When painting the walls, gravitate toward basic colors and textures including black, white, gray, earth tones, wood grains or metallic. Add pops of color in your pillows and furniture pieces and insert some personality with a few unique features like an old-style staircase or cool light fixtures.
Is the flooring clean, neutral and up-to-date?
Replace that stained, outdated and worn-down shag carpet with a low-maintenance DIY project that will infuse sophistication into the space without breaking your budget. Visit a hardware store, lumber yard or even garage sale for plywood boards, then repurpose them into new flooring. Finally, coat neutral varnish on top for a sleek and polished touch.
Are the main utility features energy efficient?
Inspect the lighting, faucets, A/C units, windows, electrical sockets, ceiling fans or other energy sources to determine if they conserve enough power to reduce your monthly bills and give eco-friendly renters a reason to choose your home for their stay; “Oh look, this house uses energy efficient lighting!” (You’d be surprised how many people value this feature.)
Opt for inexpensive “green” add-ons like adhesive window films, faucet aerators, multi-outlet strips, LED bulbs, and programmable thermostats.
Keeping these fundamental ideas in mind, the takeaway message is simple: provide your renters with the framework for comfortable and sustainable stay, and resist the urge to make arbitrary decorative decisions that are costly. These simple projects will attract more make your home more appealing a wide range of potential renters without breaking the bank—that’s a win-win.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years. She is currently a lifestyle blogger and the editor of Whooo’s Reading and Carpe Daily. She’s been featured on PBS.org, Home.com and FamilyEducation.com. When she's not writing or editing, she's trying new DIY projects around the house or training fitness clients. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.