What Updates Are Worth It for Your Rental Home

 It's an excellent time to own rental property right now, with many states boasting a median rent rate well over $1,000. While inflation is primarily credited with soaring rent prices, there are things you can do to ensure you get top-dollar for your rental property.

Rental Home Updates

Updates Worth Doing

We all know that location is paramount when it comes to having an ideal rental property. But in addition to having a home in a desirable location, you can also keep it updated and well-maintained to fetch a good rental fee.

It can be hard to think about sinking money into a rental property, but there are some updates worth doing even if you aren't going to live there yourself. To maximize the profits of your rental, consider the following.


Invest in low-maintenance floors that can withstand a beating without showing it. Trading carpet for hardwood, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), or tile can keep your rental property looking and smelling fresh for years to come. 

Best Flooring for Kitchens

  • Engineered Vinyl Plank (EVP)
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Sheet Vinyl
  • Stone Tile

These are all durable, waterproof options that are easy to clean. 

Best Flooring for Bathrooms

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Cork
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Textured Concrete
  • Vinyl

These, like the kitchen flooring options mentioned earlier, are all waterproof. They also stand up to foot traffic and can work with any budget.

Besides offering durability, hard floors allow your tenants to personalize their space further. They can layer rugs and bring in furniture that doesn't clash with the carpet while still warming up the home.


You can not only provide your tenants with functional, beautiful appliances but energy-efficient ones. Upgrading to Energy-Star rated windows, doors, toilets, and showerheads can not only bring value to your property but save you and your tenants money in the long run.

Energy-efficient appliances reduce utility bills, which can be a big plus for renters. Additionally, Energy-Star rated appliances make you eligible for rebates via your Federal Taxes.


Painting your home's interior and/or exterior can immediately upgrade its look. You can go plain and simple with white-on-white, or consider a few neutral accent walls, board and batten trim, or beadboard. As long as you don't slap paint over every surface, including light switch faceplates and door hinges, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your rental property. 


Another way to boost your rental home's value is with curb appeal. You want your listing to stand out in photos and invite potential tenants toward the front door. The key to making landscaping a worthwhile upgrade is to stick with native, low-maintenance elements.

Xeriscape- This type of landscaping uses drought-tolerant vegetation, so you don't have to worry about irrigation. The plants in xeriscaped yards can thrive with whatever natural precipitation the climate receives.

Zeroscape - This type of landscaping includes zero plants, hence the name. Elements in a zeroscape yard may include dirt, gravel, or boulders. To avoid having your yard look like a barren wasteland, you could also incorporate statues, bird feeders, or turf.

Either type of curb appeal not only beautifies your property with thoughtful design but can save you money when it comes to maintaining the yard. Your tenants may love the look of a lush lawn, but chances are they don't want to pay to water, weed, and mow it. Whether you do the lawn maintenance yourself, hire it out to a service, or expect your tenants to do it, you don't want to waste money trying to keep things alive.

Automated Sprinkler System - If you do have a yard with great grass and vegetation, streamline the irrigation system. Install an automatic system that can be programmed to water on a schedule. Also, include a sensor so your sprinklers won't go off after or during a rainstorm.

Siding - Your home's exterior can do a lot to not only boost curb appeal but protect what's inside. Siding is your home's first line of defense against the weather and pests. Additionally, if you ever want to sell your rental home, siding can offer a great return on your investment. 

Fenced-in Yard - Whether or not you allow pets in your rental property, a fenced-in yard is a worthwhile investment. Property improvements can make you eligible for a tax break, so you may be able to write off some or all of the expenses of fencing in the yard. Plus, a fenced-in yard appeals to renters with children or those without, who can appreciate having a private, backyard retreat.


You don't have to do a full-blown kitchen upgrade to draw in tenants, but some minor upgrades can go a long way.

Consider either painting your existing cabinets or replacing them altogether. Dated, dingy cabinets can bring down the value of a home since the kitchen is often a focal point for renters and buyers alike. Investing in high-quality wood cabinets can be expensive, but they can last for years to come. Other upgrades to make in the kitchen that are worth the investment:

  • Appliances
  • Countertops
  • Faucets
  • Lighting


Much like the kitchen, bathrooms can benefit from simple facelifts in the form of new a new vanity or mirror. Have you ever thought about just replacing the toilet seat or towel rods to give the bathroom a new look? These simple upgrades don't have to cost a lot, but they can be impactful.

  • Re-grout tiles and/or tub
  • Upgrade hardware and faucets
  • Install new lights

Upgrading a bathroom is a surefire way to add luxury to your rental home, whether it's in a homey neighborhood, urban city, or mountain town


Upgrading the storage available at your rental property is usually a worthwhile investment. While a shed may not increase the resale value of your property, it can go a long way for tenants. Before you invest in a shed, though, be sure it appeals to your rental demographic. Having additional, outside storage may be the right fit for long-term tenants, but not for a property with high turnover. If your rental property doesn't offer a lot of closet space inside or includes a garage, then a shed could be considered a worthy upgrade.

Before you dive into any upgrades on your rental, do some market research to see what is popular in your area. Knowing what the demand is will help you prioritize your projects and get the most out of your rental.

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