Months of research, deliberation and planning leads up to the purchase of an investment property. But why for many investors does the story end there?

starter-609679_1920Investing in a rental property can take months of research, planning and saving. Consideration of factors, such as the size and location of the property, are invariably contemplated to ensure the property is popularly located and attracting the right tenants. After all, a well-located property will sustain a consistent flow of tenants, allowing you to reach your ultimate goal of generating an optimum return from your investment. In general terms, this is certainly true, you have a well-located home attracting your target audience, who may be busy families, a commuter, or young professionals. But, needless to say, there are many other rental properties that may also be suitably located for your market, so how do you make your property stand out of the crowd?

Having been in the industry for many years, I can speak from experience when advising. A well-dressed property plays an important contributory factor in helping you achieve optimum rental. In doing so, you will also be more likely to let out quickly and attract a quality tenant. Only a few weeks ago, for instance, we successfully let out a buy to let property at the first viewing. The property was purchased as an investment, in close distance to the station, but also fulfilled all the credentials of a well-presented rental property. As such, it attracted a quality tenant who offered the asking price.

Once the location has been decided, and a suitable property selected, it is easy to oversee the need to nurture your investment. But if you take cue from developers, who keep a watchful eye for trends and take care in dressing their properties, you will appreciate the importance of helping an audience envisage a desirable lifestyle in the property. A rental property does not need to meet show home standards by any means, but essentially, it is the care in presentation and neutral finishes that will catch the attention of your target audience.

As we head into spring, the weather could not be more ideal for some DIY, so we have put together a few simple tips and pointers to get you underway.

Keep it simple & neutral

IMG_20186_2_largeA fresh lick of paint is always the first port of call to give your new home a fresh appeal. The same would certainly apply for investments as well, but it is important to keep your inner interior designer at bay here. Reach for a trade size bucket of neutral paint, it will also be easy to maintain in the long run.

Neutral tones are not only the most inoffensive colour choices, but will appeal to the masses and add instant warmth to the home. Ultimately, a neutral décor will allow the tenant to dress the property with bold accessories and soft furnishings to their taste.  You could go the extra mile and stage the property during viewings, with lightly toned soft furnishings and accessories.

If you are going for a complete overhaul of the property, be sure to extend the neutral theme through the tiles, flooring, fixtures and fittings.

Kerb appeal

IMG_20470_2_largeAs the saying goes, first impressions make lasting impressions. From viewing the property online to visiting at a viewing, the exterior is the first feature to attract prospective tenants. A clean and tidy façade is important for two reasons. The first being, it will be the first and last part of the home the tenant sees, it’s imperative they leave with a good impression. Another element to consider here would be maintenance. Tenants will not usually go to lengths to maintain plants and intricate features of a garden, which can at times put them off. So, once again, simplicity is key. When styling the garden, try to keep flowers and plants in freestanding planters or pots.

Kitchens and bathrooms

IMG_17827_20_largeA clean kitchen and bathrooms are imperative to tenants, so it is important you focus some of your time here. In saying this, you do not need to go all out and invest large sums in a brand new kitchen and bathroom, just focus on cleaning what you have first. By scrubbing down the units, tiles and flooring first, you will identify whether anything is broken or no longer functioning as it should. It’s then that you could consider whether anything needs replacing or refreshing. There are some inexpensive ways to give such fixtures and fittings a new lease of life, such as tile paints, that may be worth exploring. Ultimately, you will have clean and glistening kitchens and bathrooms that would certainly please tenants.

With respect to the time and effort you have put into your home, you could invest in a professional clean before a tenancy begins, and include it as a clause of the tenancy. This would require a tenant to also have a full professional clean of the property before they depart. By doing this you will essentially maintain the condition of the property to minimise maintenance costs.

Think longevity

IMG_17827_21_largeAs mentioned earlier, it is important to nurture your investment in order to ensure you can gain the most from it in financially. In this respect, plan ahead and take a long-term view to all design and staging matters. You may find it best to consider fittings that are of good quality and will wear well, or, opt for the budget range and replace often. What option suits you best will be dependent on the target market and size of the home. For instance, if targeting a family with children you may find the fixtures and fittings will not wear so well. Flooring will be an important issue here, where it may be best to stick to laminate as it is hard wearing and easily cleaned, as opposed to carpet, which are often subject to spillages from the little ones.

Light and inviting

IMG_12667_5_largeEssentially, you aim to create a home that tenants can move into quickly and feel comfortable in. A light and airy home will instantly have this effect, so consider making the most of natural light and enhancing this where possible.

 

 

 

 

Budget control

background-20126_1920Ultimately, this is an investment, so spend wisely and ensure you carefully consider the long term costs of all fixtures and fittings. All rentals will be subject to the usual wear and tear, so allow for maintenance costs every few years. If you have included appliances, ensure you keep hold onto warranties and receipts, as many appliances come with free guarantees for a certain period, which will certainly come handy.

 

The key to decorating an investment property is simplicity, which these six steps should set you on course for. If you are considering an investment or have a property to let please contact us on 01252 514000, or email: lettings@mackenziesmith.co.uk.