As a property owner, there are many ways that you can control your expenses, while at the same time still adding value to your investments. When considering what needs to be done on various properties in terms of fix-up and maintenance, it will be important to decipher that fine line between cutting costs and truly saving.
For example, you must first take a look at what expenses are necessary in order to keep the property running efficiently, as versus costs that may not be mandatory. Certainly, items such as electrical, plumbing, and roofing should not be skimped on. In fact, not using quality materials in these area could end up costing you money in the long run by requiring additional maintenance and repairs.
On areas such as flooring, you need to be careful that you don’t spend too much. For example, new carpet can definitely add value to a property. However, going with a low or medium grade with a low to medium grade pad will typically suffice, as you will likely need to replace the carpet often in rental properties. Therefore, spending the extra money on expensive carpet and padding will not usually be a wise investment.
The same goes for high dollar paint, too. While it will be important to clean up your property by adding a fresh coat of paint, this can usually be a basic grade – as well as a neutral color – throughout the home. There is no need to spend a lot of extra money on the premium paint brands, as you will generally need to repaint every few years (or more often, as tenants move in and out).
In some cases, you may want to consider taking on the added expense of putting in an air conditioner or other major system if a property does not already have one – especially in warm areas like Florida.
For example, adding central air conditioning to an existing forced air heating system in a 2,000 square foot home may be done for approximately $3,500 to $4,000 with little to no change to the existing duct work. And, if you are able to charge an additional $100 per month in rent because the property has air conditioning, you will essentially make your money back in just over three years time – plus you have added value to the home.
There are many ways in which you can participate in the rental real estate market without the need to spend a lot of time dealing with properties and / or tenants. This can be accomplished by partnering with a professional property manager. For more information on working with a property manager – or on real estate investing in general – give us a call.