Every investor wants top dollar for their rental property
While we never recommend over-renovating, there are a few simple ways to help maximize returns on your rental property investment. You want to get as much rental income as possible. In addition, vacancy can be very expensive, so you want to minimize that. This means you need to try to attract the best possible tenants, and have them stay for multiple years. This starts with making your rental home as appealing as possible to renters. Good looking homes attract good renters. Ugly homes are far less appealing. Here are a few points to consider.
If your property has grass, convert it to desert landscaping. Las Vegas is in a dry desert climate. Grass does not normally live here, so it requires extra water to grow and look nice. Most Las Vegas homes do not have grass for this reason. Here are more reasons to convert grass to desert landscape:
- You may be able to get a rebate for doing the conversion.
- No tenant wants to maintain it.
- Landscapers will show up very early in the morning to mow, due to the excessive heat. No one likes to listen to that at the crack of dawn. People may even move to get away from that noise.
- The cost of landscape maintenance must be added to rent, which hurts the property’s position in the rental market. That’s very hard to overcome.
- Increased water bills – tenants don’t want to pay for this.
- Grass isn’t really popular here. People in SoCal love to use lots of water to keep grass in their dry climate, but grass is just not a big attraction in Las Vegas. It’s more of a nuisance.
Basically, just get rid of the grass! Desert landscaping is simpler and cheaper for you and tenants. Use desert rock or turf instead of grass. This is a very nice desert-landscaped back yard, with synthetic grass, pavers, rock, and a few desert plants. It can be much simpler than this, with just desert rock and a few desert plants.
Matching appliances and fixtures
A white refrigerator looks terrible in a kitchen with black or stainless appliances. Correct this – all appliances should match. Brand doesn’t really matter but the color matters a whole lot. If there are brass colored fixtures, it is best to just replace them – they are outdated. Additionally, these items should match or at least coordinate: ceiling fans and light fixtures, faucets and shower heads, door knobs or handles, outlet covers and switch plates. These things can mean the difference between generating maximum returns for your rental property, or having to accept lower rent to get a tenant. The fixtures do not have to be fancy at all; they should simply be generally matched or at least similar in color and style.
Case study #1
Here are pictures and info on 3 homes in the same neighborhood, with the exact same floorplan and square footage, that rented for very different prices. All are 1557 sqft, within about 1/4 mile of each other.
#1: Rented for $1400 in 51 days
#2: Rented for $1500 in 18 days
#3: Rented for $1640 in 37 days
House #1: $1400 rent – Notice the mismatched bathroom fixtures (and brass – ugh!) plus outdated 1990s light fixtures.
House #2: $1500 rent – There is nothing special about the bathroom, but at least the fixtures match! Light fixtures are better also.
House #3: $1640 rent – This home is more updated and guess what. Things match!!! Also notice, the flooring is nothing special – the updates are mostly inexpensive fixtures and counters.
Case study #2
Here are 2 homes in the same neighborhood, again with the exact same floorplan and square footage. They too rented for different prices. Both are 1213 sqft, on the same side of the same street.
#1: Rented for $1295 in 7 days
#2: Rented for $1350 in 3 days
House #1: $1295 rent – The kitchen looks so cheap with mismatched appliances and a mismatched switch plate. The refrigerator is also about the cheapest one could find. The chipped counter could be overlooked if the appliances and switch plate matched! No wonder this house took longer to rent, for less money.
House #2: $1350 rent – This kitchen is nothing special at all, but at least everything matches! It’s obvious why a tenant was willing to pay a bit more rent for this house – and it rented in only 3 days.
Why do these things matter so much? Because people who might want to live in a home for a few years do not want to look at ugly mismatched appliances and fixtures every day. The only people willing to look at stuff like this everyday, are those who only intend to stay for a year or two max, or those who simply cannot afford better. Furthermore, mismatched housewares indicate that the owner doesn’t really care about the house, and this affects the tenant’s attitude about it as well.
A mismatched house in Las Vegas will definitely rent, but it will not attract the best tenants and it will not bring top dollar. If you want to maximize return on your Las Vegas rental property, then you should invest in matching appliances and fixtures.
No satellite dishes
Always remove satellite dishes before placing any tenant. A leftover satellite is an eyesore and totally useless. If a new tenant wants satellite service, they can’t reuse the existing dish and a new one will be installed. Then you’ll have 2 ugly satellites on the house and a possible HOA violation. Moreover, you cannot charge the tenant for removal of their dish if you left a useless dish attached at move in. Better to remove the dish up front, and then if a future tenant installs one, we can deduct the cost of removal from their deposit.
Maximize your bottom line
Be careful not to over-renovate. Upgrades like new cabinets or flooring, fancy backsplashes or the like, probably aren’t worth the investment for the average home. However, the small things can make a big difference! If you need help determining what might be best for your Las Vegas rental home, please contact us for advice!