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Rental Factors

Find and replace. If you plan on renting out your home at some point, turning it into an investment property, one thing to consider is, if something breaks, will it be easy to replace and or fix. If your goal is have a rental property you want to use materials and appliances that are more utilitarian than posh. You don’t want to have to spend a lot of money ordering a certain type of material. Rather, go with something that is of quality but easy to replace.

Reference points. Also, you know how everyone refers to the bright yellow house when giving out directions in your neighborhood, ‘take a left at the bright canary yellow house they say’. It might be a good reference point but won’t pull in renters. An odd color or attribute that stands out will turn renters or potential buyers. Go for classy rather than unique, that’s the best bet when setting up an investment property.

The layout. This concept also applies to the layout of the home. What might seem like a unique setup might just turn off the majority tenants. For instance, it’s common to have the living room set off to the side when you enter a home, the front door shouldn’t open right into the living space. And again, but for the interior this time, you don’t want to paint your home a bright green even if you think it looks good. Go with what’s safe, white paint that will open up the space. If you have a lot of modern furniture in the home, maybe you remove it when you’re showing the home – more open space is better when trying to rent your property.

Organization. Along this line of thinking, opening up space, having storage and shelving areas, will help the place become more open spacious, as all the clutter is stored away in neat alphabetical order. Well, it doesn’t have to be done that neurotically, but less clutter creates more space and invites the tenant to envision what they could do with the space.

Go high-tech. However, something that may cost a bit more but worth it, is making your property high tech. Technology is what will excite a potentially higher paying tenant. Whether that’s a home wired for a stereo, controlled lighting, or even an iPod that’s plugged into a home stereo system and wired throughout the house, this attribute can help you increase your cash flow as you get a better paying tenant.

A new attraction theses days is going green. Buy and use energy efficient appliances - there should be a label on the appliance stating this. Use CFL light bulbs which convert most of the energy to light rather than heat. Look for the Energy Star label when searching for light bulbs and other energy efficient products. This is another good selling point for your home, as energy costs are low for the buyer or renter. Like going high tech going green will draw in more quality tenants. To top it off, you may qualify for a tax credit for going green or solar.

Upgrades. Spend money on upgrading the kitchen. The kitchen is the epicenter of the home and of the main points of attraction for buyers and renters of homes. If you're going to upgrade, spend the money on the kitchen. And, remember that home improvements are tax deductible if this improvement adds overall value to the home.

So the keys are, knowing who your target audience is and not going too over board on style. Know the type of tenant you’re seeking and then know how you can fix or replace some of the amenities in your units without having to break the bank.

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