Upgrading Your Family Home? Here’s How to Make It More Marketable to Renters

Have you reached the phase of your life where you’re considering downsizing to a smaller home? Before you begin the selling process, consider turning your once family home into a rental property. There are several benefits to owning a rental property, one of the main attractions being that it can provide a source of income, which can be especially beneficial as you near retirement. 

However, if you’ve owned your home for years (even decades), there may be a few upgrades that can help make your property more attractive to renters. Here are four things to consider to make your family home marketable to renters:

Make Necessary Repairs

Before you begin making cosmetic changes to your home, spend some time and consideration looking at your home’s basic needs. Is everything in working order? For example, if you’re considering a kitchen remodel, but your roof is leaking, you need to address the roof issue first before indulging in any updates. Your home’s future tenants expect a home that (at bare minimum) is in working condition.

Add a Laundry Room

A laundry room might not be the most obvious choice for home upgrades, but if you’re looking to rent out your home, it can be a great addition to your property. For many renters, finding a home with in-unit laundry is like winning the lottery—and they’re willing to pay for this major find. Adding in-unit laundry increases rent by $50-100 per month, and once you’re ready to sell, it can increase your home’s resale value. 

If your home doesn’t have the space to accommodate a full laundry room, you can simply add a washer and dryer to your basement. This is also a more cost-efficient option, as it can cost as little as $1,000.  

Update Paint Colors or Fixtures

If you’ve owned your family home for a long time, there’s a good chance that many of your paint colors, wood stains, light fixtures, or even cabinet knobs have since become outdated. Luckily, these are simple changes that you can even DIY if needed. 

When selecting paint colors, pick something that’s neutral and will appear to the masses. According to The Balance, colors such as beige, gray, and cream are often good choices for rental properties. 

Renovate Your Bathroom

An outdated bathroom can really age a home, making it less marketable to potential renters. Although a total bathroom remodel is perhaps the priciest item on this list, it can make a major difference in your home’s appeal, and is a cost you should be able to recoup once you’re ready to sell. 

If you’re just able to upgrade a few items in your bathroom, consider investing in a good exhaust fan. This will prevent extra moisture from accumulating in your bathroom, which can result in mold forming, paint peeling, and overall wear and tear on the room. A good exhaust fan will ensure your bathroom remains in good condition over time. 

Affording Your Upgrades

It’s no surprise that any of these upgrades to your home require a significant investment. Before making any major decisions, be sure to examine your budget to fully understand what you can afford. If you’re looking for financing options, you may consider a home equity loan. This is a savvy way to borrow money if you already have equity in your home, especially for home remodeling as the money can be used toward any type of expense. You may also consider a home equity line of credit or cash-out refinance as alternative options. 


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