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rental property improvements

Learn how to make rental property improvements under $500. That’s right, spend a little on these rental property improvements in order to substantially raise their market value. Renters also appreciate these improvements.


How to Make Rental Property Improvements Under $500 in 11 Ways


Every rental property investor eventually sells. How to significantly raise their sales price to earn a sizeable profit only takes a small investment. In addition, rental prices may rise too.

Follow these recommendations regarding how to make rental property improvements under $500:


1. New Paint 


Sure, it takes more than $500 to paint an entire house. But, just painting interior walls and rooms increases value more than the $500 cost.

Beware of current “trending” colors which often go out of style the next year. However, if you plan to sell quickly, then selecting current trending colors makes sense.

Otherwise, pick safe or “classic” colors that withstand trendy tastes over time. Just because you like blue, red, or green doesn’t mean your buyers agree. Think of traditional interior neutral colors which provide a good background for different interior decorating tastes and styles.

Stick to classic white and beige to withstand time because they serve as excellent background colors. Artwork, curtains, family portraits, trophies on the mantle, and different colored carpets and rugs along with furniture need to stand out. Beige and white walls tend to complement these items rather than conflict.


2. New Flooring


For rentals, new flooring makes sense. Cheap rentals allow you to install new vinyl which looks nice but won’t break the bank.

Higher rent properties require quality flooring. However, like new paint, you don’t have to install new flooring for the entire house or apartment. Select key areas for new flooring. For instance, install new flooring in bathrooms or small entry areas.

New flooring doesn’t only apply to the floor. New carpeting changes the way a floor looks. Replace the ugly or old worn-down carpets. You will notice a big difference in how new carpeting changes the character of the rental along with justifying higher rents.


3. Fix the Roof


Leaking roofs create major havoc for renters. Your assets quickly deteriorate requiring expensive repairs and cause stress between yourself and your renters. Renters’ belongings can also suffer damages making you responsible for compensating them.

Most of the time, you just need to patch the roof instead of installing a new roof. Better to fix the roof now before it deteriorates requiring an expensive new roof later on.


4. Resurface Cabinets


Avoid replacing bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Such projects are expensive and require a lot of work. Instead, look into the lower cost of resurfacing the existing cabinets.


5. Replace Hardware


Replacing cabinet hardware and front door hardware provides a good return for a small investment.

When potential renters or buyers first see your rental, you want to make a good first impression. The front door displaying shiny brass knob and knocker along with an eye-appealing buzzer makes a positive first impression.

The same goes for cabinets. Shiny metal handles and knobs with sturdy hinges create a nice appearance with no repairs in the foreseeable future.


6. Finish the Garage


Too many garages remain unfinished. As a result, they end up as storage facilities creating a cluttered look.

Finish the garage to add a “wow” factor while increasing value.

Many garages just need drywall and paint to finish the job. Installing storage facilities to hide the clutter also adds value.


7. Replace Appliances


Appliances are a major concern for renters. Replace all broken or worn-out appliances. Consider adding a dishwasher or washer-dryer to provide conveniences renters appreciate. Buy commercial-grade as they withstand time and usage better than standard ones.


8. Kitchen Improvements


The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home. Besides cooking, kitchens often serve as a social area.

Install a kitchen backsplash that cooks appreciate while adding value to the home.

Providing kitchen accessories (microwave, blender, toaster, etc.) creates a “move-in now” feeling since renters don’t have to worry about buying them. Also, provide appealing sturdy essential kitchen utensils.

Make the new tenants sign an inventory list showing all appliances and utensils provided along with their condition. When tenants move out, any of these items broken or missing allows deducting their security deposit for replacements.


9. Install a Bar


Expanding countertops or bringing in a stand-alone bar creates social excitement and emotional appeal.

You don’t need plumbing for a beautiful stand-alone home bar. A bar also adds value to the home or apartment.


10. Create Flex Office Space


Working from home is a new norm. Many professionals maintain space as a home office. Remote workers find their living room inadequate for their office needs.

If the rental comes with an extra bedroom, consider creating a “flex space”. This allows a bedroom to remain as one while easily converting into a home office.

Install cabinets, additional electrical outlets, and maybe a Murphy bed to quickly change a bedroom into an office.


11. Smart Home Tech


Install new smart home technology to make renters feel special and the home modern. Adding smart thermostats reduces electrical usage. Providing better Wi-Fi increases appeal. Installing smart locks increases security and safety. Renters and your eventual buyer prefer smart locks.

Consider Google Home devices to modernize the home and increase appeal and value. The Google Home only costs $130 with free shipping. According to Digital Trends 2018, Google Home devices connect speakers to follow your commands. These include answering questions, playing music from any streaming device, displaying videos and photos on a TV, and controlling numerous smart home devices.




These 11 “how to make rental property improvements under $500” suggestions make your renters happy along with the increasing market value.

For under $500 you can:

  • Paint interior rooms; or
  • Add new flooring in selected rooms and/or add new carpeting; or
  • Patch the roof; or
  • Finish the garage; or
  • Replace appliances; or
  • Make kitchen improvements; or
  • Install a bar; or
  • Create flex office space; or
  • Install smart home technology

Adding up performing all 11 improvements costs less than $5,500. Yet, the market value should substantially increase more than these total expenses.

Another value includes hiring a professional rental property management company. Let the pros take the headaches and stress out of self-managing your rentals.

Contact Us to learn more about the advantages of using our professional rental property management services to advertise vacancies, screen tenants, collect rents, inspect properties, provide tax-deduction records, and deal with every day rental management situations.

Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger



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