Wouldn’t life be grand if one could make a people proof rental? What would that be? Instead of that Rental maintenance is good for your ROI.
The people proof rental.
If you’re going to dream, dream big. Let’s start from the bottom. How about stained concrete floors? Move to the walls which would be poured concrete like a warehouse. The lighting and electrical system would be sealed into the concrete walls and floor.
To make sure that it’s never painted or roofed, the whole structure would have to be covered in barn steel. To complete the package one would have steel doors throughout and stainless steel hardware everywhere.
Is this the perfect rental? It is for the investor obsessed with longevity. However, to build such a structure would be crazily expensive and it would look like a prison. The furnace would run nonstop also.
Work with what you have.
Most investors in rental structures commit themselves to existing homes, or structures, and do the best they can. Strategies for building a new rental are a separate argument. Maintenance choices are an ongoing process. Anything that is used, wears. Any structure that has people in it will suffer damage. This doesn’t mean that all renters are hazards.
People make mistakes. We’ve all zigged when we should’ve zagged. Investors do it in their own homes and tenants do it in rentals. This doesn’t take into account trees falling in windstorms, or other naturally occurring damage. Idaho is particularly adept at killing exterior paint, for example.
What is the best one can do with an existing structure? It’s subjective. Some argue that it’s best to invest as little as possible in all cases. Others argue that if you neglect maintenance you end up with a property that has reduced market rents. The rental will also be in a constant state of repair.
Working with your game plan.
An investor has to be honest about what they’re wanting from their property. Do you want to hang in there over the long term and make the most out if it in market rent or nurse a dying horse? Having long term success means taking care of what you have. When an item is at the end of it’s service life you have to replace it. This could be flooring surfaces, plumbing fixtures, or paint.
There’s always a cheaper alternative. Cheaper isn’t always better. The cheapest alternative only works in the short run. Cheaper maintenance choices will frequently leave you with no way to maintain an item in the future. That leaves you with replacement. When you’re stuck replacing an item the long term cost to your ROI is frequently higher. Your rental can have down time for repairs. You have no rental income during that down time. The cost of the repair can be higher also due to labor costs.
Just to throw an example out there is a kitchen faucet. If the cheapest one is installed, are parts going to be available for it later? What about water damage from leaks? There’s the question of appearance also. Name brand faucets frequently have guarantees on their finish. You could end up not only replacing the faucet but paying for water damage also. As the finish on that cheap faucet degrades, the appeal of your rental property degrades also.
Spend a little extra and save later.
As an alternative, why not buy a quality name brand faucet that doesn’t have every feature? You may end up spending more initially, but over the long run you’ll save the cost of replacement. If it leaks, a qualified maintenance person will be able to affect a repair with simple tools and replacement parts.
There are also the most expensive choices. Think about the future when you make maintenance choices. You don’t know who will be renting from you in the future. You don’t know how much self respect or respect they will have for your rental investment.
Carpet in a rental is a loser. It gets dirty, and it wears. If you get five years out of it you’re lucky.
Millennials are most likely going to be your rental customers. They like flooring surfaces that are easy to maintain. Forty eight percent of renters want to have pets. Carpets are not going to work under these criteria. Luxury Vinyl Flooring is your best bet. It can look like hardwood, but it doesn’t scratch. It can look like tile but it won’t break when you drop something on it in the kitchen.
Replace with better not best.
Your rental has carpet in it when you bought it. You brought it back to life with a good cleaning. Keep it for now. Set aside some of your rental earnings every month. When it’s ready for replacement, put in LVF. Then you can forget it. A sweep and a mop and the floor is ready for the next tenant. It’s pet friendly too. LVF isn’t the cheapest option. However, over the long term, LVF will require minimal maintenance and will help you keep the highest market rents.
The pattern should be, if what you have works, use it until it’s not serviceable. When you do need to replace something, replace it with a quality part or material. You don’t have to use the best. Use the part or material that will give you the most longevity; and ease of low cost maintenance, while maintaining your highest market rent.
To learn more about how Jacob Grant can improve your Passive ROI with maintenance advice, call 208-795-8218 or schedule a call Schedule call