Email Dave Email
Residential Real Estate
Apr 1, 2021

7 Inexpensive Upgrades You Can Make to Your Rental Property

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Sweyer - Owner and Broker, Sweyer Property Management

Full home renovations can get quite expensive to say the least - even a complete renovation of just one area of a home may be outside of a homeowner’s budget. However, for investment properties, seemingly small upgrades can often make a big difference in the look and feel of a property and thus draw in high-quality tenants and higher rental rates. If you’re looking to increase the value of your investment property, consider making some of the upgrades below.

1. Flooring

Putting in new flooring can not only refresh the look of a home, but also make it feel and seem much cleaner. Though there are many inexpensive flooring choices these days, reflooring an entire house can still get pricey. But, if there are areas of the home that have worn, dirty carpet, for example, replacing the flooring in those areas will increase the home’s perceived value. But, if you’re looking to keep new flooring as inexpensive as possible, it will need to be somewhat of a DIY project.
One of the most popular flooring choices today is luxury vinyl plank – and this isn’t your grandma’s vinyl. These floors come in a variety of options and are known to be particularly durable and water resistant. If you are going to take on a flooring project, be sure that you’re ready to put in the time and effort as well as become familiar with proper installation methods - improper installation will end up costing you more in the long run. Websites like YouTube as well as some big box home improvement stores have instructional videos on just about anything and may be a good place to start.
2. Painting

Though painting an entire home can get pricey, especially if you hire professional painters, upgrading the paint in just a few areas of a home can make it much more appealing. Homes with rooms painted in a bunch of different bright colors typically aren’t attractive to renters as they want to be able to make the home fit their style. However, calming neutral colors are all the rage these days – grays or even traditional whites and creams will create a sense of uniformity throughout the home and allow renters to decorate as they choose without being limited by bright green walls.
Though the walls may be the most visible area of the home, giving a fresh coat of paint to baseboards and door frames will also make the home appear refreshed and clean. Some other easy paint upgrades to consider are painting an accent wall (remember, neutral – no bright green!) or whitewashing a brick fireplace.
3. Kitchen Cabinets

Does your investment property have old brown cabinets and drawers that look like they were installed in 1980? It’s amazing what a simple paint job and some new hardware will do for the look of the kitchen. If you’re going to repaint kitchen cabinets, again, neutral is best. It’s also advisable to visit your local paint store to ensure you’re purchasing the right products – an easy way to do this is to take a drawer or cabinet door to the paint store when you visit so the associate will know exactly what kind of paint and supplies you’ll need. Though this project can be time consuming with cleaning, sanding, priming, and multiple coats of paint, it is an overall inexpensive upgrade that will make a world of difference.
4. Light Fixtures

The right lighting can completely change the feel of a room, either making it feel cold and industrial or warm and inviting. Simple light fixture changes can make a room look much more modern and these days inexpensive fixtures can be found at home improvement stores or even on Amazon. Does the home have ceiling fans? If it doesn’t, consider installing some in the bedrooms and main living area. Ceiling fans are a sought-after feature for tenants and will make the home appear more comfortable. If you’re going to make lighting changes, you must be careful – if you’ve done lighting installations before, you know to turn off the power source to the room in which you’re working. However, if you’ve never done such an upgrade, hiring a local electrician for a few hours to install everything properly may be your best bet.
5. Add a Backsplash

This is yet another addition that can make a kitchen feel more luxurious and modern. Expensive, ornate tiles may be out of the question for a budget project but installing something like subway tiles will not only improve the space but add an extra layer of protection to your walls. Though kitchen sinks are commonly thought of as the location for backsplashes, they can also be installed behind stoves.
6. Bathrooms

Gutting and renovating a bathroom can cost thousands of dollars but making some small changes can make bathrooms look newer and more spacious. If the toilets have worn, broken seats, consider replacing them with some inexpensive ones. If the sink, hardware, or vanity are worn and outdated, replacing those will make the bathroom appear much newer. Though hardware and vanities can, of course, get pricey, many home improvement stores have affordable options that will allow you to stay within your budget.
7. Exterior Upgrades

Prospective renters will often form their first impression of the home within a few seconds of seeing the outside. So, to make your property more appealing, some simple landscaping can make a big difference. Make sure the lawn is trimmed, gutters cleaned, and any bushes or branches that need to be cut down are removed. You can also do things like plant some beautiful bushes or flowers near the home and bring in fresh mulch.
Exterior upgrades aren’t limited to just the lawn. If your property has an old, worn patio with chipped paint, consider power washing or refinishing it. Power washing can also make a big difference in how renters will perceive the home – if an owner has taken the time to clean the home exterior and driveway, chances are they’ve maintained the inside as well.
Though home maintenance projects can be time consuming, they don’t always have to be expensive. Making some small improvements can increase the value and appeal of the home and thus increase the rental amount you can charge and draw in high-quality tenants.
If you own an investment property and would like to learn more about today’s popular features and upgrades, reach out to our team today. Or, if you’re looking to purchase investment properties, we can also guide you through the process and help you select a home that won’t need dozens of expensive upgrades and repairs.
Reach out to our Director of Business Development at 910.239.1338 or via our website for a free rental analysis or to learn more about how simple upgrades can increase your property value.

Sweyer Property Management is a full-service professional property management company that specializes in all aspects of rental management. If you’re an investor or property owner looking to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, reach out to us today at 910.256.3031 or via our website.
Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland and Hampstead areas while maintaining an excellent Google+ rating for customer service. To inquire about the company’s full-service management services or to take a tour of homes for rent in the area, visit them online at
Please Like and Follow the Sweyer Property Management Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn Pages for property management tips and to see properties available for rent.

Other Posts from Dave Sweyer

Sweyer animated 300x250 ad
Ico insights



FOREWARN: A Valuable New Benefit to Members

Ea Ruth - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Headshotrosaliecalarco 1182131047

Free Wilmington Screening of "Dear Sirs"

Kellyerola headshot lcflc

Hospice Care in Nursing Homes Provides Needed Specialized Care

Kelly Erola - Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

Trending News

National Retailer, More Coming To Hanover Center

Cece Nunn - Nov 29, 2022

Cape Fear Commercial Partners With Developers On Leland Project

Cece Nunn - Nov 30, 2022

Developers To Mark Growth Of Soda Pop District Project

Staff Reports - Nov 29, 2022

New Nosh, Including True Blue Street Food Concept, Coming To Cargo District

Miriah Hamrick - Nov 30, 2022

The Vault Opens With Unique Wine Cellar, Coffee To Go

Miriah Hamrick - Nov 30, 2022

In The Current Issue

‘Bleisure’ Travel On The Rise

Kim Hufham, president and CEO of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau, said business travel to the area has started to...

Country Connection

While North Carolinians living in urban areas are speeding forward on the information highway, many of their rural neighbors – some 226,000...

Rural Markets Face Slowdown

Although buyers can find lower prices for some homes in rural Southeastern North Carolina versus urban areas, those housing markets face sim...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100