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4 Sept 2011

Preparing a Property for Rent

A lot of planning goes into preparing a property for rent. You can’t cut corners and get it right. This is how I do it with my own properties in my real estate investment venture: 

1.      Setting a Target Market
    I actually set a target market before even investing in that particular property. Everything else is done according to the set target market. Do I want to attract students, single parent families, young couple, etc? Once I know the target market, everything falls in place nicely. 

My two bedroom duplex is just perfect for a single parent. It’s close to every facility that one can think of. You can walk your child to school, walk to your work, pass by the supermarket to grab dinner on your way back and still make it on time to pick your child up from school back home. It’s also big enough for an arrangement like that and has a small cute, low maintenance garden for a great playtime. My preparations for renting this place out includes child proofing the garden.

2.      Budgeting
The target market will determine the budget for you. High end market tenants demand the highest quality finishes and facilities. Easy as that. With my diversified tenancy, I know how much I will spend on a stove for one property and not on the other. 

The location of the property will also assist you in taking that decision. Think of the returns on your investment. It is a waste of money over-investing in finishes in an area where the rentals collected are the lowest in the city. Renters pay extra for comfort, and it’s only fair for landlords to ensure that tenants get what they paid for. A $7000 may prepare the rental unit fully in one neighborhood and not even scratch the surface in the similar unit based in another neighborhood. Stick to as low a budget as you can to get the best quality space possible. Your contractor will definitely help on the estimates.

3.      Specifics on Preparing the Property for Rent

The house has to be deserving of a prospective tenant. The exterior has to be welcoming and neat. The paint has to be fresh, garden and lawn has to look alive and flowers not in slumber. I usually get a garden service guy to freshen everything up. Trimming the edges is essential. 

The walkways, porches and verandas are to be cleaned and completely de-cluttered. Window treatments should look pleasant from the outside too. Everything has to be cleaned and hanging and loose odds and pieces removed or replaced. The house has to look picture perfect. Better than you would wish your home looked after spring cleaning it. In my case, because I am hopelessly lazy, and always long nailed, I get a cleaning team to help me out. I outsource any kind of cleaning in general, so that decision is quite easy. 

Enhance your home’s interior by: The interior has to be as spotless as the exterior. I cannot emphasize the hiring of a cleaning service company enough. It helps. I say this from experience.

Kitchen counter-tops are usually victims of clutter. Make sure your granite tops shine with only the essential appliances. Check the window tracks for broken and falling parts. Appliances should be in working order and so should the plumbing, heating, cooling, alarm systems, etc.  Do it all whilst trying to save on costs where you can. You may need to invest in new cupboard doors for instance, instance of changing the whole kitchen.
Please read the article on how much rent to charge for more tips.


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