Without a doubt, the kitchen is key in attracting tenants, especially couples and families – and, of course, those that are Food Network fanatics. However, this does not mean you need to remodel it using the latest and greatest granite, wood and steel. If anything at all is needed, the phrase “minor makeover” needs to be stressed here, as you could easily get carried away and spend thousands (if not tens of thousands!) of dollars performing a major makeover of a kitchen. The goal is to make sure the appliances work safely and the entire area appears clean and not pest-infested. Here are some suggestions you may want to consider, depending on your kitchen’s current condition:
1. Color: Try to avoid having a sterile white kitchen – it’s bad for wear and tear, not to mention unpleasant for most eyes to absorb. You can add a little color by sanding and painting the wood cabinetry or by simply painting the walls. Wallpapering is not recommended because it’s hard to find two people that can agree on the same print. You have a better chance of appealing to the majority of your prospects by choosing one universal paint color.
2. Appliances: Only if there are safety factors or known maintenance issues, should you consider replacing these. If you must replace, think about buying “as is” or “open box” appliances to save money. These are units sold at a reduced cost that are fully guaranteed by the manufacturer and are still under warranty, but which may have been scratched, dented, repacked or refurbished. Thousands of landlords have saved money by purchasing these appliances and you can find them easily online or at major appliance showrooms across America. In other words, go for the deal wherever and whenever you can get it. Just make sure the original factory warranty is always attached and – by all means – try to avoid buying anything stainless steel except for the kitchen sink! Stainless steel appliances require tender loving care – remember the rental car analogy?
3. Flooring: If you have to replace the kitchen floor, go for (or stick with) a vinyl material. It is the least expensive and easiest thing to replace when it eventually wears out and is often under warranty for more than five years when used in a residential setting. Be careful not to get too fancy though – some vinyl costs more than ceramic tile. If you can afford to have tile installed instead or you possess the talent to lay it yourself, it’s a good bet since its durability will definitely withstand the test of time. Wood and carpeting, of course, should be avoided at all cost – even commercial-grade carpeting.