Real estate offers a great way to leverage your investments and generate passive income. A key part generating income passively is to ensure you screen the tenants and find an ideal tenant. In addition to this, follow our low-maintenance tips to ensure that you can enjoy the benefits with a less hands-on approach.
By using materials that can be easily cleaned or refinished, you can reduce your expenses when tenant turnover happens. They are less expensive over the lifetime than cheaper ones that need to be replaced often. For example, hardwood or laminate flooring is a better choice than carpet. Carpet accumulates dirt and needs replacement every few years. When kids drag dirt from outdoors, there's only so much carpet cleaning services can do.
Choose easy to use, long-lasting materials such as stone, hardwood, paint, and tiles.
Avoid wallpaper. Yes, it looks great and offers the oomph factor to make your house stand out. However, what you think is a beautiful design may not appeal to others. Plus, a small rip is all it takes to make the place look worn out. While there are easy to peel and low maintenance wallpapers, we recommend sticking with paint. There are many other ways in which a tenant can make their place look great and live beautifully.
The kitchen is where the action is. We recommend keeping the cabinets simple and clean. Dirt and grease tend to accumulate in the grooves. Plain doors are easy to clean and paint over. Read our tips on updating the kitchen in investment properties.
Choose hard flooring materials. They take wear and tear better. If you allow pets, carpets won't last long. Laminates are more durable and don't require refinishing. It's cheaper to refinish hardwood than to replace them.
Keep the wall colors simple. Use one neutral color throughout the rental house and use the same color for all your investment properties. Makes it easy to share paint and match paint when needed. We have recommendations on paint colors and finishes here. Some paint finishes are easy to wipe off. Use satin or semigloss for easy maintenance. Plus touching up or painting over is easier than wallpaper removal and reapplying a new one.
Use large tiles in the bathroom. Avoid designs with smaller tiles - they look great in the beginning and can quickly turn south. Cleaning grout is not easy. Use epoxy grouting for lower maintenance. Tiles with epoxy grout are the easiest to maintain in the long run. While epoxy costs more in the short term, it works out well in the long-term by ensuring that the property looks sharp.
Keep window treatments simple. Blinds accumulate dirt and curtains need changing. Neutral white curtains are cheaper to replace than expensive window treatments.
Lawn and garden add value and appeal to your property - keep them low maintenance. Not all tenants have a green thumb, time, or interest! Use native plants when possible to get an attractive and low-maintenance garden. Xeriscaping and using native plants can keep your place looking great from the outside.
Use low maintenance countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. We don't recommend marble or picking the trend du jour. Pre-fabricated slabs are great option for standard kitchens.
By following these tips, you can enjoy a passive income stream. That said, we don't recommend making all these changes at once unless you are gutting and rebuilding. As and when tenants move out and updates are needed, choose these durable options.