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June 10, 2016

"A picture is worth a thousand words." That's nice but "words" can't pay the mortgage of your rental. Ironically, you need a great picture if you're going to market your rental property. The vast majority of prospective renters begin their search online and without those enticing photos, they're just going to "click by." This is where the idea of home repairs and remodeling projects come into play. Best of all, you don't have to wipe out the savings or take out an equity loan to pull off these repairs. Here are some great and affordable home repairs that add the most value to your rental.

1. A Good Paint Job

The quickest and most affordable way to freshen up any room is with a fresh coat of paint. This is a perfect DIY project, too. That means saving money on professional painters. You just need the time, the patience and the right tools. The real work in painting a room is in the prep. That means taping the floors, outlets, windows and other areas you won't want to get paint on. Once that is done, you bring in the roller and/or sprayer and the room can be painted in a matter of moments.

As for color choices, keep in mind that you're trying to appeal to the masses. White is basic and neutral. It could also be a bit boring. For a bedroom, consider soft pastels. Out in the dining room and living room you could go a bit bolder. Thankfully, there are plenty of Pinterest pages dedicated to home painting that can provide lots of inspiration.

2. Replace Bathroom Fixtures and Cabinetry

Is the bathroom looking like it is stuck in the 70s? You might be stuck with the tile and bathtub, but that doesn't mean you can't replace everything else. Start with the fixtures on the sink. Those are easy to swap out with new elements that can be found at your local home improvement store. The same can be said for your showerhead. Then consider painting the room (see above). If you have a cabinet for under the sink, maybe you can swap out the doors with a more flattering approach. Simple fixes that you can do on your own can also be the most impactful to the potential renter.

3. Improve The Curb Appeal

Technically, your potential renter is going to care more about the size of the kitchen and how many bedrooms are in the property as opposed to the flourishing plants out in front. However, the status of your curb appeal has a lot to do with a positive first impression. That first response when a renter approaches the house should always be, "This looks nice."

The same can be said for fixing up your garage door if it’s broken or not operating correctly. Not only does a working garage improve your rental’s value, but it also protects the valuables a renter will store in there. Just be sure to seek out professional guidance for these repairs. Garage tracks in particular are notoriously difficult to fix on your own and can be the source of many headaches. A properly working garage door is going to be a great amenity for your property, and a fully functioning one will increase the trust between you and your renter.

4. Replace the Carpets

This might be a big-ticket item but one that would be worth the investment. How long have your current carpets been trod upon? If there are stains that aren't coming up or discoloration under furniture, then it's time to think about replacing those carpets. Who knows, you might even discover you've got decent flooring underneath. Like it or not, your renters are going to be spending a lot of time in their bare feet on those carpets. You want to make sure it is comfortable.

5. Clear out the Clutter

You might be renting a property that is fully furnished or totally empty. Either way, you could still have clutter stored in the garage, shed or even under a porch. Whatever you've got in storage, you probably don't need. Toss it out or move it into your home. Your renter doesn't want to live with your junk. Plus, that implies you might be slacking off with regard to home repairs. That is not an impression you want to put out there.

6. Put in New Window Treatments

Beyond the painting, installing new window treatments is the easiest way to transform a room. You might find that your current blind situation is rather dingy and dull. Those are easy to swap out with clean blinds. Adding in curtain and drapes can also brighten up a room. While you're at it, make sure you're weather stripping around the windows is also in good shape. If you’re paying for the heating or cooling, it can be more than worth the project cost.

Obviously, if you have the money to invest you could opt for a total kitchen or bathroom remodel for your rental property. The problem with that is that it might turn out nicer than your own home! Try the small and affordable fixes first to bring in the renters and keep them happy.

Source: This article was published with permission from Megan Wild of Your Wild Home