When you own a buy-to-let, it’s usually a good idea to play it very safe and provide a basic, neutral and well-rounded property that will appeal to the masses. Whilst that is certainly really important, wouldn’t it be great to give your property the ‘wow’ factor that would set it apart from all the other contenders on the market?
So, what’s the best way to give your property the edge and add value without spending too many pennies or pushing too many boundaries?
Focus on the kitchen
Along with the bathrooms, your kitchen is your real opportunity to bowl prospective tenants over. If you’re able to put your money anywhere, put it here. Kitchens aren’t a room that’s easily changed and tweaked to suit someone’s personal style – unlike bedrooms and living areas which are usually a blank canvas for someone’s personality and furniture to embellish. Make sure that people looking around your property will fall in love with the kitchen.
Let your style of property dictate your kitchen’s decor. If you can go ultra modern, then this is likely to appeal to many people – especially young couples and professionals. Upgrade your appliances and choose good quality and stylish fixtures and fittings. For a more traditional feel, keep kitchen units wooden and incorporate natural colours such as neutrals and woods.
With a generous budget, think about incorporating an island or breakfast bar for a social kitchen space. Perhaps you could install a statement light fitting or a fancy coffee machine? Make it difficult for your tenants to turn down – but don’t forget to find yourself a good landlord insurance quote first. It’s important to protect any expensive items you provide in the property, as your tenants may not look after them in the same way that you would.
Have a target renter in mind
If you know that there’s a particular market within your area that can successfully tap into, then you should explore making your property perfect for them. For instance, are there a lot of families in the area? Is it predominantly young professionals? Students? Speak to a local property expert to see what kind of properties are most in demand in your area and then think about how you can capture their attention.
For instance, if you have a flat or small property in a city or built up area or commuter town, make it perfect for busy working people with mod-cons to make life a little easier. Perhaps install a smart security or heating and lighting system and market your property as a ‘smart home’. Could you wire a speaker system through the property for your future tenants music? Is there space for a bar or hot tub area in the garden?
If you’re aiming your buy-to-let at families, there will be very different things to consider. Families will be looking for safety, security, outdoor areas and space and storage. Could you convert your loft or a dining room into an extra bedroom or playroom?
Let the light in
A light and airy property will immediately make you feel relaxed and energised. Nobody wants to live somewhere dark and dingy, right? Keep walls painted white to create a fresh and open space and focus on bringing light into the property.
If you have the opportunity to install a skylight in the most social part of the house such as the kitchen or living area, this could be a fantastic opportunity. Natural light will flood in during the day and brighten up the space. Not only that, but daylight exposure is so important for our health and wellbeing. Never underestimate the importance of a well-placed window!
Adding value to your buy-to-let doesn’t have to be expensive – little extras can go a long way. But if you can afford to really modernise and stylise your property, you will reap the rewards – so long as you’re making smart changes.