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Dream Projects with Purpose: Why the Kitchen in Your Idaho Falls Rental Property Isn’t Worth It

A Newly Remodeled Kitchen in a Idaho Falls Rental PropertyIn a competitive rental market, some Idaho Falls property owners would try to gain an advantage. A number of them think that building a dream kitchen will help attract higher-paying tenants. While it is true that good tenants want a nice kitchen in a rental home, high-end or luxury upgrades rarely result in a higher rental rate. The exception to this is if your rental home is positioned in a market that will support higher rent. In this case, your entire home should be similarly upgraded. However, if this isn’t the case, your best option would be to create a kitchen that features less expensive and more durable elements.

Homeowners often dream of upgrading their kitchens with high-end cabinets, appliances, countertops, and flooring. However, the truth is that expensive materials such as granite and hardwood are usually difficult to maintain. They are easily damaged and require so much work to clean properly. While some homeowners may find living in a beautiful kitchen is worth all that work, tenants may not feel the same way. Materials that cost so much to repair or replace aren’t ideal for a rental home. It increases your maintenance costs and gives the responsibility of maintaining that level of luxury to the tenants— something they may not appreciate.

There are many more reasons why creating your dream kitchen is not the best project for your rental property. Tenants are usually more attracted to rental homes that have been built to reduce the amount of upkeep required. They still want to have quality appliances and updated features. But you can have quality without being luxurious, and tenants know this. That’s why many tenants look at a high-end kitchen as more of a hassle than a bonus. Therefore, having a high-end kitchen does not necessarily mean you can charge more rent, and your tenants may not be willing to pay a higher rate for that feature alone.

It’s going to be problematic if you’re planning to remodel your kitchen where its quality would no longer match the rest of the rental property. Inconsistent upgrades to your rental property would actually have negative implications. Let’s say a house has a really luxurious kitchen but it also has dingy, dated bathrooms or worn carpeting. It would be safe to assume that any prospective tenant would take that as a red flag. They may look at the house and think that it is an unfinished project and not a complete rental home ready to be lived in. Upgrading one room in the house doesn’t do much to increase your property values as well unless the home is in an upscale area.

There is no need to do some big spending on a high-end kitchen. Instead, go for a few simple updates. An inexpensive and durable countertop and floor, a matching set of new appliances, and some new fixtures can make an older kitchen feel fresh and modern. You can give a worn cabinet an updated look by simply painting or resurfacing it. This will instantly bring a dated kitchen into the present for only a fraction of the cost. Small things can make a big difference. So, by adding a new light fixture and drawer pulls, you are already adding to the charm and making the room feel updated. What’s more, you no longer have to worry about whether your tenant will damage your expensive tile, stainless steel appliances, or granite countertops.

Here’s the bottom line. If you aren’t willing to spend for high-end upgrades for all the areas of your investment property, then the smarter choice would be to use your budget for quality mid-range improvements. Still, it’s not really easy to know which upgrades will add value and correspond to rent increases and which upgrades don’t. This is where the professional Idaho Falls property managers at Real Property Management Southeast Idaho can be of service. Our industry expertise and quality remodeling contractors can assist you in determining the best ways to upgrade your rental property to optimize your rental rates and increase your property values. Contact us or call us at 208-522-2400 for more information.

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