I guess it’s a judgment call.
The problem is, some people don’t have good judgment! :banghead
I’m just kidding a little here.
Renters don’t pay extra for anything. Go talk to a pool home landlord if you want proof.
Meantime, “dated appearance” is not the same as dysfunctional. “Dirty” or “damaged” IS the same as dysfunctional.
My answer wasn’t highly qualified, because so many things are used as a justification for improving a rental that I didn’t want to address it all.
Pride of ownership coupled with an inability to separate personal taste from what is profitable is a common amateur mistake.
Frankly, I made this mistake myself in the beginning, and I knew better! I’ve been involved in property management since I was eight.
But when it’s our first rental, and all the inner interior decorating hormones kick in, and our right brains get swollen with creative juices, before we know it we’re replacing kitchen cabinets and gutting the bathroom down to the studs, because one of the cabinet doors had a gouge, and help us, there was a rust stain around the tub drain, and lime deposits on the sink, and the toilet tank rocked back and forth…! Oh the humanity…!
I’ve done everything with floors, vinyl, carpet, tile. It all gets beat up. Tiles crack and chip. Carpet uglies out before it wears out. Vinyl gets ripped, stained and even shrinks. Grout gets nasty. And heaven forbid the renters get water all over an inlaid wooden floor and it starts buckling.
Of course we’re not using our heads, we’re operating on emotion and self-indulgence, if not our egos. We’re preparing to live vicariously through our future renters and justifying it all as a business decision. Pffft.
So, my answer is still, forget remodeling and upgrades in an attempt to justify higher rents.
Budget in the low-grade carpet replacements every 30 months, or until the carpet is damaged, or won’t clean. Use the cheapest, medium-brown, cut pile you can find. As long as you can’t see the carpet backing from six feet away it’s good enough for a rental. Is there such thing a 12oz carpeting? Use that.
Where I don’t skimp… is my paint. After using Dunn Edwards, and even Home Depot generics, and other off brands, I’ve come back to Sherwin-Williams. “Antique White” is the standard rental color. I use the “200” grade, because it covers in one coat. It’s not inexpensive, even with my contractor’s discount of 20% (which you should request and receive as a landlord).
If you always use the same brand and color, touch-ups become really efficient and quick. I’ve avoided having to repaint entire interiors just painting over the spots and defects. After it’s dry, it looks like new.
Labor is money. Having to apply two (or three) coats of cheapo paint is enormously uneconomical.
Then there is odor. Most paints will serve as an all-purpose deodorizer. So, if the unit stinks, a full repaint job might be necessary to re-freshen the place.
Hope that helps. :beer
Fix it, clean it, and forget it!