How to Upgrade Your Investment Property to Attract Top of the Line Tenants

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paint on wall

Blue Bird

This article is contributed by Becky Lopez

Investing in residential real estate is often considered a “solid” investment. Real property typically increases in value, and apart from owning this asset, you can also generate an income by renting it out. Still, if you buy an apartment in a sought-after area, you will have to make sure it’s well-maintained and pay for upgrades every few years to attract good tenants.

If you have an apartment that is vacant, or your current tenant’s lease is ending, and you’re looking for a new tenant, it’s a good idea to invest in a few upgrades and do some maintenance work. Upgrading the rental property usually helps to increase its value and appeal to potential tenants. As a landlord or property owner, it’s advisable to have a savings account dedicated to home repairs and upgrades. If you don’t have any money in savings, it’s possible to do a few upgrades that are within your budget. Making a few minor changes can transform the look and feel of the home and make it more appealing.

Depending on the work you need to do, you can also pay for the upgrade with your credit card or take a loan or cash advance. A cash advance is often used for emergencies because you can get the funds quickly, but you can use it for anything, including home renovations. You can apply for a cash advance at the lender’s premises or online; for example, you may apply for a cash advance.

Upgrades You May Consider

Often, it’s not financially possible to redo the entire property, but making a few upgrades can go a long way in giving the apartment a modern, new look. If you think your investment property can do with an upgrade, consider the following:

Replace the Flooring

Depending on the type of flooring you have, it can look dated. Typically, carpets should be replaced every five to ten years, and wood or tiles every seven to ten years. While it may be personal preference, it’s safe to say most people prefer laminate, tile, or wooden floors rather than carpet. Besides the carpet being more difficult to clean, it can look unfashionable. If you’re going to replace your floors, it may be better to opt for laminate, tile, or wood in neutral tones with minimal to no patterns, as this is more likely to match potential tenants’ furniture.

Electrical System

Rapid technological advances have occurred over the last twenty years, and our needs at home have changed due to this. These days we have phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other devices to make our lives easier, but they all require electricity as they need to be charged almost daily. If your investment property is old and the electrical system has not been upgraded, it likely does not have enough electrical outlets and sockets to plug in all your devices. This will put off potential tenants since not having enough electric outlets will be inconvenient. It’s worth upgrading the electrical system and equipping the apartment with enough electrical outlets to meet modern demands.


One of the easiest ways to update the interior of your apartment is to paint the walls. Ideally, you should paint the walls every five to ten years. When walls have not been painted in a while, they can look dull or drab. You may also notice that the top layer of paint begins to wear, or there may be chips or scratches. All these imperfections ruin the look of the apartment and can turn away potential renters. Like flooring, it’s best to stick to neutral tones when painting the walls. Neutral tones are typically more modern, and lighter colours make the room look more airy and spacious.

Update the Kitchen

In many older homes, the kitchen cabinets are solid but outdated. Think back to those brown wooden cabinets that were all the rage in the 80s! You don’t need to tear down the entire kitchen and install new fixtures and fitting to give it a modern contemporary look. Depending on the condition of the cabinet doors, you can sand them down and paint them in a light, modern colour and replace the hardware. If you paint the doors, remember to use paint suitable for wood. Alternatively, if the cabinet doors have seen better days, consider removing the doors and replacing them with new ones. This will still be more cost-effective than replacing the cabinets.

For kitchen countertops, the best options are countertops made from materials that are durable and heat resistant, like granite. While making the kitchen look beautiful, you should also think about what’s most practical. Kitchen countertops typically get a lot of traffic, and if you use a material prone to scratching or stains, you will replace it frequently, which can become expensive.

Modern Appliances

If your rental apartment includes appliances, it’s a good idea to ensure that the appliances are fairly new and match. Having a bunch of old, mismatched appliances is an eyesore and can make the apartment look cheap. Appliances usually have a limited lifespan, and it makes little sense to replace them all when one breaks. For example, if the stove breaks and can’t be repaired, you will need to buy a new one, but it does not make financial sense to purchase a new refrigerator and microwave to match. Still, it’s worth replacing the appliances with newer, modern ones every few years. When buying appliances, opt for those that are energy efficient and offer a warranty. Also, consider including a washer and dryer. Having a washer and dryer in the home is a convenience many tenants will pay extra for, so you can charge more in rent.

Some Final Thoughts

Real estate is a worthwhile investment, but if you want to attract good tenants, you must be prepared to upgrade the apartment every few years. You don’t need to redo the entire apartment. Small changes like giving the interior walls a fresh coat of paint, upgrading the electrical system, updating the kitchen, and replacing the floor and appliances will significantly improve the apartment’s appeal.

The author, Becky Lopez, lives in Miami. She started freelance writing as her full-time job when the COVID pandemic closed her office. She lives with her younger brother, and their parrot, Sinbad. When she isn't writing, she loves to read and chill, watching Netflix. She also enjoys travelling.