If you're the owner of a property, it's possible that your property needs a COVID makeover...and with restrictions, you may have to go DIY.
Total beginners: fear not! You don’t need to install a brand new kitchen or bathroom in order to make your property more attractive to tenants.
(If you do want to do that, we suggest that you seek advice from an accredited builder before starting on that journey.)
This article is about how to make the most of your space on a budget…and with limited construction skills!
1. Get yourself a vacuum cleaner, a hose, putty, sand paper and a tin of paint
Do you really need to knock walls down to make your property more attractive and liveable? No way! It’s amazing what a deep clean, a coat of paint and a little TLC can do.
For instance, cabinets are often the most expensive item in a kitchen, so...that’s where paint can save you a lot of money. You can keep your cabinet boxes and order custom door fronts, then finish them yourself.
Of course, you can’t polish a proverbial…that is, you can’t just start painting everything before you’ve sanded it back and tended to any holes that need filling.So, next time you’re out grocery shopping, drop into Bunnings and grab the following items:
- Tin of paint
- Tin of undercoat
- Paint rollers
- Paint tray
- Drop sheet
- Masking tape
INSTARENT PRO TIP: Don’t paint everything charcoal! Sure, neutral colours are less polarising than colours and yadda yadda yadda...but charcoal is overused and can come across as super drab in photos. While we’d steer away from bold, polarising choices - like red feature walls - don’t be afraid to use colour and pattern more subtly. That way, the space will look more inviting, while still matching most furniture.
2. Consider wall dividers
Open plan living spaces were popular in previous years, but the constraints of the pandemic have made homes with segmented rooms fashionable again.
If you’re pitching to families, consider installing some wall dividers in your open plan living spaces so that they can work and study from home more effectively.
3. Make sure you invest in a washing machine and dryer
There’s nothing worse than being locked down with no access to a private washing machine and dryer. After all, while laundrettes are cute and more environmentally-friendly, they’re definitely not pandemic-friendly.
Soon enough, your tenant will be stuck between wearing smelly, old clothes or braving a trip to the common area.
If you’re renting out a studio or a small apartment don’t have the space for both a washer and a dryer, consider a combined washer-dryer. You don’t want your tenant left with a lump of wet washing, especially in the cooler winter months.
4. Consider a wall bed
If you’re renting out a studio or a small apartment, installing a wall bed could make the world of difference.
With many urban professionals working from home, it’s important that you maximise the space in which they can work. After all, many workplaces have mandated that workers have access to zoom-friendly work spaces that are clean and presentable, with no beds, toilets, clothes or dishes in sight.
If your investment studio has a big bed plonked in the middle, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to compete with more pandemic-friendly spaces.
5. Be smart with your furniture
Are you wanting to bag some extra rent by furnishing the space?*
Furniture (and where you choose to place it) makes a big difference to your property. Often, it’s the one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to the functionality and aesthetic value of a living space, which is good news for DIY renovators.
If you are struggling to find furniture that fits, you can also consider customisable furniture stores - like Strictly Comfort, for instance - as they will have a look at your floor plans in order to make furniture that fits to your exact specifications.
We love Strictly Comfort because they specialise in sofa beds and in-built storage solutions, which can be a saving grace for owners of small studios and apartments.
While COVID has put a stop to travel, sofa beds still make a great addition to family homes. With many students and young people returning to their parents’ homes during lockdown, we think that sofa beds are a space-saving, pandemic-friendly product worth investing in.
*Obviously, furnishing your property is a risk, and not every landlord should take it. If you do choose to furnish your property, make sure that you don’t overcapitalise. There’s always a chase that you’ll find a tenant who insists on bringing their own furniture. In this case, you’ll want to have somewhere to store your goodies.
INSTARENT PRO TIP: Don’t cheap out! Furniture can elevate an ordinary room to a luxury living space.
6. Discover the magic of ornaments
There’s magic in well-placed, fresh towels and shiny new soap dispensers. Consider how you can use these objects - as well as vases, flowers, candles, mirrors and artworks - to elevate the space and make it look more luxurious, homely and/or contemporary.
Videos, blogs and mood boards are your best friend! If you want some inspiration, check out YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram. Alternatively, you can always tune into The Block.
You can also plan your own reno using programs such as Canva.
7. Consider heating...and cooling
Our homes have become our pretty prisons…the places where we eat, sleep, work, cook, play, relax and even exercise.
More than ever, temperature control is a priority for tenants, who not only want to stay comfortable during lockdown, but who want to support their immunity, as well. They can’t do that if they’re feeling chilly!
Regardless of whether your property is an old double brick home or a fibro shack, we suggest that you invest in some fans, heaters and/or an air con. Not all of them have to be installed by a professional!