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

A Newly Remodeled Kitchen in a Omaha Rental PropertyWith the rental market being so competitive, Omaha property owners sometimes believe that when they build a dream kitchen, it would attract higher-paying tenants. While these tenants do look at the kitchen and know that it is important, high-end or luxury upgrades rarely result in a higher rental rate. The exception to this is if your entire rental home has been upgraded in a similar fashion and is in a market that supports higher rent. But if it isn’t, then the better option is 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, for the most part, expensive materials such as granite and hardwood aren’t easy to maintain. Taking care of it is a lot of work and it still gets easily damaged. A homeowner may look at that as a good trade-off for living in a beautiful kitchen but most tenants would not. Tenants may not be in favor of having to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining that level of luxury. In addition, these materials also cost much to repair or replace, increasing your maintenance costs. This really isn’t a good option for a rental home.

There are many more reasons why creating your dream kitchen is not the best project for your rental property. Tenants tend to go for rental homes that have been designed to reduce the amount of upkeep needed. They still like quality appliances and updated features better. But quality and luxury aren’t the same things, and tenants are aware of this. This is why they look at a high-end kitchen as more of a hassle than a bonus. So, having a high-end kitchen alone does not warrant charging more in rent, and your tenants may not be willing to pay a higher rate for that feature alone.

There are other matters to consider when you are planning to remodel your kitchen. One of these is if the new kitchen doesn’t match the quality of the rest of the property. Inconsistent upgrades to your rental home could actually backfire. For example, a house has a really beautiful kitchen but it also has dingy, dated bathrooms or worn carpeting. A prospective tenant may see the house and think that the inconsistency is a red flag. They may think that you don’t have a complete rental home, but that you just have an unfinished project that isn’t ready to be lived in. Unless located in an upscale area, upgrading one room in the house also does very little to increase your property values as well.

You don’t have to spend big on a high-end kitchen, instead, consider doing a few simple updates instead. 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. Worn cabinets can be given a whole new look just by having it painted or resurfaced. For a fraction of the cost, you can immediately bring a dated kitchen into the present. The littlest things can make a difference. Simply placing in a new light fixture and drawer pulls can bring a lot of charm to a room and make it 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 conclusion. If you don’t have the budget to complete high-end upgrades on all the rooms of your investment property, the smarter choice would be to stick to quality mid-range improvements. Still, it’s a bit difficult to know which upgrades will add value to your rental property and whether or not it will correspond to rent increases. This is what the professional Omaha property managers at Real Property Management Legacy can help you with. 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 402-983-8365 for more information.

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