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What Renters Look For in Their Rental Homes

Perfect Home with a Covered Porch

For real estate investors in North Carolina, property investment has never been safer. The Triad currently boasts a booming job market and affordable living, attracting more and more house hunters looking to rent. Read on for what potential tenants are looking for in single-family rentals so you can get the most return on your investment.

Short Distance to Amenities

Location will be any tenant’s number one priority. Invest in a property within close proximity to job sites or transportation. Renters also want to be close to the things that make life meaningful, so they’re looking at the potential for quick grocery trips, as well as reasonable walking distance to entertainment and recreation areas.

You can research the Walk Score of your property’s neighborhood. A score between 50-100 implies a short walk to popular amenities, while anything lower indicates your tenant will have to rely on a car. When your property has a decent walk score, you can charge more rent for the convenience. A property manager can handle this piece for you by assessing your investment property’s value.

Safe Neighborhood

Neighborhood Watch SignAs a landlord, you can help to make a rented house feel like home. Look for cost-effective ways to reassure your tenants that your property is safe to live in. For starters, it’s important to know the actual crime statistics surrounding your investment property. Be wary of rates for car break-ins or home invasions, as well as any robberies or assault.

The crime rate can indicate the severity of safety measures you should take to protect your property and your tenants. There are a few basics to cover any residential unit: efficient outdoor lighting, a quality alarm and/or patrol service, a deadbolt, and a privacy fence, for example.

A property manager can conduct quality tenant screening and regular home inspections to maintain and improve your property’s security.

Good Schools

To truly attract long-term, quality tenants, invest in a property with the best public schools nearby. Families who would be looking into a high-ranked education typically plan to put down roots in the area, so they’re less likely to break their lease. These renters also tend to be quieter, take better care of their property, and make payments on time, in full.

A good school is also a mutual benefit for the landlord because it’s a strong indicator of high public funding and neighborhood quality. Both allow you to charge more rent.

Available Parking

If tenants are putting down money for a single-family rental, they’ll expect assigned or off-street parking. If your investment property is an urban area, you should be able to suggest parking garages within at last 5-6 city blocks.

Verify the parking rules allowed in your property’s surrounding area, including where a tenant’s guests can park, and what tenants should do if their spot is taken or their vehicle is towed. Implying concern for your tenant’s property will help to strengthen your relationship.

Speedy and Efficient Upgrades

From knobs to cabinetry, tenants love the feeling of newness. It implies the property is clean, well-maintained, and theirs to nest in. Even if your property is a bit aged, upgrades in hardware and finishes will be sure to make your property stand out. A spotless, refurbished property also sets the parameters for upkeep, so you’ll draw quality tenants.

Make sure you have upgrades or renovations done between showings. Tenants will expect fast fixes and their first impression of your property shouldn’t be that you let things rust, break, or otherwise fall into disrepair. They also don’t want to be told that you or a maintenance crew will be interrupting their lives after they sign. A property manager can coordinate timely maintenance inspections and requests.

Generous Appliances

Another way to attract tenants and keep your property from looking dated? Keep plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems running. Reliable appliances will save both you and your tenant time and money. For example, an air conditioner or an in-unit washer and dryer will all immediately set you apart from the competition and add value to your property, but it also makes your tenant’s life easier.

Opting for energy efficient and low-flow fixtures is also an easy way to market your property. A property manager can help to play up your property’s key attributes with a comprehensive marketing plan. They’ll also keep you in the know about opportunities to modernize appliances.

Natural Lighting and Outdoor Areas

Brighter lighting and access to the great outdoors will put your tenants in a better mood. Who doesn’t love happy tenants? Invest in a property with an open floor plan and large windows, or have the property assessed so you can find ways to work in these features. For example, you might take down a wall to combine your kitchen and living areas. A property with a porch, side yard, or balcony will also increase the appeal and square footage of your space, allowing you to charge more. A feeling of freshness and openness will encourage tenants to feel more productive, sociable, and relaxed. It’s a win-win.

Pet Friendliness

Cute dog giving five with paw to a senior man at dining table with food in small plate in front of himSixty-five percent of people own a pet, which means forbidding animals from taking up residence in your property only hurts your business. You’ll disqualify a lot of families and millennials, who make top-notch renters. Rather than take your property out of the running, invest a residential unit with a large yard or within close proximity to a dog park. You can also replace the flooring with tile or bamboo hardwood that is stain and scratch resistant.

Allowing pets also gives you the opportunity to charge more for pet deposits, fees, and rent. Pet-friendly policies will fill your unit faster, and appeal to both pet owners and those considering ownership.

In Conclusion

Another hidden feature tenants look for in a rental property? A trustworthy landlord or property manager. Implying a positive relationship with your potential tenant will get them to sign quicker. RPM of the Triad can handle every facet of tenant relationships, including timely repairs and adjusting for a reasonable cost. We’ll also screen and interview tenants to make sure you get the most out of your return. Contact us today for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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