Adding value to your buy-to-let on a budget

New Home

The rental market in the UK is not short of properties. If you have a buy-to-let investment, you may be up against some stiff competition when attracting potential tenants. So, what can you do to add value to your property and make it stand out amongst the rest?

When making changes to your buy-to-let, it’s important to strike the balance between adding value and spending money on pointless changes. You want to know that whatever you invest in is going to make a difference. Here are a few easy-wins for you to consider when giving your property the edge…

Hard floors for the win

If you have carpets in your buy-to-let, you may want to reconsider – at least in the downstairs area of the property. Although carpets feel cosy, look great and retain the heat, they also trap odours and are prone to staining and discolouration. When you are leaving your property in the hands of a stream of different tenants, there’s no knowing what your carpets will look like at the end of each tenancy. Unless you don’t mind replacing them every few years, you might want to stick to laminate or other hard floorings instead.

The great thing about laminate or other hard floorings is that you can get your hands on a huge range of contemporary styles and colours to suit any taste. They are easy to maintain and keep clean and are also pretty easy to install, so no need to pay out for professional fitters. Tenants can add the cosiness and warmth back in with their own choice of rugs.

All of the lights

Ever walked into a badly lit property and just felt flat? Lighting within a property is really important. Natural light is always best – it’s actually really great for our health and wellbeing. Nothing beats the sun streaming into a room through the windows and lighting it right up. Could you install a skylight somewhere within a living space to invite the natural light in? If so, this would be a worthwhile investment.

As for artificial light, don’t scrimp on light fittings. Spotlights are a good option for kitchen and bathrooms as they reflect off shiny surfaces and create an upmarket feel. In bedrooms and living rooms, you’ll want to create a softer vibe. Choose some high quality warm light bulbs, as opposed to cool ones. They will create a soft, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere where it’s needed most.

Front of house

In an ideal world, your tenant will fall in love before they even open the front door. Even if your buy-to-let is just a standard looking property on a row of carbon copies, make it stand out! Who wouldn’t want to live in the prettiest house on the street?

It’s not easy, or even possible, to paint all front doors – but if you can give yours a lick of paint and a nice colour then this is a good place to start. Something neutral and stylish like a grey, navy blue or muted sage green would look really on-trend. Perhaps put a few low maintenance potted plants or bushes by the entrance to the property, or even fix some hanging topiary balls either side of the door. A unique door-knocker can also be a real attraction for tenants.

Maximise the property’s features

Is there anything within your property that you can maximise and make a design feature? This could be anything from creating a utility space in a garage or downstairs toilet, a basement or cellar that you could convert into a games room or second living space. If you don’t have a feature to maximise, create one! Maybe install a wine fridge or install some smart security, heating and lighting systems to market your the property as a ‘smart home’.

Remember though, when adding anything like this into your buy-to-let, you do put it at risk of being damaged. Be sure that you have all the right contents insurance in place and compare landlord insurance quotes to make sure you have the best price.

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