Choosing the right products and features is an important step in the investment process, as it will ultimately save investors and tenants both time and money.
Investors are often concerned with the selection of products, fixtures and fittings for their investment property to make sure it will appeal to tenants, but often forget to consider the really important factors such as efficient, low maintenance, long lasting, high wearing and easy to replace.
Max Pirone, shares his top tips and suggestions for choosing the right products and features for your investment property.
Things to consider:
Orientation & Energy Efficiency
- If possible build your investment property on a north-south facing block and make sure your living areas are north-facing as it’s better for energy efficiency and natural sunlight
- Carefully choose the position of your windows plus your window treatments as it will affect natural light, impact heating and cooling plus influence your energy rating
- Always aim for a six star energy rating in all new homes to do the right thing by the environment and keep the energy costs low for your tenants
- Choose light coloured roofing over dark Colorbond or tiles to minimise heat absorption and increased cooling costs
- Insulating the property is a must to balance heating and cooling.
- Always choose simple, neutral colours as they lighten the room and will easily complement most individual tastes and differing styles
- Roller blinds are cost effective, look smart and are very easy to replace
- Vinyl window treatments are easy to clean
- Venetians and vertical blinds can break easily and are often difficult to clean so they are not recommended for investment properties.
- Choose neutral tiles over floorboards as they are easy to keep clean and show less wear and tear
- Only include carpet in the bedrooms, keep the colour neutral and make sure the carpet is medium length or loop pile so it doesn’t leave furniture marks
- Larger tiles are recommended as they have less grout and are easier to keep clean
- Include skirting boards as they act as a buffer for scuff marks created by vacuum cleaners
- Include door matts around your property as they keep dirt away from high traffic areas. Carpet suppliers can often provide offcuts or discounted stock matts.
Kitchens and Appliances
- Go for middle of the range, reputable appliances offering good warranties. High end or cheaper products might be appealing but parts and servicing may prove costly
- Choose stainless steel appliances over white as they are more contemporary and include a dishwasher as it appeals to tenants and prevents dishes being left on surfaces where water can seep into seals and discolour surfaces
- Allow for plenty of bench space and choose stone over laminate in neutral colours such as cream and cappuccino. It may cost more but it is far more appealing and durable
- Avoid bright coloured splashbacks as they don’t suit all tastes and date quickly.
In the Bathroom
- Feature darker colours on the floor and lighter walls with larger tiles to minimise grouting and cleaning
- A double shower and vanity in the ensuite is a strong selling point
- Always include a bath in the master bathroom to cater to families with young children
- Include a separate toilet for guests where possible and keep it away from personal areas so guests do not need to walk through bedrooms to access it
- Ensure all fixtures and fittings are middle of the range, good quality and easy to replace.
- Avoid down lights if possible as they look great but aren’t energy efficient, blow easily and can be difficult to replace
- Oyster lighting offers an attractive fitting which is very practical and the globes are easy to replace if they blow
- Make sure you don’t put lighting in places that can’t be reached with a ladder
- Leave replacement bulbs for your tenants.
- Introduce gates for improved security and include pathways around the home in neutral colours as they provide easy access and help to reduce weeds
- Choose waterwise plants that look good and don’t grow too fast so your tenant won’t be burdened with excessive amounts of maintenance.
In the Garden
- Select non-deciduous plants so they don’t lose their leaves (less maintenance) and it keeps the garden looking green
- Avoid water features as they look good but are noisy, require cleaning and may attract insects
- Keep reticulation away from the house and windows to avoid water seepage and excess mould
- Choose stones over mulch. They may be a bit more expensive but they reduce the amount of weeds and can be sprayed to keep weeds away
- Look online or in the classified to find cheap plants and products.
- Don’t exclude the opportunity of finding excellent tenants by preventing pets as some animals are often neater than humans!
- If you are worried about damage caused by pets introduce an appropriate pet bond or stipulate what type of pets are allowed in the home
- Introduce portable pet doors to accommodate animals as it gives them greater access and helps to avoid bored and destructive behaviour
- Pets often provide great security and might protect your property from unwanted break-ins!
- If you are highly organised, leave your tenant a ‘maintenance file’ with important and useful information such as warranties and manuals, carpet swatches, paint colours, laminates, test pots of paints for minor touch-ups, emergency contacts, recycling tips and more!
DISCLAIMER: This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. We strongly recommend that you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.