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Investment Strategy

Landlord Decorating Tips And Money-Saving Tricks

As a landlord, decorating a property to let out is as much about making the ongoing maintenance as easy and cost-effective as possible, as it is about attracting new tenants.

When you over-personalize the decor, you immediately alienate a proportion of potential tenants, so, when decorating a rental property, less is most certainly more. You are essentially trying to create a blank canvas for tenants to make their own, so the more neutral the tones and theme is, the better.

It’s also important to consider the ongoing costs of maintaining the property because even the most well-meaning tenants will have accidents and cause general wear and tear.

Here are some top tips for decorating a rental and how to save some money along the way.

Photo by Woodendot on Unsplash

Paint it

There is a good reason why most rentals are painted and not wallpapered – it’s far easier to refresh or touch up the walls in between tenancies when they are painted. Wallpapering involves re-papering large sections or whole walls. Painting is typically cheaper, too.

Keep it neutral

Love it or hate it, there’s a good reason why magnolia paint is a common decorating choice for rentals. It’s a subtle, inoffensive color that compliments any style of furnishings, from traditional to modern. It allows tenants to personalize their space without having to worry about any color clashes.

If magnolia really isn’t your thing, very pale greys or creams work well, too.

Stick to one color

For one property, this isn’t essential, but if you have multiple properties to let, it is a great time and money saver to stick to one color throughout. Buying in bulk and always having the right paint on hand for touch-ups is a breeze when you stick to one shade across your properties. Choosing something common and classic also avoids the headache of a shade or brand becoming unavailable.

Snap up paint and accessory deals

Big paint brands often run promotions, particularly seasonally. These typically pop up when the wider population is coming out of hibernation in spring and early summer, and ready to rejuvenate their homes.

So, keep an eye out for paint sales and promotions and stock up, including any accessories you will inevitably use down the track. If you can save money buying up in bulk then do so, you’ll always use it down the track, particularly if you’ve stuck to the one color throughout multiple properties.

Actually… shop around for decorating deals on everything!

There are a staggering array of sizable discounts and deals on just about everything if you take a moment to shop around. The costs of preparing a property for rent can really add up, so make sure you take advantage of whatever deals are on offer. Hunt for deals on large purchases such as coupons for furniture and appliances, as well as keeping an eye out for seasonal promotions and bulk purchase savings.

Go for gloss

When it comes to moldings, baseboards, and doors, opting for gloss paint can keep the maintenance costs down, as they are typically harder wearing and easier to wipe down.

Water-based paints are easier to work with, avoiding nasty fumes and big clean-ups with solvents, however, they do take longer to cure and won’t be fully hardened for up to several weeks. This may be a problem if you have tenants moving in sooner, so consider this before choosing your paint.

Oil-based gloss paints are particularly tough but can yellow over time, so it really is a toss-up depending upon your time frame and preferences.

Consider varnishing instead

You could decide to skip painting all the trimmings altogether! Natural pine moldings and baseboards that are finished with a stain and varnish can look perfectly attractive and are great at hiding scrapes, marks, and general wear and tear, often much better than paint does.

Invest in a paint sprayer

If you are managing several properties, investing in a good quality paint-sprayer may be money well-spent in the long run. Paint sprayers make decorating large areas considerably easier, and if you’ve stuck to one color throughout, the job of refreshing between tenants will be even easier still.

Use tiles wherever you can

Wherever possible, opt for tiles, especially in rooms that are prone to mold, like kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms.

Tiles are far more durable, easier to maintain, and resistant to infestations. Dark tiles with dark-colored grouting are always preferable as white and light grouting can start looking grubby quickly.

Photo by intan Indiastuti on Unsplash

Spend a bit extra on good quality flooring

It will likely save you money to invest a little extra in good quality flooring for your rentals. Floors get the most wear and tear in any property, so opting for extra thick and durable rugs and carpets can add years to their use. Dark laminate flooring is also a durable solution.

Avoid overly cheap fittings

Again, this might not be an upfront saving, but in the long run, using cheap, flimsy fittings such as taps, tends to be a false economy and cost you twice as much in call-outs, repairs, and replacements. Repairs and replacements can really blow rental property expenses up unless you buy right the first time. Good quality, solid taps should last forever!

Ultimately, managing property is all about both the long and short-term bottom line, and whilst saving money upfront is important, playing the long game and shopping with long-term maintenance in mind is also key to greater profit margins.

Rental Management

Ben Luxon

Ben is the editor and lead writer for Landlord Studio. He has worked with real estate professionals all over the world and written educational articles on tech, real estate, and financial growth for sites such as Forbes, TechBullion, and Business Magazine.

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