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Rental properties that already have an upgraded kitchen hold a market advantage to attract tenants that care about their home and the image it presents to their friends.  Creating affordable and esthetic modifications to a homes’ kitchen is an investment that will pay dividends to attract and retain quality tenants for you in the years to come.

Cabinets – Fortunately, there are a few cost-effective changes you can make, which will give the updated look a tenant craves with significantly less cost to accomplish this strategy. To update the cabinets, you will not need to replace them to change the look of the kitchen.  Consider refacing the cabinets by replacing the cabinet doors and leave the cabinet bases in place.   A fresh coat of paint in a new neutral color can dramatically change the look. Anything too bright or distinctive can clash with a tenant’s color pallet of their furnishings.  Keep it simple yet elegant.

Countertops – By adding new wall backsplash and countertops, you can further enhance the impact of your cabinet refacing. Remember that trends come and go, so if you are still looking at black granite countertops or wallpaper backsplashes, you can lighten them up.  Countertops vary in price and durability.  Getting the most expensive top is not necessary.  Choose a builder grade quality countertop and keep the pattern or color to a more subdued tone.  Let the countertop supplier know it’s for a rental property so they can suggest the best value options. Backsplashes vary widely from subway tile to stacked stone or colored glass.  It’s best to stay with subtle colors and textures with light gray, light blue, and sand tone colors. Coordinating these accents will quickly change the esthetic feel of the space and present a contemporary appeal.

Lighting – Now is the time to remove the old-style fluorescent lights and replace them with some of the latest options in kitchen lighting fixtures.  There are a variety of options from hanging chandeliers to ceiling-mounted LED lights, ceiling can light, and wall accent lights.  There are so many fixtures to choose from!  A local lighting fixture store can help you fit the fixture to the space you are working to accent.

Hardware – The finishing touch to your new cabinets will be selecting new cabinet knobs, pulls and door hinges on cabinets and drawers.  These accents are an important change that will add the contemporary style to the kitchen so that it will accentuate the desirability of this home’s lifestyle to a prospective tenant.

Appliances – Outdated black or white appliances can depress the visual appeal of a kitchen.  The good news is that modern stainless-steel appliances have become more affordable.  You do not need to purchase high-end appliances in an annual rental property for it to be appealing.  Always choose a mid-level price point from quality appliance brands so that they will last 10 years or longer.

Adding a few contemporary updates to the kitchen can be affordable.  Take a quick inventory of the kitchen space needing a new look and explore how just a few strategic changes make a huge difference in the look and feel of your rental property.  Tenants today are looking for updated kitchens that give the impression of life in 2020; not 1990!  To enhance your market position for a competitive advantage, and higher lease rates, influence prospective tenants’ tour, and home selection choice, by offering a lifestyle they are willing to mentally and emotionally adopt.  We hope this information helps you in your decision process on how to update the kitchen in your annual rental property.