Upgrades to your Capitol Hill rental property might not be at the forefront of your mind right now with the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on our nation. However, at Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA, we know that we will not only survive this moment as a community, but we will continue to grow beyond it. Our capital has no shortage of residents looking for an elegant home for the long term.

That said, even during uncertain times, a landlord may not have a second chance to make a first impression. The most valuable “real estate” is the 30 seconds or so it takes for a renter to decide whether they are going to fall in love with your property. Investing in the value of this experience can often pay huge dividends.

Usually, a few upgrades can help push your rental from the “Hmmm, it’s okay,” to the “I love it!” category. However, how can you decide which rental property upgrades to make when it comes to your Capitol Hill houses for rent? The best property management companies in DC may be able to help you out as well. Here are some guidelines you may find useful from the Professional Landlords at Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA!

Appearances Matter

A rental property becomes an element of the renter’s identity as soon as they sign on the dotted line. In fact, it may even happen during the shopping process as they post pics of the rentals they’re considering on social media. A good-looking home can reflect well on those who live there. If you’re able to give tenants an aesthetically-pleasing property, they may be more willing to reach for their pens. 

To pretty-up your properties, you may want to break the target areas down into three basic categories:

The best property management companies in DC can help you figure out the best ways to maximize each of these improvements when it comes to your Capitol Hill houses for rent. With years of experience comes knowledge that can be put to work on your behalf.

Georgetown historical townhouses Washington DC

The Exterior of the Building

The outside of the building has two essential functions: It protects the inside and the structural elements of the building, and it presents a pleasing façade to those who live there and go by the property. With some upgrades, you can cover both bases, and others are simply necessary if you want to accomplish one or the other. Here are some of the best exterior upgrades for Capitol Hill houses for rent.

A Fresh Paint Job

Paint is an often-underrated improvement tool. A new paint job not only covers over dull or faded areas, but it can also uplift the overall appearance by giving it a fresh or attention-grabbing color. Colorful and tasteful brick has long been a staple of Capitol Hill properties.

The right paint job can make your rental pop out from other properties or better blend in with the homes around it—either of which can help make your home a desirable asset, depending on your ideal renter and the flavor of the street your property is located on. Be careful to make sure the trim and main colors complement each other: clashing colors can ruin an otherwise nice paint job.

New Gutters

A new set of gutters looks great and helps maintain both the exterior and interior of your property. For the outside, new gutters help prevent streaks that form from water streaming down the sides of the building, encouraging the growth of mold, mildew, and algae that can be tough to get out. New gutters can also be used to channel water to areas that could benefit from a little extra irrigation, such as flower beds, shrubbery, or other types of small gardens.

Gutters also protect the structure of the building because they keep water from running directly into the basement (if you happen to have one), corroding the foundation—or ruining wood siding or a brick veneer.

Mans Hand Painting
New Exterior Window Trim

While new windows are often a worthwhile investment, the trim is the first thing a new renter sees while checking out the windows. If the trim is misshapen, warped, cracked, or broken, fixing it may improve the energy efficiency of the home or help prevent water from getting behind any siding and rotting out plywood underneath. This is typically the case when the trim has—or should have—flashing that directs water over or past it. Therefore, you can often upgrade both the façade and condition of the property if you give some attention to the trim.

The Interior of the Units

Inside each unit, there are specific things that tend to grab people’s attention. You should focus on getting the most bang for your buck, and “bang” equals the “wow” factor. When someone walks into the kitchen, for example, you can “wow” them with newly-faced cabinets. This often costs much less than getting new cabinets altogether and has the same visual effect.

You can also help tie in the metallic color scheme of the kitchen area or home in general by carefully choosing the right color and texture metal fixtures and handles. Brushed nickel looks great, but if it’s set next to distressed copper, its beauty may be lost in the clash. When you’re marketing Capitol Hill houses for rent, these kinds of design differences matter.

The Landscaping

Upgrading the landscaping (if your property has the space for it) is an easy way to improve the rental appeal of your property. It may take a little time to grow the plants and shrubs you need, but if time isn’t a commodity you can afford, you can invest a little more upfront for fully mature greenery and flowers. A little digging and planting can give your property a boost over the course of a weekend.

What’s Your Next Move?

Of course, beyond these few upgrades, recommendations on an individual basis are also useful to maximize the rent potential of your Capitol Hill property. The best property management companies in DC can suggest effective property upgrades that can help you get a handsome ROI.

Before upgrading the exterior, interior, and the landscaping of your properties, you may want to touch base with your property management partner to ensure the upgrades you’ve chosen will actually benefit you in the form of your returns. Maximizing your Rent Estate™ income during a time of uncertainty can help property owners land on their feet.

At Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA, we have both the resources and experience to help guide you in making the most profitable upgrades! However, we also provide the tools you need to ensure your new residents move into a home that’s ready to rent once you’ve found your ideal renter.

That’s exactly why we offer our Make-Ready Checklist absolutely free! After you’ve found your next renter, preparing your property for move-in day has never been easier! With all the stress surrounding COVID-19, we want to help the property owners we serve to reduce their workload. When you download your free copy of our Make-Ready Checklist, you can use the tools the professionals employ to prep your rental.