Today's Question: How do I make my home rent ready?

How can I update my home for a rental at a reasonable price? As a San Diego property management company, we are asked this question a lot and we can help! Below are tips of ours that we have been doing for years to update homes that we own, manage, improve & sell.

1. Painting the interior- neutral colors

The first tip we share with our clients is a fresh coat of paint goes a long way! It brightens up the interior and gives the home a new fresh feel. We recommend a neutral color palette especially in rentals since neutral colors appeal to the majority of renters, and will most likely go with their decor. Pick a quality paint brand such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. We typically will choose a color from these brands & have it matched at Home Depot, BEHR. We prefer the BEHR-primer in one for less steps! An interior designer/colorist here in San Diego who we love is Paul owner of Scout Design. Colors we like are, Benjamin Moore- Manchester Tan HC-81, Glidden-Toasted White , and BEHR Ashen Tan N220-2.

For trim we recommend, Benjamin Moore-Mayonnaise OC-85 & Swiss Coffee OC-45.

For Beams we suggest BEHR-Padre Brown SC-105

How to make your home rent ready

2. Update to modern light fixtures

Updated lighting can change the entire look of a home. Lighting affects people’s mood, good or bad when entering a home, and you want their experience to be a great one! We highly suggest putting a dimmer on most all of your lighting, the dimmer effect expands small spaces & creates an elegant ambiance. Don’t be afraid to change up the lighting with a modern twist or a trendy pendent! Step outside the box when purchasing lighting. We recommend Lamps Plus, they have a great selection!

Updated lighting

Upgraded lighting fixture

Upgraded lights

From Ikea:

3. Painting Kitchen cabinets & adding new hardware

Dingy cabinets are a thing of the past. Millennial’s are looking for modern & trendy rentals. Oak cabinets are out but not to worry, you do not need to buy new cabinets. If your cabinets are in good shape but a bit out dated you can paint them. Kitchen Cabinet colors we suggest are an off white such as Benjamin Moore- Swiss Coffee OC-45 or two toned where you paint the upper cabinets Swiss Coffee & the lower cabinets a dark gray, Sherwin Williams- Berlin CL 3226N or Peppercorn SW 7674. If you have an island, great, do an accent color in contrast to the cabinets.

Old kitchen cabinets

New kitchen cabinets

New Hardware is a must! You can purchase a contractor set of hardware from your local home improvement store, we prefer hardware with a modern twist.

New hardware is a must

4. Quartz countertops

Do you have old/tired looking countertops? Quartz is the answer. Granite is out and quartz is in! Quartz can be cheaper than granite & has a fresh new look with no maintenance! In San Diego we recommend Rainbow Stone as they have an excellent selection of quartz. . We suggest Crystal White & Roman Slate especially with Swiss Coffee cabinets. (Pictured/Roman Slate). When purchasing quartz we highly recommend purchasing a new single sink! Also update your Kitchen faucet. Fixtures, fixtures, fixtures! Go with a modern twist, especially with a pull down, we suggest from Lowe’s.

Quartz counter tops

5. Removing Carpet & install engineered or laminate flooring

Carpet is out! The majority of our renters ask for homes with no carpet. Carpet gets dirty, has allergens & is not what the modern renter is looking for, plus over time carpet cleaning can get expensive. Rip out the carpet! If you have hard wood floors underneath great! You can refinish the wood floors. If not, an inexpensive alternative to wood floors is engineered flooring. Costco has great engineered flooring & laminate flooring which have both come along way, click below for a link to a modern look on flooring we prefer Camden Oak & Mill Creek Maple. Home Depot & Lowe’s also have similar flooring options to consider.Camden Oak

Mill Creek Maple

6. Removing blinds and putting up curtain rods

Blinds are expensive and break all the time. They are a hassle for us and our renters. Remove your blinds! Put up curtain rods! Your renters will supply their own curtains. Bed Bath & Beyond have a great selection of curtain rods & you can save with their 20% discount cards! We recommend Bronze or brushed nickel depending on the home.

7. Updating Kitchen appliances, stainless steel

Stainless steel appliances are a must! Stay away from electric stove top! The majority of renters love gas cooking. We purchase the majority of our appliances from Lowe’s. You can shop the “bone yard” where you can find discounted appliances. Also shop Lowe’s when they have holiday pricing! Such as black Friday DEALS.

8. Xeriscaping

California is in a drought with strict water restrictions. Potential renters do not want to pay to water your lawn. Take out your grass and add succulents and a drip system. This reduces your cost for a gardener/maintenance & requires very little ongoing maintenance for the owner.


Insider Tips

  • Ask for a discount, the worst a vendor can say is no! Doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Budget, Budget, budget!
  • If you hire a crew, make sure you stop in & supervise!