Long-Term Maintenance Projects to Invest In – Top 3 Picks


San Diego rental home or property is just as important as caring for the home you live in yourself. Whether you rent out a single-family home, multi-family or other investment property, maintenance is an important part of extending its life and helps avoid having to make major repairs.

Long-term Rental Property Maintenance Projects

Even if you’re a property owner who keeps your rental in top condition, there will always be some normal wear and tear that accrues over time. A long-term maintenance plan will protect your property, help it withstand the test of time and continue to generate a positive cash flow for you for years to come.

Want to see the best return possible? Here are our top three long-term maintenance projects we think you should invest in.

Repaint Regularly

There are no “musts” about when or how often to repaint your investment property. For example, if you have long-term tenants, many would rather forego the disruption of an interior paint job, unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Though most professional paint jobs last seven to 10 years, rental property owners may find themselves repainting more often than a traditional homeowner. Aesthetically, a new coat of paint can make a property look newer and brighter, so to avoid deterioration and expensive replacement costs, keep any exterior wood regularly primed and painted.

Renter or owner, everyone loves to live in an attractive home. Whether you’re updating a few rooms, fixing damaged areas, or preparing for a new tenant, a fresh coat of interior paint every few years is a minimal invesment and a great way to keep everyone happy at home.

Upgrade Insulation

Not only will you save money on both heating and cooling costs, upgrading insulation lets you maximize the value of the renewable energy features for future projects.

If your property’s attic is unfinished, make sure there is sufficient insulation covering the entire space. It’s critical for controlling moisture, retaining heat, and ensuring proper ventilation. If there are bare spots, or if the existing insulation is damaged, consider adding more or replacing it. Proper ventilation can save you hundreds of dollars a year when you combine it with air sealing.

You can easily find and seal air leaks by caulking and/or weather-stripping all seams, cracks, and openings. The U.S. Department of Energy has some great tips for locating the leaks. The cost to have weather-stripping professional installed is minimal, especially when you consider that this simple fix can save you as much as 10 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Install Hardwood Floors

Today, many tenants prefer and look for properties that have hardwood floors — they’re a timeless classic that are well worth the investment. If your property already has hardwood floors beneath carpeting, refinishing is relatively inexpensive and has a 100 percent return on investment. Buying new costs a bit more, but the ROI is over 90 percent, and hardwood floors substantially increase a property’s value for resale.

There are a few things to consider before going the hardwood route:

  • What type of tenant will be living in the property?
  • What is the value of the rental property?
  • How much will it cost to refinish or install?

Tenants can be rough on hardwood floors. Fortunately, today’s flooring is built to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Perks include easier maintenance, durability, and eliminating the need to replace carpeting every few years. On the downside, wood is nosier than carpeting, so if you have multiple units on top of each other, the tenants on the lower floors may not be happy.

If you do go for bare floors, experts recommend purchasing real hardwood, not a plywood core and veneer. Why? Because the thicker the layer of real wood, the more times you can refinish it. And in a rental property, you may have to perform this maintenance more often than if it were your own home.

Learn More

These long-term maintenance projects are easy to do, will help keep your rental property in tip-top condition and increase its resale value. Have more questions?

Property Advantage provides full-service property management solutions for greater San Diego area property owners. In addition to comprehensive tenant screening, property marketing, and rent collections, we’ll help you coordinate regular maintenance on your property. To learn more about property management in the San Diego area, contact us today.

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