Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Dream Projects with Purpose: Why the Kitchen in Your Berwyn Rental Property Isn’t Worth It

A Newly Remodeled Kitchen in a Berwyn Rental PropertyWith Berwyn property owners wanting to get ahead in a competitive rental market, some of them think that building a dream kitchen would attract higher-paying tenants. Good tenants do inspect the kitchen and want it to be high-quality, but there is a difference between high-quality and luxury. The truth is, high-end or luxury upgrades rarely result in a higher rental rate. The exception to this rule is if the market you’re in can support higher rent. If this is where you are, you’ll need to upgrade your entire rental home as well. However, if you aren’t competing in this up-scale market, your best option is to create a kitchen that features less expensive and more durable elements.

Homeowners often dream of upgrading their kitchens with high-end cabinets, appliances, countertops, and flooring. But, as is usually the case, expensive materials such as granite and hardwood are really difficult to maintain. The upkeep takes so much work and they still get damaged easily. While some homeowners may find living in a beautiful kitchen is worth all that work, tenants may not feel the same way. Materials that cost so much to repair or replace aren’t ideal for a rental home. It increases your maintenance costs and gives the responsibility of maintaining that level of luxury to the tenants— something they may not appreciate.

There are additional reasons why creating your dream kitchen is not the best project for your rental property. Tenants often prefer rental homes designed to reduce the amount of upkeep. They do still prefer quality appliances and updated features. But quality and luxury are two different things, and tenants tend to view a high-end kitchen as more of a hassle than a bonus. So, even though it may seem that having a high-end kitchen will let you charge more rent, your tenants may not be willing to pay a higher rate for that feature alone.

There are other issues that would come about when you are planning to remodel your kitchen but don’t match its quality to the rest of the rental property. Inconsistent upgrades would actually put the rental property at a disadvantage. For example, a house has a really beautiful kitchen but it also has dingy, dated bathrooms or worn carpeting. A prospective tenant may see the house and think that the inconsistency is a red flag. They may look at the house and think that it is an unfinished project and not a complete rental home ready to be lived in. Upgrading one room in the house, particularly if it isn’t located in an upscale area, does little to increase your property values.

You don’t need to spend big on a high-end kitchen. Instead, think about doing a few simple updates. An inexpensive and durable countertop and floor, a matching set of new appliances, and some new fixtures can make an older kitchen feel fresh and modern. You can give a worn cabinet an updated look by simply painting or resurfacing it. This will instantly bring a dated kitchen into the present for only a fraction of the cost. Don’t think that the little things have no effect. Even a new light fixture and drawer pulls can do a lot to add charm and give the room an updated feel. The additional benefit to this is peace-of-mind since you no longer have to worry about your tenant damaging your expensive tile, stainless steel appliances, or granite countertops.

Here’s the conclusion. If you don’t have the budget to complete high-end upgrades on all the rooms of your investment property, the smarter choice would be to stick to quality mid-range improvements. Still, it’s not easy to figure out which upgrades add value to your rental property— which corresponds to rent increases. This is where the professional Berwyn property managers at Real Property Management Chicago Edge can be of service. Our industry expertise and quality remodeling contractors can assist you in determining the best ways to upgrade your rental property to optimize your rental rates and increase your property values. Contact us or call us at 773-904-7700 for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.