In the current Australian housing market, it’s not surprising if you’ve been surreptitiously comparing home loans and thinking about buying a house to rent out.
The rental market at the moment is certainly an investors’ market, with rents rising all around the country. As Real Estate Institute of Australia President Peter Bushby pointed out earlier this month: “Median house rents increased in most of the capital cities and solid increases were also seen in rents for other dwellings.”
Indeed, a number of key markets saw tightening rental conditions over the March quarter. Data from the Victorian Department of Human Services found that Melbourne’s rent increased by an average of $5 a quarter over the last four quarters, and the whole of Victoria saw close to a two percent rise in annual rent prices. In addition to this, state government figures found weekly rent in New South Wales climbed 1.2 percent over the March quarter, and 3.8 percent in the last year.
But one shouldn’t simply rely on the market to do all the work. If you’ve got a rental property, or are planning to refinance your home loan so you can get one, there are a few things you can do to increase its value.
Appliances might seem like an afterthought, but in fact they can greatly improve your property’s value. If your rental property had whiteware supplied, you could potentially charge more rent for it, as appliances are quite sought after by tenants. Think dishwashers, a heat-pump or even a washing machine.
If you don’t happen to have, or could not afford, new and modern appliances to show off, all is not lost. Think about finding some modern and still very functional appliances that have been bought second hand. There’s also the option of refurbished items, too.
Get the property spick and span
As anyone who’s been to an open home or even stayed at a hotel can attest to, a property’s condition can be a make or break feature. A dingy bathroom with yellowing walls and outdated decor can emanate an unhygienic vibe, while stained carpets and peeling kitchen cabinets can send many tenants straight out the front door. The bathroom, more than any other room, has to feel clean, safe and comforting. So if you are using a home loan calculator, you might want to also factor in the cost for home alterations.
Even something as simple as fresh carpet or a new shower curtain and refinished kitchen countertops can leave the right kind of impression on a renter. You could also install new curtains and other fixtures to make it feel that much more modern.