In the Market for a Rental Property? Here Are the Top Features to Look For in 2024
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
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Did you know there are more than 20 million rental properties across the U.S.? If you’ve been thinking about expanding your real estate investment portfolio to include a rental unit, now is a great time to do so.
However, before you can begin attracting qualified tenants and earning income, you need to find the right space. While there might be plenty of available properties, not all will appeal to your prospective tenants.
Today, we’re taking a look at the top features that renters are looking for so you can narrow down your options and find the best fit.
As every real estate investor knows, location is the #1 factor that will affect your rental price. Tenants are looking for homes that are not only beautiful and well-kept but meet their practical needs, as well.
While families with small children often value proximity to local schools and universities and professionals will need to be near their offices, there are also universal requirements that nearly every renter will appreciate. This includes close access to public transportation, shopping centers, grocery stores, and other amenities.
Additionally, the quality of the location is key. Even if it offers proximity to these locations, is it beside a very busy street? What is the quality of the homes surrounding it? Are there sidewalks? How is the surrounding landscaping? Are there local parks? All of these details affect your price, demand and ultimately your expected ROI from a rental property.
While location is key when reviewing potential properties, it’s equally critical to make sure the unit is in a safe, desirable neighborhood with a low crime rate. There’s no amount of convenience that can outweigh security.
If you select a unit with security features such as being part of a gated community or a building with 24-hour monitoring, be sure to mention those in your listing to maximize your perceived value to potential tenants.
While you might not be opposed to putting a little sweat equity into a rental home, you don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time or money repairing or renovating it. Ideally, the investment property you buy should be in solid structural condition, with a minimal number of immediate upgrades required.
In addition to the interior of the unit, be sure to check the exterior and any surrounding landscaping, too. Consider how much work will be required and whether you have the space in your schedule and budget to accommodate those demands.
Size and Layout
Before purchasing a unit, take the time to research your local rental market. Not only will this help you understand the current demand, average rates, and future growth forecast, but it can also shed light on your target demographic.
For instance, if most renters in your area are families with multiple children, you may need to focus only on properties with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, prioritizing roomier spaces and open-floor plan layouts.
Yet, while those units are ideal for large crews, they may not be as functional for single renters or couples. To cater to that demographic, you might look into studio apartments or homes with less square footage so you can keep your rates in line with competitors.
Increasingly, tenants are looking for move-in-ready units equipped with basic appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines. They’d also prefer for those machines to be new and energy-efficient, so they won’t have to worry about sky-high utility bills or excessive maintenance costs.
If the property you’re eyeing doesn’t include appliances, then it’s worth investing in them. If they’re there, consider whether you need to repair or replace them.
You may be able to charge a higher rate if you can advertise that these amenities are new and ready to use. If the unit is in a multi-family property, be sure to list any on-site amenities, such as laundry facilities, that tenants can access.
While open-air entertaining areas have always been high on the list of renter priorities, they catapulted to the top during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2020, online apartment searches for the term “outdoor space” have grown 143%.
Homes with lawns or back patios offer a degree of privacy and expand the property’s total liveable space. At an apartment complex, prized perks include balconies or rooftop terraces, as well as shared access to communal grounds and gardens.
Get Started With a Rental Loan
These are a few of the features discerning tenants will consider as they browse prospective properties. Investors who pay close attention to the rental market can optimize their earning potential and set the stage for sustainable, long-term profits.
Whether this is your very first acquisition or you’re looking to expand your portfolio, Temple View Capital is here to help. We offer industry-leading DSCR loans to help you secure short-term and long-term rental property financing. We also offer affordable landlord insurance to protect the unit and your peace of mind.
If you’re ready to learn more, tell us a little about yourself! One of our team members will reach out to you soon to begin this exciting conversation and help you take the next step.