Home Improvements Increasing Property Value & Rent

Iris M. | Monday, November 16, 2020

During 2020, home values increased to 6.5 percent nationwide from 5.5 percent in 2019. In 2020, rental vacancy rates reported a one percent drop compared to the same time in 2019. Fueling these real estate market trends are home improvements, preferred lifestyles, and low housing inventory.

According to national data resources, based on the size, design quality, and region, property owners can expect to raise home values and recoup 50 to 70 percent of the home improvement cost. For example, budgeting $20,000 on a kitchen remodel can add $14,000 (70 percent) or more to the property value.

The top choices for best returns on property renovations are kitchens, bathrooms and flooring for interiors. Doors and windows that offer curb appeal and energy-saving options are best for exteriors. Depending on the project's complexity and the property owner's DIY skills, most home improvements require a professional contractor's experience. 

Kitchen Trends

Kitchen Trends

Popular kitchen styling includes traditional, contemporary, and modern. Cabinets top the list for home improvements, whether it's a partial makeover or an entirely new look.

  • Customize cabinets with space-saving pull-out drawers and pantry shelves. Pick quality material, finishes and hardware for function and style.
  • Countertops made of granite are a good value option for high-end rental property compared to the cost of marble. Or choose an upgraded laminate with the look of granite. 
  • Backsplashes are in demand for customizing a kitchen using sleek lines, vivid colors, and textures. They also serve as wall protectors helping to reduce wall repair and maintenance.

Bath Vogues

Bath Vogues

Second only to remodeled kitchens are baths. Energy-efficient fixtures and hardware add value and a new look to rental properties. Minimalist designs incorporate cabinets and mirrors to create an appearance of having more space.

  • Freestanding multi-drawer sink-cabinets with an open bottom shelf adds function and extra storage. Add a contemporary look to a small bathroom with a floating vanity mounted to the wall.
  • Outdated shower and tub designs can easily be converted to a walk-in shower.  If the room space is limited, consider a cost-effective prefab design for showers, baths, or combinations.
  • Flooring selections from laminates, tiles, or vinyl plank like this Spalted Maple, are added value rental features for baths, increasing its visual impact with functional comforts.

Window Designs

Window Designs

Choose a window that enhances the natural light in any room for picturesque effects. Property value features include improving the home's insulation and energy savings while quieting the outside noises.

  • Vinyl windows are popular, durable, affordable, and low maintenance.
  • Fiberglass is resistant to external weather conditions and rust offering longevity.
  • Wood is a classic home feature requiring routine upkeep to keep its appearance.

Door Types

Door Types

Doors range in designs for interior and exterior functions. Choose the material, artistry, color, and style that fits the budget and complements the property's character. 

  • Traditional doors are designed to capture attention (curb appeal) with unique designs and glass patterns.
  • French doors have a long tradition of creating privacy between interior rooms or adjoining outside settings.
  • Barn doors that slide from side to side are an easy DIY installation adding a touch of interior country charm.


Landlords looking to increase property values and tenant allure need to stay current on lifestyle trends and maintenance. Always choose quality products.

About The Author

Iris M. During her early career, she held management positions in Corporate Facilities, responsible for tenant improvement (TI) and company logistics from conception to completion of each project. Duties included project reviews, design approvals and site inspections. She worked directly with various trades, project bidding and managing contract reviews.

The projects included government facilities, commercial structures and residential homes. Today, she writes content for site development and renovations supporting Green efforts and DIY articles.


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