When choosing a home design for your investment property, it’s important to keep your tenants in mind and favour functionality and practicality above all else. While it’s lovely to have a property that has all the bells and whistles, if it’s not functional you will struggle to secure good quality, long term tenants.
Author: Peter Gianoli, General Manager, Investor Assist.
Think of what sort of tenants you are hoping to attract such as a family, Double Income No Kids (DINKS), or empty nesters and consider what sort of features they do and don’t require in a home. For instance, a family might look favourably on a backyard but make it too big and it becomes too much maintenance. Pools are another tricky addition with many tenants not willing to contribute the time and cost required to maintain one.
A professional couple, or DINKS, may prefer a smaller property with a gourmet kitchen for entertaining but if it’s poorly laid out, they might look elsewhere. Similarly, empty nesters may have downsized so could prefer a smaller property with no stairs and a courtyard garden to potter around in.
Regardless of the demographic of tenant you are trying to attract, there are a few common ideas you may want to consider when it comes to the design and fit-out of your investment property:
- Choose a neutral interior colour scheme – it is easy to adapt and won’t date as quickly as bold colours and seasonal trends;
- Ensure the bedrooms (and wardrobes) are of a decent size;
- Try and provide some sort of covered/alfresco area for your tenants to enjoy;
- Check out the kitchen floor plan – where are things positioned? It is functional and easy to use?
- Is the laundry located close to the outdoor area/washing line?
- If there is an entertainment or theatre room , check it’s not too close to the bedrooms which could create problems with noise;
- Don’t try to go for the cheaper option with floor coverings. Consider floorboards or carpet that is hard-wearing and stain resistant to keep them looking their best for longer;
- Having a patch of lawn is lovely but you may want to consider installing reticulation to ensure ease of care for the tenant. Alternatively, consider installing synthetic lawn because it’s low maintenance and will always look great!
- Expensive window treatments such as drapes can be extremely expensive for tenants to dry clean when vacating a property (with the cost sometimes surpassing the bond!). Instead, consider installing horizontal blinds that can be wiped down.
Try and keep a clear idea of what sort of tenants you are hoping to attract and consider their lifestyle before you commit to any designs or layouts.
All of these little items may seem small and inconsequential but when combined together, they can greatly impact the functionality and appeal of your investment property.
To make the job easier, talk to us about ‘The Investor’s Collection’ which is a full range of home designs created by Investor Assist, specifically for investors and tenants. Each home has been designed using the most practical and cost effective features, materials and products to ensure the home will appeal to a wide range of tenants and won’t be expensive for you to maintain.
DISCLAIMER: This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. We strongly recommend that you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.