How to Modernize Your Rental Property on a Budget

How to Modernize Your Rental Property on a Budget

Modernizing your rental property is essential for attracting tenants and increasing its value. However, it can be challenging to achieve this on a tight budget. In this article, we will explore cost-effective ways to modernize your rental property, from simple cosmetic updates to energy-efficient improvements. We will also provide examples, case studies, and statistics to support our recommendations.

Why Modernize Your Rental Property?

Modernizing your rental property has several benefits:

According to a 2019 study by Zillow, rental properties with updated features can command up to 26% more rent than those without. Additionally, modernized properties tend to have lower vacancy rates, as they appeal to a broader range of potential tenants.

1. Cosmetic Updates

One of the most cost-effective ways to modernize your rental property is through cosmetic updates. These improvements can significantly enhance the property’s appearance without breaking the bank.


A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform a space. Choose neutral colors to appeal to a wider range of tenants. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to paint a room ranges from $380 to $790, making it an affordable update.


Replacing worn-out carpets or dated linoleum with modern flooring options can make a significant impact. Consider installing laminate or vinyl plank flooring, which are both affordable and durable. The average cost of laminate flooring installation is $2,816, while vinyl plank flooring costs around $2,657, according to Fixr.


Updating light fixtures can create a more modern and inviting atmosphere. Opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs to save on utility costs. The average cost to replace a light fixture ranges from $50 to $200, according to HomeAdvisor.

2. Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades

Kitchens and bathrooms are often the most important rooms for potential tenants. Updating these spaces can significantly increase the appeal of your rental property.


Replacing dated countertops with modern materials can instantly update a kitchen or bathroom. Consider budget-friendly options like laminate or butcher block. The average cost of laminate countertop installation is $1,500 to $4,000, according to HomeAdvisor.


Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances can attract eco-conscious tenants and save on utility costs. Look for sales or scratch-and-Dent models to save on costs. The average cost of a new refrigerator ranges from $900 to $8,000, while a new dishwasher costs between $400 and $1,300, according to HomeAdvisor.


Replacing outdated faucets and showerheads with modern fixtures can improve the functionality and appearance of kitchens and bathrooms. The average cost to replace a faucet ranges from $150 to $350, while a new showerhead costs between $30 and $300, according to HomeAdvisor.

3. Energy-Efficient Improvements

Energy-efficient upgrades can reduce utility costs and appeal to environmentally conscious tenants. Consider the following improvements:


Adding insulation to your rental property can improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. The average cost of blown-in insulation is $1,500, according to HomeAdvisor.


Replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient double-pane windows can reduce energy costs and improve the property’s appearance. The average cost of window replacement ranges from $300 to $1,000 per window, according to HomeAdvisor.

Smart Thermostats

Installing a smart thermostat can help tenants save on energy costs by allowing them to control the temperature remotely. The average cost of a smart thermostat ranges from $100 to $250, according to HomeAdvisor.

4. Outdoor Improvements

Enhancing your rental property’s curb appeal can attract more tenants and increase its value. Consider these budget-friendly updates:


Simple landscaping improvements like trimming overgrown bushes, planting flowers, and adding mulch can make a significant impact on curb appeal. The average cost of basic landscaping services ranges from $50 to $100 per hour, according to HomeAdvisor.

Exterior Painting

A fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your rental property can improve its appearance and protect it from the elements. The average cost of exterior painting ranges from $1,800 to $3,200, according to HomeAdvisor.


Adding or updating a fence can enhance curb appeal and provide privacy for tenants. The average cost of fence installation ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, according to HomeAdvisor.


Modernizing your rental property on a budget is achievable with strategic updates and improvements. By focusing on cosmetic updates, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, energy-efficient improvements, and outdoor enhancements, you can attract more tenants, increase rental income, and improve the overall appeal of your property. Remember to prioritize updates that provide the most significant impact for the lowest cost to maximize your return on investment.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.