Regular Property Maintenance Keeps Investment Properties Profitable
Rental properties can be a great way to earn extra income. However, even the most well kept rentals will eventually need repairs at some point. Professional property managers will not only be able to help a property owner stay on top of necessary repairs but will also have a list of reliable and vetted vendors at their disposal who can carry out repairs and replacements quickly and efficiently. Being proactive about property maintenance while also being able to anticipate when repair and replacement costs are likely to occur can help keep an investment property profitable.
Having an appliance break while a renter is living in a property can quickly lead to an angry tenant. Knowing the lifespan of essential household items will allow property owners to plan a head and be prepared for such expenses. Using a respected property manager like Martin Feinberg simplifies the process even more.
Though this guide is not meant to be exact or completely comprehensive, it can help give a basic outline of the life expectancy of many parts of an investment property.
Outside fixtures suffer a lot of wear and tear in general because they are exposed to the elements, but they are usually also very sturdy for the same reason. Though outside fixtures will sometimes last decades, none of them will last forever.
Window unit air conditioners will need to be replaced every 8-10 years. Garage doors will last around 10-15 years. Siding has an average lifespan of 30-40 years. Roofing, barring hail or wind damage, can last an average of 25 years. 50 if it’s steel. A deck that is kept in good repair and regularly maintained will last around 35 years.
Maintaining the interior of a property can be the difference between a property that always has tenants and a vacant property that is a financial burden. Being proactive in repairs and property maintenance can also help avoid emergency repairs, which can be very costly.
Carpet in a rental property typically has a 5-15 year lifespan but high traffic areas can begin to look old, matted, and outdated even more quickly regardless of upkeep. Plan to evaluate carpet often and replace it when necessary. A reliable property manager will be able to help with such property maintenance decisions.
Faucets and fixtures will last between 10-20 years if well maintained and kept free of hard water deposits. HVAC systems last around 15 years, but filters need to be changed regularly. Countertops can last 15+ years but stone countertops have been known to last over 100, so choose wisely.
Appliances can be some of the easiest things to fix or replace in a rental unit. However, it is usually best to keep an appliance for the duration of its lifespan. Replacing appliances often as a way to keep up with technological advances can be costly with little benefit.
Microwaves last around 5-15 years, depending on usage and quality. Most dishwashers will last 7-12 years. Washing machines and dryers average 10-15 years of use before needing to be replaced. Ovens can go up to 20 years if well maintained but coil burners might need to be replaced sooner.
There are other household items that are also very important to maintain. Not only can these items be expensive to replace if ignored for too long, they can also cause legal issues. Professional property management companies will know all state and federal code requirements, making sure owners are always following the law.
Smoke alarms must be constantly maintained. Batteries should be replaced every 6-12 months and detectors typically need to be replaced every 8-10 years. Fire extinguishers usually have expiration or purchase dates printed on them. Replace all extinguishers that are over 10 years old or those with pressure gauges where the needle is no longer in the green. Sprinkler systems can be expected to last between 10-30 years depending on how well they are maintained. Electrical wiring can be a serious safety issue but if property maintained can last 100+ years.
A properly maintained investment property will allow an owner to get long lives out of most appliances and fixtures. Saving around 1% of a property’s value every year for repairs, and using a professional property management company, can help keep rental property ownership stress-free and lucrative.