Buying Appliances for Your Rental Property
Sooner or later, you’ll have to replace an appliance in your rental property. But what’s the best way to do it cost effectively? You’ll need to balance quality, longevity and price to provide your current residents and future renters the equipment they need to keep their lives running smoothly.
Match the renters’ expectations
When it comes to buying appliances for your rental property, consider your residents’ expectations. Will they expect the kind of appliances with all the extras, or will they be satisfied with quality, well-running appliances that get the job done? The more features an appliance offers can translate into more things that can go wrong . You might decide to install high-level appliances, however, accompanied by a higher rental price. These decisions will depend on the way you choose to market your particular property.
Their expectations also tie into what appliances you offer. Someone renting an apartment is going to expect the big appliances and probably doesn’t have many of their own, while someone renting a house will likely have more they can bring with them. Whatever it is that you have, make it clear in the lease what appliances you supply and what needs to be supplied by the tenant.
Boring but solid
You’re likely to come down somewhere in the middle, rather than high, end of appliances. For this, you want to get appliances that are boring, but work solidly. Most renters aren’t expecting them to do much more than their main purpose, so the main thing you’ll want to look at is how they hold up over time. If a particular model is prone to breaking or requires expensive repairs, you’ll want to stay away. If they’re generally rugged and require cheaper or less frequent repairs, you’re well on your way to finding the right appliances.
Save on energy
You’re going to want to focus on energy efficiency, since it works well for everyone. If you pay for the electricity, the savings are obvious, and can pay off quickly or even allow you to spend a bit more getting higher end models. Even if you don’t pay for the electricity, you’re saving the tenant money on their bill, making their overall cost of living lower and giving them more thangs about you to be positive about.
Consider your space
Your appliances have to fit in your property. It seems like an obvious statement, but you need to take it into consideration. If you’re dealing with a small apartment, which model you choose can be decided for you by the space you have to fit it in.
Get the best price
Once you’ve found a good model, start with a search for the base price of a particular model. Pricegrabber.com and Google’s product search are two smart places to check. Once you have a sense of the going price range for a certain appliance, you can begin shopping in earnest. Don’t forget about reduced-price floor models or scratch and dent savings. You can also consult Craigslist for gently-used appliances that might fit the bill, though like any time you’re buying used, be cautious about what you’re getting and budget for some repair or refurbishing.
It might also make sense to buy brand new. If there’s not a large difference between new and used prices or it’s difficult to find used appliances in good condition, buying new can be the overall cheaper option. Don’t forget to factor the warranty into the cost, since it can save you from needing to pay for some repairs yourself, which you’re unlikely to get when buying used.
If possible, find someone you can work with long term for appliances. If you find a store that sells used appliances, they often also run a delivery and repair business alongside reselling. This will let you work with the same people over time, along with only needing to go one place for handling all of your appliance issues.
Replacing appliances is a necessary part of being a landlord or property manager. You might start shopping around even before the need arises to find stores or sites with the best prices. You’ll have a handy head start when your resident calls to tell you that their fridge or washer has given out!