Skip to Content

Top 3 Rental Property Upgrades That May Not Be Worth the Money

pricey rental property upgradesWhen it comes to improving your investment properties, specific additions offer a solid return for the money—and some don’t. It is important for rental property owners to avoid investing a lot of money on upgrades that don’t contribute much value to their property or simply don’t enhance the overall appeal of the rental home to prospective residents. 

Being aware of which upgrades to avoid can help you invest wisely in the right property improvements. According to business professionals, it is usually recommended to avoid certain upgrades such as elaborate landscaping, installing hardwood flooring, and extensive smart technology features. 

Elaborate Landscaping 

Having a rental home with clean, low-maintenance landscaping is quite appealing. Many renters prefer a nice yard that is quite easy to take care of. Upgrading your rental property’s landscaping with a variety of amazing plants and trees or creating stylish flower beds alongside a large, lush lawn area can be seen as a valuable enhancement. After all, curb appeal plays an important part in determining the perceived value of a rental home

However, excessively investing in a high-maintenance yard wastes money because it doesn’t enhance the property value or the renter’s satisfaction. Plus, although your renter might initially be attracted to the nice landscaping, they may later discover it burdensome and neglect your property or decide to move out. When it comes to landscaping a rental property, a more minimalist approach is preferable. 

Hardwood Flooring 

Wood flooring is popular among homeowners due to its natural charm and inviting setting. However, it requires a lot of upkeep and is prone to damage from water leaks or unanticipated mishaps. In addition, you need to factor in whether renters will adequately care for a hardwood floor.

Given the entire picture, it’s imperative to mention that while wood flooring may be a sought-after upgrade for residents, most renters are content with a low-maintenance alternative that resembles wood. It’s critical to understand that natural hardwood is one of the more expensive upgrades, which means you may not recover the installation cost, even if you decide to increase the rent.

Overdoing Smart Technology

Property managers and landlords in today’s rental market may be inclined to integrate advanced technology like smart thermostats, keyless entry systems, and energy-efficient appliances to attract tenants and stay ahead of the competition. 

Nevertheless, property owners must assess the cost versus benefit involved in making these improvements. Although these technologies offer convenience and efficiency, their significant price tag may be greater than the benefits they offer. 

For example, smart home systems entail an initial investment setup and regular maintenance, which can reduce potential profits over time. Similarly, modern security features can offer a sense of protection but not significantly influence rental rates or tenant contentment.

It is important to consider that what is deemed cutting-edge today may become obsolete in the near future, which could involve expensive upgrades or replacements. Additionally, the complex nature of these systems may lead to technical problems that necessitate specialized expertise and resources to tackle, which can contribute to the property’s overall operational costs. Considering all these factors is crucial when making the decision to integrate new technology into your property.


It’s imperative to focus on both profitability and tenant satisfaction. Although it may be tempting to make fancy improvements and complex technology installations, they may not always be the best investment. Instead, consider making cost-effective upgrades that offer real rewards, such as essential maintenance and enhancements that improve the property’s functionality and longevity. By carefully evaluating the cost versus benefit of each improvement and prioritizing those that generate the best return on investment, you can ensure long-term success in the rental market.

Seeking to capitalize on your investment property returns in Emeryville and nearby? You can find everything you need at Real Property Management Pacific! We’re looking forward to assisting you in achieving your targets. Don’t hesitate to call us at 510-900-4544 or send us a message online.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details