How the Appliances You Offer Affect Your Rental Rate in Grand Rapids

Apr 28, 2023 | Owner Education, Property Management Education

Grand Rapids rental property owners are required and expected to provide a number of appliances in their properties before they list them on the market. At the very least, you should provide a refrigerator and a stove with an oven. You might also want to include a dishwasher, garbage disposal, water filter, microwave oven, and a washer and a dryer. 

Don’t go for the bare minimum and don’t be too cheap when you’re selecting your rental property appliances. Those appliances will affect your rental rate. They’ll also impact how quickly you’re able to find a good tenant. You can also expect the right appliances to motivate tenants to stay in place, which increases your retention rates and keeps your turnover costs down. 

Here’s why it matters. 

Meeting Grand Rapids Tenant Expectations 

Tenants know that rents are rising across Grand Rapids, and they’re willing to pay those higher rents as long as they’re getting the value they expect. Tenants want more than walls and floors in a property. They want comfort and they want to enjoy their space. Appliances, especially kitchen appliances, contribute to their satisfaction in a home. 

You need to understand your tenant pool. Will the tenants you’re hoping to attract be satisfied with something basic, or will they expect attractive, energy-efficient appliances that work well and quietly? How much use are these appliances going to get? A tenant renting a studio space will have different needs from their stove and laundry appliances than a large family renting a four-bedroom house. 

Choose appliances that fit your space and your tenants. Those appliances will make your property more attractive to the renters you’re likely to meet, and allow you to set an accurate and profitable rental value

Aesthetics and Functionality 

Rental appliances need to work well, but they also need to look good. 

What type of finish do you automatically think about when you think of appliances? It’s probably stainless steel. That’s the most popular finish when it comes to appliances, but stainless steel is not always necessary in a rental property. While it looks sleek and modern and will likely drive up your rental value, stainless appliances will also require a larger investment from you.

Instead of stainless steel, a lot of rental property owners will buy white appliances or black appliances. This is fine, but make sure they match. Tenants will not be impressed by a kitchen that has a white refrigerator and a black dishwasher. You want to establish continuity and consistency. It’s going to be more aesthetically pleasing and thus attractive to your potential tenants. 

Grand Rapids Tenants Want Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient appliances will save you and your tenants money on electricity and water.

This is also an important selling point for tenants who are environmentally conscious. Providing appliances that aren’t expensive to run and likely to drain natural resources will help you attract high-quality renters and higher rental amounts. Look for the Energy Star symbol on appliances you’re considering for purchase. 

New appliances tend to be more energy efficient in general. If your dishwasher is 10 years old or you’ve been called to repair your refrigerator more than once or twice, it’s probably time to replace those appliances with something more modern and efficient. 

Benefits of Washers and Dryers

Offering in-unit laundry is a great way to attract great tenants and higher rents. Residents are looking for rental homes with private laundry. They want to wash their clothing and linens at home, and many of them don’t have their own appliances, so offering a simple hook-up isn’t quite enough. The convenience you’re providing to tenants can raise your rent by around $50 per month, at least. 

Here’s how to intentionally choose a washer and dryer for your Grand Rapids rental property. 

  • Choose the right type of washing machine and dryer. What kind of space constraints do you have at your rental property? There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting the right appliances. If you are tight on space, choose a stackable model. If you’re renting out a larger home with a separate laundry room and you know a lot of laundry will be done, consider a large capacity front load model to really get the attention of potential tenants. 
  • Consider the energy rating. Saving on utility costs will be a bonus for your tenants, and they’ll appreciate the washers and dryers that don’t cause water and electric bills to jump too high. Washing machines that are energy star certified have been shown to use 25 percent less energy than a standard model and up to 30 percent less water. That’s a big selling point for the tenants who come to see your property. 

Maintaining the Appliances Your Provide

Appliances are expensive, and when you’re choosing appliances for your rental home, it’s a natural impulse to want to buy the least expensive models. 

kitchen appliancesBut remember – when you provide an appliance in your Grand Rapids rental home, you’re responsible for maintaining that appliance. You don’t want to buy new ones every few years. Look for high-quality, durable models that can be expected to function for at least five or 10 years. Whenever possible, choosing appliances with a warranty or service plan can save money in the long run. 

Selecting the right appliances will impact what you earn. It’s more than just the extra rent you can charge when you have attractive, efficient appliances. It’s also the tenants you attract and retain. Having well-qualified renters in place year after year is good for your cash flow and your overall ROI. Appliances help you earn more, even though they come with the cost of purchase and acquisition. Buy good appliances that match your home, your market, and your ideal tenants. 

Every rental property is different, and we’d be happy making some specific recommendations based on the home you’re renting out. If you’d like to talk about your appliances, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Short South Realty Group.