Should I Rent or Buy Laundry Machines for My Grand Rapids Apartment Building?

Dec 31, 2021 | Owner Education, Property Management Education

Laundry machines are an amenity that most Grand Rapids tenants are looking for, whether they’re private washers and dryers in their own homes and units or a communal laundry space in a multi-family building. If you want to find good tenants quickly and maximize the amount of your rental value, you’ll want to provide laundry facilities in your rental properties.

A question we frequently get from owners and landlords is whether they should buy those laundry machines or rent them.

As professional Grand Rapids property managers, we recommend buying those washers and dryers. Here are some of the things to consider.

Buying Machines: Pros and Cons

When you buy machines, they are yours to keep even through tenant turnovers and property sales. You can move the machines from rental property to rental property if necessary. While buying the washing machines and dryers will require a larger initial investment, you’ll save money in the long term because you’ll have tangible equipment that you can expect to use for 10 years or more.

One of the main challenges you’ll encounter when buying your own machines is choosing which price point makes sense and deciding whether you want to spend more now for a higher-end machine that will last longer and attract better tenants. Renters respond especially well to energy-efficient appliances that will save them on utility costs and owners often appreciate machines that will deliver a longer lifespan, even with the wear and tear that comes with high tenant usage.

Renting Machines: Pros and Cons

While buying laundry machines is, in our view, a much better option than renting, you can find a few benefits. You won’t spend as much money early on and you’ll only pay for the amount of time that you’ll need them. If you know you’re only going to rent out a property for two or three years, renting machines may make more sense to you.

The reason this can be detrimental to long-term rental property owners is that you end up paying a lot of money to the company you’re renting from. In addition to the rental cost, you may find yourself being charged for insurance and other fees. When you add it all up, buying a new machine is more cost-effective.

Maintaining Laundry Machines in Grand Rapids Rental Homes

Consider your maintenance team and its ability to fix the machines you buy. They will likely break down from time to time as everything does. You’ll want to make sure you can make those repairs quickly and efficiently. If you don’t have access to good maintenance technicians, you’ll find yourself hiring expensive vendors to come out and diagnose and fix the problem. Keep track of all your factory warranties and estimate how long you can expect those appliances to work. You’ll need to know when it makes more sense to replace them instead of continually repairing them.

Maintenance teamThese are the basics when you’re thinking about buying laundry machines or renting them for your rental properties. If you have any questions about how to handle this for your own investments, please contact us at Short South Realty Group. We’re prepared to take care of all your Grand Rapids property management needs.