How to add value with renovations for rental properties in Hong Kong

Posted: Dec 15 2014Last Updated: Jan 7 2016
Beau Cloud Mansion (ID:41796)15 December 2014 - As we all know, properties in HK tend to be cookie cutter in terms of their layout.  So how do you make your property stand out amongst the rest? 
Modernizing a property can be costly and time consuming but yields good results (i.e. the property would fetch a good price and let quickly). Since it can be an expensive project and the aim is to attract good tenants as soon as possible, there are many areas one should pay attention to before deploying contractors.  
Many landlords invest in modern renovations in an effort to attract good caliber tenants; but, before any work begins, they should find out what renters in the current property market really want.  In my experience, tenants these days want more than quality bathrooms and kitchens - they want character!  And the way to turn a box-standard HK flat into a character property is an art!  One can add charm to the property by selecting interesting tiles, door handles, and good quality wooden floorings or in some cases windows, but try not to stray too far away from staying neutral and maintaining simplicity. Keep in mind it is easier for tenants to arrange their furniture and display their artwork in a neutral space. 
The aim is to make tenants feel at home as soon as they walk into the property.   With our preciously limited space in Hong Kong, it is not uncommon to find a newly renovated bedroom without wardrobes!  Good storage is very important so no matter how much one wants to ‘maximize’ the visual space, one must remember tenants are always looking for good storage options.  
It can be tempting to include personal décor during renovation projects but it is important to remember the property is intended for potential tenants –avoid installing fixed furniture, chandeliers on the ceilings and large artwork on the walls.  Fixed furniture limits how and where your tenants are going to arrange their own belongings. Try to keep things simple as tenants will want to turn their rented apartment into their home, decorating with their own artwork and lighting. Wardrobes should be the only fixed furniture in rental units – a tip to save space would be to consider sliding doors instead of traditional doors.  
Grenville House (ID:31778)
Higher ceilings also create a feel of space.  I would not recommend halogen lights in any room because this would require lowering the ceiling and installing false ceilings to incorporate the transformers.  It is costly and not worthwhile as we are all aware the newer buildings already have lower ceilings, so there is no need to make them any lower! 
If your property has a helper’s room, make sure it has proper ventilation.  A small air-conditioning window unit does not cost much and it is one of the important features for young families with helpers.  A nice helper’s room can be a vital point within the decision making process.
In general, good quality is both appreciated and lasts longer so one must put this into consideration during renovation.  Cheaper quality would, in the end, cost more to maintain in the long run.

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