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How to renovate to sell vs. refurbishing a rental property

renovating decorating carpet rug buying selling renting rental rent

A big mistake people make is renovating to their personal taste and not considering the market.

Whether you opt for carpet or tiles should depend on local demographics, not your personal preferences.

It’s important to understand who you’re doing the renovation for and tailor it accordingly.

With cosmetic renovations, which are less likely than structural jobs to result in overcapitalising, there are two paths you can take: renovating to rent or to sell.


You can keep it simple and opt for cheaper materials.

With hundreds of rental properties to manage, I’ve chosen to stick with one paint colour – Whisper White – for all the walls and ceilings of each of my properties, both saving me money and simplifying the process if one of them needs a new coat of paint.

Always opt for darker shades of carpet for a rental property, as this is often the first thing to be destroyed by tenants.


I look at the same type of cosmetic renovations – carpets, paint, tiles and so on – but with some added finishing touches.

A feature wall, for example, and lighter carpets can make a house feel more like a home. When selling you want people to connect and to envision themselves living there.

There’s no rule of thumb when it comes to how much to spend, but if you’re not sure that you’ll see a return on your investment, don’t do it.

Written by Nathan Birch

Nathan Birch

Nathan Birch is a property investor and founder of

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