Pay Special Attention to Kitchens and Baths

To really wow your potential tenants, bring in Martha Stewart to redo the kitchens and bathrooms. Flip through the pages of kitchen and bath magazines. Look for that right combination of materials and colors that will create a light, bright, cheerful, and inviting look. Eliminate those harvest-gold appliances, the chipped and stained sinks, and that cracked glass in the shower door.

As you inspect these key rooms, focus on each of the following features for at least 30 seconds:

□ Windows and window sills

□ Electrical outlet plates

By focusing for 30 seconds on each feature of these rooms, you will notice everything that blends together to give these rooms their overall feel. Throughout the entire apartment or house, details count. But they especially count in the kitchens and bathrooms. The right pizzazz in the kitchens and bathrooms can transform a ho-hum unit into a showplace.

How much will this transformation cost? If you've recently spent $25,000 to remodel your own kitchen, you may think pizzazz in a rental unit would run you into the poorhouse. Not true. You can accomplish wonders with an outlay of between

Faucets

Walls

Cabinets

Cabinet and drawer handles

Appliances

Counter tops

$2,000 and $5,000. Replacing sinks, hardware, toilet bowls, and toilet seats requires relatively little money. As to the cabinetry itself, often a lower-cost refinish (not a full replacement) can work wonders.

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