One of the biggest challenges of renting an apartment is knowing what to rent it for. Rent too high -- apartment sites vacant costing money. Rent too low -- could be missing out on rent upside for years to come and not even know it! As a potential owner -- it’s incredibly important to know not only what the estimate is, but also what drives the estimate so you can alter future investments.
At SlateHouse Group, we have looked at tens of thousands of data points and correlated them into an advanced algorithm to nail down the variables that matter most. Here are the items that you need to consider….
# of Bedrooms -- Totally obvious, but typically under appreciated by owners. An extra room can easily get you $100 in additional rent a month.
# of Bathrooms -- Not as important as bedrooms, but still adds another extra revenue per bathroom.
Area of PA -- This is typically over compensated for by most owners. While the area matters --- it matters less than you think. Across Central PA for example -- Reading and York will have lower rents than Lancaster, but not by more than $100 for a similar apartment.
Square Footage -- Similar to the Area of PA, this matters but less than you would think.
Detached House vs Townhouse -- Renters do prefer a Detached house…. typically adding $100 to rent.
Quality of House / Year Built -- Not surprising, renters prefer newer houses in good shape. Throw on another $100 - $400 based on the quality and age of the house.
Quality of Neighborhood -- This is one item owners often overlook…. it makes a difference. House on a golf course -- much nicer than a street with houses falling down!
Garage -- Each garage counts towards more revenue as you’d expect.
Central Air -- PA can get awfully humid in the summer…. AC helps! Small jump from AC in the house.
Furniture in House -- This is often a hot topic from owners. Generally we advise that it doesn’t make sense to keep your furniture in the rental. It will increase the rent $50 - $100 if it’s a really nice place…. but that often isn’t worth the cost of the all the appliances. Vacation Rentals are the exception here!
This can be a lot to work though to calculate each house rent ---- so at SlateHouse we devised our own AccurateRent estimate tool on our website. It takes all of these variables into account and dynamically spits out the most accurate rent estimate (more accurate than Zillow!). We actually had a client who was going to use ZIllow’s estimate -- and we were able to get her over $4K in additional annual rent by using our estimate tool. http://www.slatehousegroup.com/rentestimator
One quick note -- we do always do a free in-person estimate for all our owners since sometimes there are things that our rent estimate tool can’t take into account.
We always appreciate feedback --- let us know what you think of our tool or if you have a unit that you want us to manage for you!