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Renovate Your Rental
More and more renters are adding personal touches to their temporary homes, and rental owners can benefit as well.
- Photo: Flickr
When Jamie Kaneko was looking for a new home, she was excited to finally find a rental property large enough for her family. The five-bedroom, 3,200-square-foot house was perfect for her four children, but she did have one complaint: The bathroom was dated and in disrepair.
Instead of continuing her search, she decided to sign a lease for the Murray, Utah home and renovate the bathroom herself. She and her boyfriend tore out the existing shower and floor, repaired the plumbing, and retiled the entire bathroom. "We are trying to clean up our credit before we buy, and this really was the only way we could make the house our home—by adding personal touches and modifying to our taste," Kaneko says.
This drive to personalize a space—even if it's a rental that you don't own, and even if you are spending money you won't get back—is pure human nature, says Atlanta-based interior designer Melissa Galt. "It does not matter where you live, it is not temporary—it is yours. So, make it work for you," Galt says. "When you are living in an environment that has been designed well and right for you, it will improve your health and it will improve the relationship that is going on in the space. You will have more interest in entertaining your friends. It will impact your entire life on so many levels."
Kaneko is happy she did the work, and even happier that her landlord reimbursed her efforts in the form of refunded rent. In fact, they have several more projects planned for this year, including painting. "Some will be on our dime just because we want to have them done," Kaneko says. "Renting isn't ideal in the long run, but we feel like we are creating the home we want as we rent it. We may buy it next year."
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