When you’re renting out a home in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, it helps to understand the life expectancy for several of the systems and functions within your investment home. Knowing how long a roof will last, for example, will help you budget for future roof repairs.
Every property needs maintenance and repairs. While the basic issues are easy enough to deal with, big-ticket items like appliances, HVAC systems, and paint can get expensive, and it’s no fun when replacing them is a surprise.
Put together a maintenance budget for every rental property you own. In that budget, make a note about the lifespan of things like water heaters, furnaces, and dishwashers. If you’re about to invest in a property, verify the information provided by the seller. If the seller tells you the roof is new when you buy the home, that’s great. But do you know how long that roof should last?
Kitchen Appliances and Average Usage
When you’re establishing the life expectancy of common rental home items, start in the kitchen. Remember that these things will always have a lifespan that depends on usage. If you’re renting out a one-bedroom property to a single tenant, the dishwasher likely won’t get used every day. However, a six-person family with kids and pets will likely mean the dishwasher and the washing machine are running daily.
Here are some quick estimates:
- Electric and gas stoves and ovens last for around 15 years.
- Refrigerators continue working for 10 or 12 years.
- Dishwashers and garbage disposals are fine for 10 years.
- Microwaves work for eight to 10 years, depending on the model.
- Washing machines and dryers will be with you for 10 to 15 years.
Just because an appliance is expected to last for a dozen years doesn’t mean that you should hold onto it for that long. If you’ve been called by tenants to fix their refrigerator more than two or three times during the tenancy, it may be more cost effective to simply replace that appliance. It’s also better for marketing and tenant retention; good residents don’t want to live with old and deteriorating appliances. They want new, reliable, and energy efficient models.
Carpets and Paint in Rental Homes
Carpets get dirty quickly and well some high-end carpets can last for up to seven years, most rental-grade carpet fibers will start to look worn and damaged after four or five years. You should plan to replace the carpet at least every five years, while cleaning it professionally during every turnover period.
Paint will generally last for about three years in a rental home. However, there is nothing more appealing to new tenants than a freshly painted home. Consider putting a fresh coat on the walls every time your home is vacant.
HVAC Lifespans in Rental Homes
Most HVAC systems can last for 20 years or more. A modern thermostat will typically work reliably for at least 30 years. The weather in Los Angeles County can be largely predictable, but we’ve had some remarkable hot and cold spells in recent years. Rental homes in the San Fernando Valley can get an average of 10 degrees hotter in the summers than homes on the coast. Air conditioning and heating must be reliable for your tenants to live comfortably.
Preventative maintenance plays a big role in how long these systems will last. When you have professionals inspecting and servicing your systems and appliances, you can maximize their lifespans. You’ll spend less on both repairs and replacements.
We can talk further about your specific appliances, structures, and investment properties. If you have any questions or you need some information about professional LA County property management, please contact us at Bell Properties.