I have a rental apartment that is in overall great shape, has a unique layout (in a good way) and is spacious. The one flaw is a galley style kitchen that is so-so in appearance. I did a complete rehab on the other unit of this two unit house because it was in very bad shape, a no-brainer decision. The kitchen in question would not prevent a renter from renting, but might be a turn off for a potential sale of the property. Money is a bit tight but I have the skills to do the rehab myself. The unit is vacant. I could live with the current kitchen, stretching out its existence for yet another rental period or bite the bullet and rehab. Honestly its a fifty/fifty decision in my opinion.
In this situation money talks and I will not do the renovation but if I had the extra money I would definitely do the upgrade. The unit is vacant, we are doing a ‘soft’ listing of the property and the renovation would definitely attract the right type of tenants. In the interim a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware helps alleviate the so-so status of the galley kitchen.
Another upside to doing these projects as they come up is that you alleviate a cumulative effect of projects that need your attention down the road, like when you decide to sell the property. I have been to many a showing that featured a grossly outdated interior or a laundry list of projects that would need to be done to get the property rental ready. When to tackle a project comes down to time, money and impact. The one exception is of course projects that involve safety issues, which you need to jump on ASAP.