Here’s something you might not have considered for your unit turn, but now that you have some empty spaces you should really give it some serious thought: adding a state-of-the-art HVAC system.
I’m sure you have a long checklist of things to do, and I can understand the hesitation of taking on another expense, but with a vacant unit you won’t have a more opportune time to make this kind of upgrade.
Sure, LA has some pretty ideal weather. It never rains. The sky is always clear. And come evening, temperatures dip to a balmy 65 degrees. But living in a Los Angeles apartment without AC is a nightmare—a really sticky, sweaty, unpleasant, and odorous nightmare.
Truth is, only people living on the Westside can crack a window at noon and enjoy the ocean breeze. Those living east of the 405 don’t have that kind of luxury. You know as well as I do that temperatures away from the beach communities can get 20 degrees hotter come midday, and those lucky enough to have HVAC in their apartments can literally invite friends over during the summer and charge $5 at the door.
My point is, HVAC units are an important amenity for renters, so use this time wisely during turnover to upgrade the space and collect higher rents when you’re done.
Just How Important Is Air Conditioning?
Renters want a greater command of their living environments, and that’s why HVAC systems are vital. Landlords spend thousands of dollars upgrading units to be cutting-edge and en vogue, but some overlook the basic necessity of air conditioning.
In 2006, the LA Times published an article detailing how important having central air was to Los Angeles residents. Not surprisingly, less than half the homes in LA have air conditioning, and less than 1 and 4 have central air—and the people are suffering.
The article cites one resident of Brentwood living without AC who had to buy three fans just to get through the summer months. He and his wife suffered so much they resorted to sleeping on the floor with their windows wide open. The next place they move to, as he puts it, will definitely have air conditioning.
Add Air Conditioning to the List of Top Requested Amenities
When people talk about apartment amenities they usually refer to things like hardwood floors, keyless entryways, fitness centers, dishwashers, and washer/dryers. I guess they forget to mention HVAC systems because they’re not as “sexy” as those others. But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest air conditioning just might be the most important one. Check out these other resources that appear to agree.
- In 2015, Rentprep named air conditioning the second most desired amenity for the year. It beat out furniture, patio spaces, hardwood floors, fireplaces, and walk-in closets.
- In August of this year, The Balance also named AC one of the top 10 amenities renters look for in a property.
- Rentec Direct listed AC as the top interior feature renters seek that offer everyday comfort.
- For Rent put AC as the second most important amenity to renters because being able to stay cool during the summer months isn’t a luxury, but rather a necessity! They even cited it as the #2 searched amenity for LA, Orange County, and San Diego.
When It Comes to HVAC Systems, There Are Plenty of Choices
You have options when it comes to your setup. This is something we can discuss further when I hear about the layout of your property, but if you have a high rise building, we should talk about stacking in shafts.
If you have a low-rise property, it’s easier to have a central or individual system for each unit.
PRO TIP: Central systems for heating, cooling and domestic hot water are not the wisest choice for keeping green. Central systems do not conserve energy because they do not encourage rational individual behavior unless individual metering is provided. Individual systems allow renters to make rational decisions when cooling or heating their units because they are metered and billed separately.
Let REIG Help You With an HVAC System During a Unit Turn
The evidence supports the claim. HVAC systems are important. And since you’re in the middle of a unit turn, this is the perfect time to make the upgrade. Once it’s done, you should be able to command higher rents because it is one of the most sought after amenities in the country.
REIG Construction is the premier multifamily remodeling company in Southern California, and we offer a wide array of apartment renovation services. We can even help you decide on which type of HVAC system your property needs. With over 120 years of combined experience, our team of professionals is equipped to provide consulting services regarding an array of issues. So make sure you call us today and let us exceed your expectations.