Purchasing an investment property is a great way to diversify your portfolio and add a stream of rental income to your monthly take-home. However, despite the universal agreement that real estate is a great way to build wealth over time, not all properties are a slam dunk. Those that are poorly constructed or have cheap materials can end up being a money pit that is more trouble than it is worth. With this in mind, keep reading to discover more about 6 innovative building materials to look for in a newly constructed investment property.
Wind Diffusion Systems
It is no secret that severe weather events are rocking the country with greater frequency than ever before. Nearly all of these events, whether hurricanes, tornados, rampant wildfires, or blustery winter storms, involve the presence of gale force winds.
Therefore, in order to mitigate the damage to your investment property when the wind gets to howling, it is critical to build with materials that will withstand this potent force of nature. Some features to look for are screen panel facades that will break up direct impact, shear walls to help transfer the lateral force from the wind to the base of the structure, and hurricane grade storm windows that will provide crack resistance against projectile impact.
Moisture Protection Features
At the risk of harping on climate change and its associated impacts too much, another unsavory aspect of the changing weather conditions is extended dry spells followed by intense bouts of precipitation. This results in areas that have no history of receiving moisture suddenly receiving a year’s worth in a day or two.
The results can be catastrophic for homes that are not prepared for the onslaught. To protect your investment, look at features that will perform well in the face of heavy precipitation such as synthetic stucco cladding, heavy gauge aluminum gutters, composite roofing tiles, and permeable gravel driveways.
The appropriate air barriers placed throughout your property are critical for ensuring that condensation does not form within the walls and causes mildew, mold, and rot. While many property owners immediately assume that impermeable house wraps are the best solution, there are actually some regions where a permeable air barrier is the better solution. For example, in colder climates, the warmer interior temperatures will cause air to move through the walls and into the exterior. By installing a permeable air barrier on the outer side of exterior insulation, this warm air can diffuse and not become trapped in the walls, leading to damaging condensation.
Another factor to look at in this regard is the presence of appropriate soffit in the eaves and roof overhangs. A vented aluminum soffit will promote healthy air circulation and keep damaging spores from forming in your property’s attic and roof crawl spaces.
Continuous Insulation Systems
Although energy efficiency may not seem as important in an investment property as it does in your personal home–after all, you are not likely to be paying the utility bills–it can go a long way in helping you attract quality tenants. With budgets stretched to the max in 2022, renters are looking for any way they can to cut monthly expenses, so energy efficient properties will definitely stand out in the market.
While features such as solar panels, solar glass, and smart windows are all high-tech features that definitely enhance energy efficiency, the best place to start is by building with quality insulation. A continuous insulation system that eliminates thermal bridging is the goal to shoot for, so look at installing polyiso sheathing to the walls and ceilings and below-grade insulation beneath the flooring.
Durable Interior Products
No matter how good your renters are, they will never treat your property with the same love and care as you do as the owner. Therefore, it is imperative that you look for interior materials that will withstand heavy use and, unfortunately, abuse. Some ideas include nonporous quartz or solid surface countertops that readily resist stains, polished concrete floors that will not get destroyed by pet urine or sliding furniture, and black steel fixtures and door knobs that will not show signs of wear and tear like lighter colored options.
Low Maintenance Roofing and Cladding
Despite the many advantages of being a landlord and the income stream it provides, the reality remains that it is a lot of work. Fixing malfunctioning appliances, helping tenants who get locked out of their house, and dealing with noise complaints are just a few of the many joys associated with owning a rental property. And while regular maintenance and upkeep is definitely on this list, do yourself a favor and choose properties with low-maintenance materials that will limit the time and effort involved. For example, composite roofing shingles are not damaged by UV rays or projectile impact like basic asphalt, while steel log and fiber cement siding do not have to be painted and sealed like wood or brick in order to maintain their protective qualities.
The Most Innovative Building Materials for a Newly Constructed Investment Property
Putting your money into an investment property is generally accepted as a sound financial move. However, not all investment properties are created equal. Those with poor designs using inferior materials can quickly turn into more of a headache than they are worth. To avoid this fate, look for any of the 6 innovative building materials listed above to help guarantee the success of your newly constructed investment property.
Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on real estate. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.