It’s happened to nearly every real estate investor: You’ve found a property that seems almost too good to be true. The exterior is attractive, the price is right, it’s in a desirable neighborhood and the interior finishes appear excellent!

But then, you get a glimpse of the bathroom: It’s small, dark, cramped and closet-like. Suddenly, your opinion of the entire home dramatically shifts. This seemingly small detail could deter potential renters, and eat into the amount of money you can command each month in rent.

Unfortunately, it isn’t practical to try and expand the bathroom in most homes. In fact, it’s actually impossible to make the bathroom physically larger in the vast majority of cases.

Don’t overlook potential

Before you pass up on what otherwise seems like a great real estate opportunity, be aware of some tips and tricks you can follow to help you maximize the bathroom’s existing space and make it appear larger and more inviting than it actually is.

Investing the time and money necessary to remodel your investment property’s bathroom is almost always a good idea. People rely on the water closets in their homes to prepare and get ready for their day.

A small or unattractive bathroom can deter people from wanting to rent at your property. Learning how to make your bathroom look more comfortable goes a long way toward improving your rental property’s desirability.

How to make a bathroom look bigger

You might be surprised to learn that many bathrooms that appear large and comfortable aren’t actually much bigger than a typical restroom. Instead, they’re just arranged and decorated in a way that maximizes their available space. To make your bathroom look attractive and inviting, you need to learn how to optimize your rental property’s available restroom space using décor and light.

•Eliminate clutter: The easiest way to open up your bathroom space is to eliminate any clutter present. If the towel bar is clustered up next to the vanity, for instance, consider moving it to the opposite wall. Additionally, think about sleek, discrete storage solutions you can install to help tenants keep the room clutter-free.

•Lighten things up: When rooms are dark, they appear small and cramped. Do everything you can to make your bathroom look light and bright. Paint the walls with a light, neutral tone, like a pastel yellow or an eggshell white. Consider installing new overhead lights in the bathroom as well, to make it appear brighter and more inviting.

•Go clear: Focus on installing clear glass wherever possible in your bathroom. If the existing shower door is opaque or heavily frosted, replace it. Clear glass makes the room a more cohesive whole unit, and opens it up to the eye. Installing clear glass windows and shower doors in your bathroom will make it appear much larger than it really is.

•More mirrors: It’s a well-known fact mirrors make rooms appear larger than they are. Chances are, your bathroom already has one mirror over the sink. Consider replacing it with a larger mirror, or installing additional mirrors on the opposing walls. This not only makes the bathroom more attractive, it makes it more functional.

•Go for light tiles: A bathroom with light walls and dark tiling may be attractive if you’re working with a lot of space. In smaller bathrooms, however, opt for lighter tiles on the floor and in the shower. Lighter tiles are more reflective and will provide you with a better sense of space within the remodeled bathroom.

•Remove the vanity: If you have a very small amount of space, consider removing the vanity underneath the sink and replacing it with a small, elegant pedestal sink—or even a wall-mounted sink. This dramatically improves the amount of floor space in your bathroom, compensating for its size by maximizing available square footage.

Bathroom remodeling tips

Sometimes, a full remodel is the best option. If you’re planning on remodeling the bathroom at your rental property, every decision and every dollar count. It’s important to maximize both. Approach bathroom remodeling methodically, so you don’t end up spending too much money or not getting the return on investment you intend from a renovated bathroom.

You’ll need to prioritize different bathroom remodeling tasks according to your budget and the other needs you’re facing at your property. Here’s what to consider when remodeling your investment property’s bathroom:

•Budget costs up-front: Above all else, budget the remodeling costs you’re expecting to spend up-front. This will prevent you from spending too much money on redoing your investment property’s water closet, and help you ensure you’re only spending what you can recoup by commanding higher rental rates.

•Avoid porous tiles: Porous stone surfaces, like limestone, may be attractive and cost-effective. Unfortunately, because they’re so porous, they’re also likely to attract mold, or even degrade prematurely. Instead, opt for hard stone tiles, ceramic tiles or composite tiles when shopping for flooring and shower wall solutions.

•Consider dimensions: If you’re buying a new tub, sink or toilet for your bathroom, consider the dimensions before you complete the purchase. While the tub may fit in your bathroom, you also need to consider the way you’re going to maneuver it through the home.

•Think of moisture control: Controlling the moisture in your bathroom should be the top priority during your remodeling endeavor. Smaller bathrooms, in particular, can be difficult to control moisture in. Consider installing new vents or putting in a functioning window.

Remodeling a bathroom and employing tricks designed to make it appear larger and more comfortable can go a long way toward improving the value of your rental home. Investing in a bathroom remodel may provide you with an opportunity to command higher rents.

Knowing how to properly remodel a bathroom will help you ensure you’re able to take advantage of more quality investment opportunities. Follow these tips and remember, the bathroom is just one room. An immaculate bathroom won’t save a bad property, just like a lackluster bathroom shouldn’t sink a potentially great investment.