Some landlords consider landscaping responsibilities to be, at best, a necessary evil, at worst, a nuisance. As a result, many property managers focus most of their budget on updates to the interior of their units.
Landscaping Tips to Boost Rental Value
Spending the time and money to make the outside of your property look great is necessary if you hope to be competitive and attract high-paying tenants.
If the main course is the interior, think of the outside as the appetizer. Prospective renters will envision themselves coming home from a long day, and the first impression can make or break their decision to rent from you before ever stepping inside.
When planning outdoor upgrades, it is essential to choose low-maintenance elements that add curb appeal, accessibility, and character.
Choosing the perfect hardscaping contractor for the job doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process and Striking a balance between achieving an attractive property and maintaining a realistic budget and maintenance demand can be challenging.
Curb appeal is every bit as important when renting a home as it is when selling a home.
A quick internet search can send you down a rabbit hole of minor, inexpensive improvements that you can make to impress potential tenants and increase curb appeal.
Grab a pencil and a pad of paper and stand across the street to take it all in. Take note of eyesores, empty spaces in the yard, and the shape of driveways and walkways.
Consider sketching out some ideas that capture the end result you are hoping to achieve.
Keep it simple. Achieving curb appeal all about highlighting the best qualities of your property.
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Proper Lawn Care
Before adding design elements, make sure you have the basics taken covered.
It does not matter how impressive the structure is; overgrown grass, weeds, and foliage will give the impression that your property is neglected.
- Maintain a regular lawn maintenance schedule.
- Be sure to remove fallen branches and twigs. In addition to being unsightly, they can be a safety hazard.
- Spread grass seed and fertilize sparse areas.
- Pruning hedges and trees enhance the look of your landscaping while encouraging healthy new growth.
- Spray for weeds and insects.
If you offer regular landscaping service, you can incorporate that into your rent price.
While the front door of your property does not generally fall into the landscaping category, it is vital to curb appeal.
Front door replacement is the only investment that is immediately worth more the day after you install it.
If replacing your front door is out of your budget, paint options for exterior doors make it easier than ever to have a front door that makes an impact.
A plain white door does not have the same impact as one with a pop of color.
Sidewalks and Walkways
Walkways are not only functional, but they can also be a beautiful focal point for the exterior of your property, with minimal investment.
- Concrete sidewalks and driveways should be well-maintained and periodically checked for cracks and lifts that can be a tripping hazard.
- Regular edging will give a clean, sharp look.
- If your concrete surfaces are dull even after cleaning, consider staining them a richer color for an upgraded look.
- If you are installing new walkways, adding a wooden walkway is cost-effective and easy. As an added benefit, you can replace individual planks down the road instead of redoing the entire project.
Follow the Curve
If you follow any landscaping trends online, you have likely noticed a significant shift towards curves.
Curved driveways, sidewalks, and walkways add character and curb appeal, but curves do not have to be complicated.
Replacing square walks that are not damaged is an unnecessary investment.
There are a few simple ways to make a major impact on the shape of your property.
- Create round flower beds around the mailbox and trees.
- Create a curved border along the sides of your square walkways.
- Add round planters.
- Use hardscaping to build up the edges. Using large rock, brick or stone will make them stand out.
- Use different colored rocks in curved shapes or geometrical patterns to add texture
It is possible to enhance the exterior of your property without breaking it. Innovative changes can give you a designer look on a budget.
Fire Pits are Hot
Not only can fire pits be a beautiful centerpiece to any outdoor living space; they enhance the rental value of your property by creating an inviting atmosphere for your tenants to entertain.
- Using pavers and retaining wall blocks is quick, easy, and inexpensive.
- Cement wall blocks laid in a bed of sand are easy on the budget but big on style.
- Pre-made fire pits come in an array of styles, sizes, and costs.
- Consider smokeless, gas, or even tabletop options.
Be sure to know the laws in your area or your HOA rules concerning open fires.
Ornamental Grass and Ground Cover
Unlike the lawn, ornamental grasses are not meant to be cut. They are relatively inexpensive and are low maintenance.
- Purple fountain grass is striking with its purple hues, fountain-like shape, and feathery flowers. At full maturity, it will reach 2 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide.
- Blue oat grass matures to about 3 to 6 feet in height and 1 to 3 feet wide. It can be drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun. The silver-blue blades look beautiful in rock gardens and planters.
- Pink muhly grass, also known as sweetgrass, is known for its fall and winter-blooming pink flowers. With its wispy, featherlike plumes, pink muhly grass looks best in large clumps.
There are not many plants that can compare to ornamental grass when it comes to visual impact and minimal maintenance.
Striking a balance between achieving an attractive property and maintaining a realistic budget and maintenance demand can be challenging.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with landscaping maintenance, a property management company can help you establish regular lawn care service or outline maintenance responsibilities for your tenants in the lease.
Establishing clear yard maintenance expectations upfront is imperative to avoid potential conflict down the road.