You know that curb appeal is important when selling your home; however, you may not have put much thought into the value of curb appeal when renting properties. Yet the simple fact remains that people love to live in locations that look great. While landlords are very busy, investing in landscaping can help you attract renters to your properties. Let’s look at some landscaping tips for residential landlords to help improve your rental properties.
1) Leverage the Use of Ground Cover for Tough Areas
We’ve all encountered those areas where its just plain difficult to get grass to grow. An excellent and cost-effective solution for these areas is ground cover. There are a number of ground cover plants that are very low maintenance and will give your property a great look. Here is a list of a number of great options.
Among our personal favorites are ajuga, creeping juniper, and Irish moss. However, plants like ferns can also add a great look while lavender can add a pleasing fragrance. Another benefit of ground cover is that it is typically rather fast growing, able to cover barren patches fairly quickly. There are many options available, meaning you’re sure to find something that fits well with the look you’re going for.
2) Minimize Grass when Possible
This may sound like a strange recommendation. After all, everyone loves a nice, lush lawn, right? However, lawns can be time consuming to care for and, unless you have a professional lawn care management team, like Professor Green Thumb, a lawn can quickly become overgrown and unsightly, especially in the spring when grass grows fast. The solution is to minimize grassy areas.
There are a number of things you can do. Consider planting edible gardens, shrubs, and flower beds. These can add curb appeal and allow for a variety of plants. You can choose from options that require more care or less depending on your time. Adding stone pavers can also be a great way to create usable space in an attractive manner where you used to have grass. Here are some great tips for utilizing pavers.
3) Select Perennials When Possible
For a property manager, one important consideration when choosing plants is to minimize the amount of work needed as much as possible. If you do your own landscaping, this will save time. If you hire someone to maintain it, this will save you money.
Perennials are plants that live more than two years, meaning that they’ll resist the cold temperatures of winter and come up again the next spring. There are a wide variety of perennials that can add pop to your curb appeal. Some of our favorites are native blanket flowers and plumbago. Hostas are another great choice with a wide variety of colors and patterns. They are basically effortless plants that can live in most climates.
4) Avoid Straight Lines
When creating flower beds, conventional practice is to go with straight lines. While it is natural for many people to focus on straight lines and sharp corners, this is not the most aesthetically pleasing choice. Instead, create contoured flower beds that make angles and weave around the home. They are more welcoming and create a more attractive overall design.
Additionally, when building a flower bed next to your properties, a common mistake that many people make is not making it wide enough. For smaller yards with limited space, opt for two to three feet. However, if your property sits with a larger yard, you’ll want to go with six to eight feet of width for your flower bed.
5) Plant a Tree
One small thing that can make a huge improvement in your curb appeal is planting a tree. Trees are relatively simple projects that provide long lasting value and can make a property seem more like a home. There are a number of options available, many of which can be found for a relatively small investment.
Adding a tree or two can also make a yard look fuller. You’ll want to choose a tree that does not require a lot of upkeep. For rental properties, evergreens tend to be a very popular option as they don’t require raking in the fall. The Arbor Day Foundation is an excellent source for looking into choosing the perfect tree to spruce up your property.
6) Create a Focal Point
If you only have a little bit to invest in a property’s landscaping, make it count by creating a focal point. The focal point for a rental property should be the front door. There are numerous things you can do to accomplish this. Consider lining the walkway up to the door with beautiful flowering plants or small shrubs. This will naturally frame the area.
Look at the front door itself as well. How can you better draw attention to it? Depending on the layout, consider adding flower beds on each side with plants of a wide variety of sizes. While asymmetry is attractive in the yard as a whole, framing a front door with symmetrical landscaping immediately around it is a good strategy for drawing attention.
7) Utilize Barrier Cloth or Mulch
One of the most frustrating aspects of landscaping is pulling out weeds. Your tenants definitely don’t want to do it, and neither do you. One easy way to prevent weeds in your landscaping is to put down a barrier cloth of biodegradable material.
Another very efficient weed barrier is mulch, which can also be an attractive addition to landscaping. However, straw can be even more effective as a barrier while also helping with pest control. Consider placing a layer of straw topped with mulch to get the nice look of mulch with the added benefit of the straw.
Landscaping isn’t something landlords often focus on; however, a little bit of attention can prove to be quite valuable in attracting tenants. The value of extra curb appeal provided by well-thought-out landscaping can help you generate more revenue. Follow these tips and opt for relatively low maintenance choices to make your life easy and your properties pop!
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