When it comes to single-family rental homes your exteriors matter. Creating attractive landscaping around your homes is an important part of increasing property values and attracting quality residents. If your current landscaping isn’t quite meeting expectations, it may be time for an upgrade. But some landscaping improvements offer a much higher return on your investment than others. Knowing which upgrades are worth the cost and effort can help keep your rental homes living up to their potential.
According to Erik Shorb, co-owner of American Plant, a Bethesda-based nursery and landscaping company, “the standard suggested is to invest 10 percent of the value of your home in landscaping.” But it’s also important not to overdo it. Extensive or high-maintenance landscaping can be seen as a negative by renters who don’t want to take on the extra maintenance cost and work involved. For this reason, focusing on the elements that offer increased property values as well as high renter satisfaction is the best place to start. Low maintenance options are highly recommended.
The landscaping features that tend to have the highest return for the cost are those that offer the appeal of greenery. According to a recent CBS News article, a green and properly maintained lawn is the best way to add instant curb appeal. Overgrown lawns, weeds, and bare spots can make a home look sloppy and uninviting. Addressing these issues offer large value increases.
For example, while reseeding a lawn has a relatively small cost, it can dramatically improve the appearance of a home’s exterior. Installing sod can have a similar effect, but will typically cost a little more. Either way, providing a green space for your residents is one of the best ways to attract and keep quality residents.
Greening up your rental home’s exterior doesn’t need to be expensive. For example, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that simply fertilizing a lawn can add green up your home’s exterior and add to your home’s value at the same time. Consumer Reports offers more ideas for budget-friendly upgrades, such as creating clean lines between grass and flower beds with a shovel and using a high-quality bark mulch to keep weeds under control.
Attractive outdoor gathering spaces are another way to add to a rental home’s value. Adding a patio or deck will come with a large price tag, but according to Remodeling Magazine, the benefits often outweigh the cost. Millennial residents, in particular, are looking for rental homes with places for friends and family to gather, so a patio or deck could make your property easier to rent at higher rates to this demographic.
Another landscaping upgrade that offers a recognizable return on your investment is outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting offers a lot of benefits for renters, including increased security and increased curb appeal after dark. According to Inman.com, motion lights or energy-efficient fixtures are small upgrades that can significantly increase a rental home’s appeal and resident satisfaction.
Knowing which landscaping upgrades are worth your time and money can help you keep your property values growing year after year. At Real Property Management Pittsburgh, we can help with that. Our professionals can help you plan a range of landscaping upgrades designed to achieve the maximum value possible for your investment property.
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