The first impression renters get of your rental property is the landscaping. The yard needs to be well groomed, with plenty of curb appeal to attract high-end renters.
If you haven’t made that a priority in the past, you might consider doing it now. This task is important, and it’s not necessarily easy. Good landscaping requires skills that many people don’t readily have.
Whether you’re choose to try your hand at doing your own landscaping or hire someone else to do it, there are some things you’ll want to consider when selecting a landscaping plan that will appeals to potential renters.
1. Think “curb appeal”
Your goal here is to maximize the curb appeal of your rental property. Stand across the street from the property so you can take in everything you have to work with.
Note the curves of the sidewalk, the empty spaces, the size of the yard, and anything else that you can use to your advantage when coming up with an overall design. Then get a pad of paper and a pencil and sketch several ideas for what you want the final result to look like.
2. Offer shade
It’s always a good idea to include some shade, especially if you live in a hot climate like the Southwest. A tree in the backyard will be very attractive to renters as a place to sit under during summer evenings and for children to play on.
In front, it’s a good idea to place trees and bushes where they’ll cast shadows over windows and help keep the sun from beating in on hot afternoons. On the other hand, you should remove trees and bushes if they are in an awkward location or completely block the windows.
3. Mow often
If you could do only one thing for your landscaping, it would be to mow the grass regularly. An overgrown lawn makes the entire place look in disarray no matter how beautiful the structure is.
Your lawn should be mowed at least once a week for optimum health and appeal.
4. Spray for weeds and insects
Don’t try doing this yourself. If not administered properly, the chemicals used for killing weeds and insects can harm the plants you want to keep.
They can also be dangerous to your health. Nevertheless, spraying is a valuable tool for excellent lawn care and landscaping, so it may be worth hiring outside help to get it done.
Anything you plant will need to be fertilized. For flowerbeds and trees you’ll most likely use mulch and manure. For the grass, use a rotary spreader that will sprinkle lawn fertilizer throughout your grass as you walk it across the lawn.
6. Prune hedges and trees
In order to keep the landscaping looking nice and orderly, you need to prune and trim the hedges and trees. Proper pruning encourages healthy growth as well as keeping the plants looking nice.
Different plants will have to be pruned at different times of year, but the technique is essentially the same for all plants: cut out the dead parts of the plant to make room for new growth.
7. Make room for a tenant garden
A very attractive element for many prospective tenants is a place they can plant a personal garden. Some people like to have a flowerbed they can tend and care for.
Others like a small plot that allows them adequate space to grow fruits and vegetables. Regardless, placing a section of tilled, fresh soil where tenants can easily get to it will add value to the rental and appeal to prospective renters.
8. Include potted greenery
Not all of your greenery needs to stay in the ground. A collection of potted plants spread around the yard can also be appealing.
These pots look especially nice on your front porch or in clumps under a window. It’s a simple way to add elegance to any yard without too much cost or effort.
9. Add curves
If you’ve looked through a lot of landscaping books or websites, you’ll notice that a major trend is curves. Adding curves to your front lawn makes a big difference in the overall look.
It adds variety to an otherwise square universe. Though it would be very difficult to change your sidewalks or driveway to add curves if they aren’t there already, think about adding curves around your flowerbeds. Cut into the square grass path and round out the dirt plot where your flowerbeds are.
Line the flowerbeds with large rocks, bricks, or a concrete liner you can obtain at a gardening shop. Though you can do this yourself, for the best results hire a professional to do the shaping.
10. Keep gutters clear
Leaves and other debris often get trapped in your rain gutters. In order to keep those channels flowing freely, you need to keep them clean.
But keeping them clean is also important for the landscaping. Anything that gets caught in your gutters can easily get blown onto your lawn, and that will have a negative effecton the curb appeal.
11. Install a sprinkler system
This is a major expense you won’t regret. A sprinkler system eliminates the time and energy needed to set out sprinklers over and over.
It will ensure that every part of your yard receives the right amount of water without constant attention. You probably have plenty of other things to worry about without having to babysit the sprinklers on your rental property all day long.
12. Display lawn art
Gnomes are clichés, but other lawn art can enhance your current landscaping. If your rental property is high end, consider having someone carve some hedge art for you.
You could also install statues of birds or frogs for the garden. There are many extremely elegant pieces to choose from when it comes to lawn and garden decoration.
13. Utilize rocks
Rocks go well with greenery. As you add curves to your yard, consider adding a rock garden to one of the flowerbeds or scattering large boulders among your rose bushes. A rock path from one flowerbed to another would also be a very pretty addition to any yard.
14. Go natural
Think about implementing as many items that are native to the area as possible. For example, if your region enjoys a wealth of wildflowers, add some to your flowerbeds. Also, use natural rock to enhance the greenery.
15. Hire someone to take care of your yard
Once you have the vision, you can perform some of the landscaping yourself, but you’ll likely need to hire someone to do the shaping and design of your yard. If it’s well maintained, landscaping will significantly increase your property value, which should enable you to raise what you charge for rent.
Taking care of your yard won’t be a picnic, though. To reduce the hassle and stress of landscape maintenance, hire a property manager to do it for you. A good property management company such as Green Residential can deliver quality landscaping services that save you time and money, and allow you to enjoy your income without stress.
Contact us today for a quote on our landscaping and other property management services.