Aside from enhancing the curb appeal of your rental, a newly upgraded backyard or lawn can boost the value of your rental property. However, not all upgrades can produce a significant return on investment. In fact, some “upgrades” can even make a property less attractive to prospective tenants.
Before making upgrades to your rental property’s landscaping, it’s best to plan which improvements will be worth it. Below, we will go over which landscaping improvements offer the highest return on investment (ROI).
Best Landscaping Improvements for High ROI
#1 General Lawn Maintenance
As a landlord, general lawn maintenance is your responsibility. Ideally, you or your property managers should schedule this regularly, for example, monthly or bi-monthly. A rental property that looks overgrown, with weeds and dead plants everywhere, can deter tenants from even considering your home. It makes prospective tenants think that they will have to spend a ton of money on gardening.
One of the best ways to upgrade your rental property’s landscaping is by giving it much-needed love and care. This can be done by treating the lawn with weed control chemicals, applying fertilizer, replacing certain spots with artificial grass, and much more.
#2 Stone Driveways
Concrete driveways are practical, but they don’t do much for your rental property’s curb appeal. By paving a driveway with stones, you can instantly boost its aesthetic appeal. Tenants are always looking for the smallest imperfections to lower the rate — and that includes a cracked and dirty driveway.
Paving your rental property’s driveway with stones offers you flexibility in terms of design. There are dozens of stones that you can choose from, each coming in different colors, sizes, and textures. Whatever your rental property looks like, you can easily match the driveway to the architecture of your home. The best part? Stones are extremely durable, which means they will last a lifetime.
One surefire way to increase your rental property’s value is by planting a tree. Not only is this fairly simple to do, but its return on investment is guaranteed. Properties that have mature trees can attract tenants, especially in neighborhoods where there isn’t much greenery. Also, trees offer natural shade to a home. As a result, your tenants can save on their energy bills since they won’t have to use the air conditioning unit as often.
If your rental property currently doesn’t have an abundance of trees, consider planting one or two in the backyard. Stick to medium-sized trees that offer plenty of shade, as large trees can overshadow the house. A few good examples include bald cypress trees, southern live oak, and Florida maple.
#4 Privacy Fence
If your rental property is located in a neighborhood where there aren’t fences separating one property from the other, building a tall fence will likely be a welcome addition. Privacy is one of the biggest concerns among tenants. No one wants their neighbor to see what they are doing. By adding a privacy fence to your rental property’s backyard, you can offer your tenant the privacy that they need.
Also, a privacy fence acts as a “divider” between properties. This ensures that your tenant’s neighbor won’t encroach on your property or the other way around. Since property boundaries are a common cause of disputes with neighbors, it pays to prevent it from happening in the first place.
#5 Eye-Catching Plants
Unique plants such as colorful foliage can boost your rental property’s visual appeal. The best part is that this upgrade requires only a couple of hundred dollars. Adding a variety of plants to your rental’s backyard or lawn can attract more tenants to the property.
A good example is perennials, which are more affordable compared to shrubs, and can instantly add color to a home. You could also place an array of neatly potted plants by the entranceway. The rule of thumb is to place eye-catching plants in the areas where you want to draw attention. This helps prospective tenants see more clearly what the property has to offer.
#6 Outdoor Kitchen
Give your tenants a place to host backyard BBQs by building a decent outdoor kitchen. This home improvement project will cost you around $14,000 but it will be worth it since the estimated ROI is approximately $10,000.
The outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be grand. If you want to stick with the bare minimum, simply installing an inset grill, ice chest, stainless drawers and cupboards, sink, and a spacious countertop is good enough.
No tenant wants to stand around in their garden carrying a long and heavy hose each time they have to water the plants. Similarly, not every tenant has the time to water the hedge. By installing an automatic sprinkler system, you can protect your property investment. This means that you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars to remove dead plants and replant new ones.
Installing a sprinkler system costs around $3,500. Since your tenants won’t have to guess how much water is needed to water your lawn, thus preventing the risk of overwatering the plants, you will get to save on water and eventually recover around 86% from the upgrade.
A deck expands the livable space in your rental property, giving you a reason to increase your rental price. If your rental property offers a spacious backyard, consider installing a wood deck where your tenants can grill, sunbathe, and entertain guests.
When you decide to sell your property, you’ll recoup nearly 76% of the money spent on building the wooden deck.
Consult With a Professional
Well-planned upgrades to a rental property’s landscaping can boost curb appeal and increase the value of the property. Whenever you’re considering making improvements to your rental property, it’s best to consult with a professional landscaper, real estate agent, or property manager. In doing so, you can gain relevant insights into what tenants in your area are looking for. This information will help you decide on the right landscaping upgrades that will offer the best ROI.
The property managers at Luxury Property Care can help you decide which landscaping upgrades are right for your rental investment. We can accurately calculate the expected ROI of each improvement, whether it’s a new deck, driveway, and much more.