One of the best things about living in the Sunshine State is that you don’t have to hit pause on your yard improvements. Winter is coming for the rest of the country, but for a South Florida property owner such as yourself, you can continue updating your yard without the wintry weather. We’ve previously listed the top landscaping upgrades that offer the best returns, but for this article, we will focus on upgrades that will attract potential tenants to your South Florida single-family home.
And don’t worry — we won’t list down eye-watering upgrades. Fortunately, you do not have to spend your entire rental income to spruce up your yard.
#1 Add an Outdoor Kitchen
There’s nothing like enjoying a cookout on a weekend. Having an outdoor kitchen makes it easier to entertain, which is why it has become a desired addition for a lot of people. By adding appliances to your patio, you can turn your outdoor space into an open-air dining area. Not only will it help your tenants host the best barbecues, but it will also be a space that they can use year-round. Plus, did you know that an outdoor kitchen can appreciate your property’s price by $10,000?
If you don’t want to build a kitchen, you can opt for a workspace instead. It will still be a selling point when you list your property with the help of a property management company.
#2 Add a Fence
No one wants to live with nosy neighbors, but if your investment property has no fence, your tenants will have to live without privacy. So, if your South Florida property is open to curious eyes, consider putting one up — stat. Be sure to follow the restrictions of your homeowner’s association (HOA), as some won’t allow you to put up a fence that’s taller than four feet.
If a solid fence doesn’t suit your style, put potted plants or trellises around the property. Don’t plant hedges too close to the house, as burglars can use these to access the window on the second story.
#3 Create an Outdoor Seating Area
If you add a kitchen, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to add a seating area. That way, your tenants can have a place to celebrate children’s parties, birthday parties, and so on. An outdoor seating area can be a huge selling point. Best of all, it’s absolutely affordable. All you need to do is to buy a patio set from your local furniture store.
Be sure to buy a set that isn’t too “out there”. If you’re offering a furnished unit, the furniture shouldn’t put off your potential tenants. Similarly, choose a set that goes with your property’s general aesthetic. For instance, a contemporary home shouldn’t have bistro chairs outside.
And remember, if you aren’t sure what goes with what, you can always consult a licensed property manager.
#4 Add a Patio
Around 61% of American households have a grill, so chances are that your potential tenant will want a place to put theirs. Don’t strip your tenant of the opportunity to entertain their guests outdoors and add a patio. And, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, adding a patio can add around $8,000 to your property’s price.
But before you hire a contractor, find out if adding a patio won’t go against the HOA’s rules and regulations. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you should also review the local ordinances to avoid violating the code. If you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer, don’t worry — you can still build a patio on a budget. Hire a property management company to help you choose vendors that can provide their services at a reasonable rate.
#5 Repaint the Exterior
Painting is one of the easiest ways to improve how your house looks from the outside. By repainting your property, you’ll be able to give it a facelift. A fresh coat of paint can help enhance your South Florida home’s curb appeal — in fact, you can anticipate a 55% ROI! The neighbors you’ve had for years will do a double-take when they walk past it.
Again, refer to your HOA’s rules and regulations since some won’t allow homeowners to paint their homes a certain color. For instance, some HOAs don’t allow paint colors that are too peculiar.
#6 Get Gardening
Gardening isn’t as hard as it seems. Any property investor can add a garden to their South Florida rental — even if they don’t have a green thumb. The trick is to plan how your backyard will look. A well-thought-out plan is necessary in order to stop your yard from turning into an eyesore.
And remember, not all tenants have the time to look after the garden, so go for low-maintenance plants such as peonies, hawthorns, and wax begonias.
#7 Add a Fire Pit
Forest fires aren’t uncommon in Florida, hence the state has specific laws on the use of fire pits. Fortunately, if you abide by them, you won’t have a problem with building a fire pit for your South Florida rental property. Your HOA, however, may have its own restrictions, so it would be best to check with them, too.
Furthermore, consider teaching your tenants about fire safety. According to Florida statute, the fire should be attended at all times. It would also be a good idea to include a clause in the lease agreement that tenants cannot install an open-air fire pit without the owner’s permission.
Contrary to popular belief, a pool won’t always add value to your investment property. In fact, adding a pool can deter tenants, especially those that have children. This is due to the danger of drowning. If, however, you’re adamant about adding a pool, be sure to add safety features such as pool alarms. You should also consider adding a clause to the lease that states that the landlord can’t be held liable for pool-related accidents.
If you’re planning on improving your home, don’t put the backyard on the back burner. The outdoors deserve as much attention as the interior of the home.
To get started, consult a property manager from Luxury Property Care. As South Florida’s top-rated property management firm, we can help you spruce up your yard so that it’s “rent-ready”. We also have our own network of vetted vendors that can do the work at a competitive price.