Adding Curb Appeal to Your Rental Property: Tips and Tricks

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

Looking to boost your rental property's curb appeal? Remember, first impressions can make or break a potential tenant's decision. A captivating exterior attracts quality tenants and can justify higher rents.

Small changes, whether landscaping, fresh paint, or upgraded fixtures, can have a big impact. If you're on the hunt for cost-effective ways to enhance your property's first impression, you're in the right place.

In this guide, we'll show you how to add curb appeal to a rental property without breaking the bank.

The Basics: Clean and Declutter

One of the most budget-friendly ways to boost your property's curb appeal is by keeping it clean and clutter-free. Start by sweeping the porch, cleaning the windows, and removing any weeds or debris from the yard.

A clean exterior sends a message that the property is well-maintained, making it more attractive to potential tenants. Here are some tips  to add curb appeal on your property in every season:

Spring curb appeal:

  • Plant Colorful FlowersChoose flowers that bloom in spring to add a pop of color.
  • Trim overgrown bushes. Overgrown bushes can make your property look neglected. Spring is the perfect time to give them a good trim.

Summer yard maintenance:

  • Keep the Lawn Green. A well-watered, green lawn is inviting.
  • Add a Bird Bath or Feeder. These small additions can make your yard more appealing and lively.

Fall lawn upkeep:

  • Rake Leaves. A yard full of leaves looks messy. Make sure to keep it clean.
  • Add Autumnal Decorations. Consider adding pumpkins, hay bales, or even a scarecrow.

Winter yard maintenance:

  • Clear Walkways. Snow and ice can be hazardous and uninviting.
  • Winter-Friendly Plants. Some plants, like evergreens, can survive the winter and add to your property's curb appeal.

DIY vs. Professional Services

Landscaping design in a yard

When improving your property's curb appeal, you have two main options: DIY Curb Appeal Projects or Hiring Professionals for Curb Appeal.

Pros of DIY:

  • Cost-Effective. You can save significant money by doing the work yourself.
  • Personal Touch. You have complete control over the project, allowing you to add your personal flair.
  • Skill Building. You'll gain valuable skills and knowledge that can be useful for future projects.
  • Immediate Availability. You can start the project whenever you want without having to schedule around a professional's availability.
  • No Labor Costs. You won't have to pay for labor, which can be one of the most expensive aspects of a project.

Cons of DIY:

  • Time-Consuming. DIY projects can take longer than expected, especially if you're not experienced.
  • Quality. Without professional expertise, the quality may suffer, and you may need to redo the work.
  • Risk of Mistakes. Lack of experience can lead to mistakes that might cost you more in the long run.
  • Limited Tools. You may not have access to specialized tools that make the job easier and more professional-looking.
  • Physical Labor. The work can be physically demanding, which might not be ideal for everyone.

Pros of Hiring Professionals:

  • Less Stress. You won't have to worry about the labor or making mistakes.
  • Warranty. Many professionals offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind.
  • Expert Advice. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations you might not have considered.
  • High-Quality Work. They have the skills, tools, and experience to deliver a polished result.
  • Quick and efficient. Professionals can complete the job in a fraction of the time it might take you.

Cons of Hiring Professionals:

  • Cost. Depending on the project, professional services can be expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
  • Less Personal Control. When hiring professionals, you may have to compromise on some of your preferences.
  • Availability. You'll have to schedule the work according to the professional's availability, which might not be convenient for you.
  • Potential for Scams. There's a risk of hiring unqualified or unscrupulous contractors if you're not careful.
  • Up-selling. Some professionals might try to sell you additional services you don't need.

The Roof: An Overlooked Element

The condition of the roof can be a deal-breaker for many tenants. A leaky or damaged roof looks bad and raises concerns about potential water damage inside the property. According to industry statistics, ROI on roof repairs ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, but the return is robust, averaging about 60%.

Local trends:

  • Green Roofs. These are becoming increasingly popular in urban settings. A green roof is covered with vegetation, which improves aesthetics, provides insulation, and helps manage stormwater.
  • Solar Panels. With the increasing focus on sustainability, solar panels are not just for the eco-conscious. They are sustainable roofing options that can significantly reduce electricity bills, making your property more appealing to potential tenants.
  • Cool Roofs. These are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof, often resulting in lower cooling costs during the summer.
  • Architectural Shingles. These high-quality shingles come in various styles and colors, allowing greater customization of your property's look.

Paint: A Splash of Color

Painting to boost the property's curb appeal

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in enhancing your property's curb appeal. Whether it's just the trim or the entire exterior, new paint can give your property a fresh, updated look.

Choose colors that harmonize with the neighborhood but make your property stand out. (Related article: 9 Tips For Choosing Home Exterior Paint Color)

Local trends for paint:

  • Natural Tones. Earthy tones like browns and greens are increasingly popular, especially in suburban and rural areas.
  • Bold Accents. Using a bold color for the front door or shutters can make your property stand out.
  • Eco-Friendly Paints. With a growing focus on sustainability, eco-friendly paints that are low in VOCs are gaining popularity.

Lighting: Illuminate Your Property

Good lighting is essential for adding curb appeal to a rental, especially if potential tenants are likely to visit during the evening. Well-placed outdoor lighting can highlight your property's best features and add security.

Quick tips for lighting:

  • Security Lights. Bright, motion-activated lights can add a sense of security.
  • Accent Lighting. Use accent lights to highlight architectural features or landscaping.
  • Pathway Lights. Illuminate the walkway to your front door to make your property inviting.

Local trends for lighting:

  • Solar Lights. These are eco-friendly and eliminate the need for electrical wiring.
  • Smart Lighting. Control your outdoor lights through a smartphone app, allowing you to change settings remotely.

Landscaping: The Green Factor

A well-landscaped yard

A well-landscaped yard can significantly boost your property's curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, properties with good landscaping sell for an average of 7% more. The same logic applies to rentals.

Local trends:

  • Flower Beds. Well-designed flower beds can add color and life to your property.
  • Water Features. A small fountain or pond can add a luxurious feel.
  • Native Plants. Using plants native to your area can be a selling point for environmentally-conscious tenants.
  • Hardscaping. Consider adding a small patio or walkway to make your outdoor space more usable.
  • Xeriscaping. In areas prone to drought, xeriscaping, which involves landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, is becoming popular.
  • Edible Gardens. With the farm-to-table movement gaining traction, edible gardens are a unique selling point.

Additional Touches: Mailbox, Walkways, and More

Don't overlook the smaller elements like the mailbox, walkways, and house numbers. A stylish, new mailbox or freshly paved walkway can significantly affect how your property is perceived.

Quick tips:

  • Update or paint the mailbox.
  • Consider adding a unique house number display.
  • Edge the walkways with bricks or stones for a finished look.

Final Thoughts

Investing in curb appeal is not just about aesthetics; it's also a smart financial move. A property with high curb appeal will attract better tenants, command higher rents, and offer a better ROI. So, when pondering how to add curb appeal to a rental, consider it an investment in your property's future.

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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