Outdoor Improvements to Boost Rental Property Value

With Summer right around the corner, homeowners and renters alike are looking forward to spending long days and evenings outside. In many markets, the layout and usability of outdoor space can make the difference with tenants choosing between multiple places to call home. Would your rental be their first choice?

If the answer is no, then you may need to invest in your property’s outdoor spaces to attract high-quality tenants. There are many outdoor updates you can make that will have tenants lining up to rent your property.  The most important thing to look at before making any outdoor improvements is the return on investment (ROI) that each project will have. You don’t just want to create demand for your property; you also want to maximize your ROI through increased rental rates. Let’s look at some outdoor updates that will boost your rental property value and make it stand out to prospective tenants:

1. Deck or Patio Addition

2. Add Outdoor Lighting

3. Landscaping

4. Outdoor Living Areas

1. Deck or Patio Addition

Having a deck or patio addition for your rental property is crucial to attracting high-value tenants. They can offer one of the highest ROIs for outdoor updates, which is good news for you! When done correctly, decks and patios allow tenants to enjoy the beautiful views and surroundings of the property with all the amenities of indoor living.

If your property already has an existing deck or patio, there are some great cost-effective ways to spruce it up and turn it into an outdoor oasis for tenants. Consider making some of the following updates:

• Power wash deck or patio for newer and cleaner look

• Add some potted plants or railing to help define the space

• Create comfortable seating areas for tenants to enjoy

• Create lighting options for evening use

2. Add Outdoor Lighting

Being able to use outdoor spaces at night is a massive bonus for prospective tenants. If you don’t provide adequate lighting in these areas, they are less likely to be enjoyed. Lighting is an excellent opportunity to add some ambiance and functionality to outdoor spaces for a minimal investment.

Prioritize adding outdoor lighting to the most used areas like decks, patios, pergolas, and gazebos. A great (and affordable) lighting option is string lights. You can string them from the house/structure or install posts to create a lighting design directly above the outdoor area.

A nice finishing touch could be adding motion sensor lighting in less used outdoor areas like a side yard or walkway. That way, if tenants ever use that space at night, there is ample lighting when they need it.

3. Landscaping

You should accomplish two things with the landscaping of your rental property: make it low-maintenance and visually appealing. The last thing tenants want to do is spend an hour every weekend or have someone come every week to maintain the yard (usually on your dime!)

There are a lot of great ways to landscape that will increase ROI in a budget-friendly way. Let’s look at low maintenance first:

• Use native plants in planter beds – this will ensure the plants in your yard are ideal for the local climate and will require much less work than plants that don’t thrive in that environment.

• Consider grass alternatives – There is no way around it – grass is expensive. Between the irrigation and maintenance costs, it can be more trouble than it’s worth. Synthetic lawns are becoming increasingly popular with options that look very similar to natural grass (minus the expensive upkeep.) If you are determined to use natural grass, look for varietals that will do well in the local climate.

Your yard should also be a space where tenants want to spend time. There are some easy ways to transform your landscape and give it an inviting ambiance:

• Adding plants and flowers to your yard that brighten the space is essential in creating an inviting presence (pro tip: use low maintenance perennials that will come back every year.)

• Install malibu landscape lighting in your planter beds for evening enjoyment.

• Get creative using decorative and colorful features throughout your yard to add some character and functionality to the space.

4. Outdoor Living Areas

An outdoor update that provides one of the highest increases in ROI is bringing the indoors out. Creating outdoor living areas can drastically increase the time tenants will spend outside, increasing the value of your rental property. Outdoor living areas can be costly upfront but pay dividends in the long run. Here are some popular upgrades you can give to your rental:

• Build an outdoor kitchen with a built-in BBQ, countertop, sink, refrigerator, and seating

• Install speakers and TV in well-covered areas like a gazebo or covered patio

• Add a fire pit with seating

• Create shaded areas using umbrellas, sunshades, or pergolas

Adding any of these to your rental property will get tenants excited to live in your property and happily pay extra for it!

Increasing ROI Should be Your Main Priority with Outdoor Updates

As you can see, there are many ways to increase your rental property’s value with outdoor updates. Some of these improvements may seem daunting at first because they come with a hefty price tag, but it’s essential to focus on the potential ROI these projects can have instead of the cost. If these projects allow you to charge more in monthly rent, they can be worth the upfront cost.

If you want to get the most ROI out of your rental property but aren’t sure where to start, take the stress out of it and use a property management company that knows your market and will manage the process for you.

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