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Low-Maintenance Money-Saving Landscaping Tips for Rental Properties

Image by Deborah Munoz-Chacon, Sonoran Oasis Landscaping

Story by guest blogger Ryan Erwin, SGI Property Management, Phoenix

As an income property investor owner, you are always on the lookout for affordable and effective ways to improve the value of your rental property. Anything that makes the home more attractive to renters while also letting you charge higher rents is welcome.

It’s even better if the improvements are easy to do and have low maintenance costs. Unfortunately, there are not many home improvement projects that meet these criteria. But good landscaping is one of the few projects that does add value at an affordable price. Landscaping is also one of the best ways to improve a rental property.

The trouble with landscaping a rental property is that it can be expensive because of how much it costs to create and maintain the landscaping. That doesn't have to be the case. With a little effort, it is possible to create beautiful landscaping without spending a lot of money.

But first, what does good landscaping do for your rental property?

How Good Landscaping Improves Your Rental Property

There are three main reasons why you should pay attention to the landscaping around your rental:

  • Curb appeal: Both prospective and existing tenants will appreciate having a pleasant ambiance around their rental homes. No tenant will object to well-trimmed trees and mowed grass around the house. Curb appeal will also make it easier to market your rental.

  • Improved performance: Good landscaping will improve tenant retention. If your tenants love the environment around the property, they will be less likely to leave. The longer you can keep your tenants in the property, the better the rental performance.

  • Make more money: Good landscaping will help you raise the appraisal value of your rental. You can make more money when you sell it if you are into Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat (BRRRR) method. Or if you intend to buy and hold the home, you can charge higher rents because of the landscaping.

The question to ask is, "Can there be a way to create landscaping that tenants will love but do it without breaking the bank?" The answer is yes! Not only can you create your landscaping at a reasonable price, but you can also design it in a way that makes landscaping maintenance easy for you and your tenants.

Image by zhugher from Pixabay

1. Reduce Your Lawn Size

More grass means more mowing and watering. More mowing and watering equals more work for you and your tenants and more money spent on landscaping maintenance. Also, if you have less grass in the yard, you cut down on how much you need to spend on water, new grass every spring, plus the cost of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. But do not remove all your lawn; leave enough grass to give tenants a place to lounge or where children and pets can play.

2. Use Ground Cover Plants

In place of grass, you may want patches of ground cover plants spaced out around the yard. Cover plants are great for several reasons. As the name implies, they grow low to the ground, covering it and stifling weeds. At the same time, they do not grow so high that you need to trim them often. Moreover, if you find perennial cover plants, you won’t need to replant them yearly. If these are flowering plants, they can also add color to your yard.

3. Select more native plants

Giving priority to plants native to your region helps improve biodiversity. Native plants serve as habitats for indigenous wildlife. You will have more bees and butterflies visiting your property. On the economic side, you will spend less money on watering plants and fertilizer or pesticides. This is because native plants are adapted to the climate, and are more resistant to pests and diseases common to the area; they can look after themselves.

Image by Deborah Munoz-Chacon, Sonoran Oasis Landscaping

Zoning the plants in your landscaping means locating plants with similar needs close to one another and putting them on the same irrigation zone. Doing this makes it easier to water your plants. You will not be wasting water on plants that don’t require it when trying to water nearby plants that actually need it. Zoning the plants in the yard also helps to simplify landscaping maintenance.

5. Using Hardscaping

Hardscaping refers to the non-living elements of the yard. Using hardscaping allows you to drastically reduce the space that needs to be covered with plants. At the same time, it gives character and uniqueness to the yard. You can easily create points of interest by creatively placing your hardscaping features. Examples of hardscaping ideas you can use include adding rock gardens or stone walls. You can use various materials to create them, such as flagstone, cobble, granite aggregate, pavers, and boulders.

6. Install a Smart Irrigation System

Make sure water goes only where it is needed. Water should also only be distributed in the right amounts and at the right time of the day. You can achieve this by investing in a smart irrigation system. This system does not have to cost a lot of money to be effective. When deciding on an irrigation system, consider using drip irrigation.

Sonoran Oasis Landscaping can help you with your rental properties' landscaping. Call us at (520) 370-5697 for a free estimate.

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