Mt. Bachelor Property Management shares these tips for increasing curb appeal of your rental property. Contact them about their property management services.
“Curb Appeal” is that all-encompassing phrase used to describe the front of the home as seen at first glance by potential tenants or buyers. The reason it gets talked about so much is that what people see when they first walk up to a house has a significant impact on whether or not they want to live there. Even small details matter – and can actually change property value and potential rental fees.
But beyond looking nice, what does curb appeal actually mean? Mt. Bachelor Property Management shares 15 tips for ensuring great curb appeal for your rental property in Central Oregon.
1. Take a Stroll
Walk up and down the street in front of your property. Try looking at it with new eyes – what’s the first thing you notice when you pull up? What about when you’re walking down the street? How does the front of the property look from different angles? How does it look compared to nearby homes? Walk around the paths and driveway, and look at the details, too. Chances are good you will notice several items that need attention.
2. Add More Color with Paint
Color is one of the most popular curb appeal upgrades, an easy way to make the front of a property warm and inviting. That’s why you’ll see so many doors in various striking colors like blue, red, yellow, and bright green. Painting columns and latticework are also targets for bright paint colors. The visible house/address numbers are also a popular choice for a new paint job, or a replacement with something more noticeable like brass numbers.
While we’re talking about painting, we’ll also mention that Central Oregon weather can be harsh on exterior coats of paint. Always take a look at the siding, trim, and eaves of the house. If they’ve been worn bare in the most exposed places, that’s a poor look – plan on a new coat of exterior paint to deal with that while the weather is clear.
3. Change with the Seasons
Flowers, shrubs, and potted plants are other common ideas for enhancing curb appeal. But keep in mind that the high desert seasons can vary greatly, and the plants you choose may have to vary with them. Bright splashes of colorful flowers won’t be possible in the cold winters when even perennials will die back a little. If you want to add plants to your porch or other entry area, plan a schedule to switch them out based on the season, and perhaps retire them in a safe place for winter.
4. Add More Landscaping
A flat, basic front yard can look a little boring. Think about adding landscaping that will draw the eye and provide impressive focal points. Dry riverbeds with pebbles and natural lava rock can look great and don’t take much maintenance. If you have any front yard trees, consider building them up with tile or natural berms. Even surrounding flower beds with brick or stone can make a big difference.
If you have areas that look a little bare, consider adding large lava rocks or similar stones there to make the area look more interesting. If the front yard has no trees at all, consider planting one or two small decorative trees to help add shade and create new focal points. Just remember to schedule tree trimming as your new trees start to grow.
Don’t have time to landscape yourself? Incorporating a professional landscaper in the spring and summer is a great way to ensure your property is well maintained for current and future renters. Mt. Bachelor has landscape contractors that take care of many homes to ensure curb appeal is at its best.
5. Focus on Symmetry
While landscaping, keep in mind some important rules about symmetry. A single focal point should be as centered as possible. However, the entrance has two sides, so many additions should have symmetry on both sides. Two new lamps on the porch, two new shrubs along the walkway, two new windows by the door…you get the idea. If a single focal point makes other areas in the front yard feel bare, try to add an extra feature elsewhere to complement other elements.
6. Don’t Forget About Security
The front of the property is an increasingly popular spot for adding security features that tenants will love. That can include anything from gated access that makes it harder for strangers to enter the property, to video doorbells that automatically capture footage of who’s walking up to a house. Owners also benefit from security additions like these, so they are a win-win for those willing to invest.
7. Freshen Up Pathways
Walk along all the sidewalks, pathways and driveway and see if they need work. Large cracks in slabs are a sign they may need to be patched or replaced, especially before they grow during freezing conditions. Moss and stains are a sign that pathways need to be cleaned, possibly pressure-washed. Debris like leaves and pine needles may need to be cleared away, too. You can also fix uneven or displaced pavers to help improve the appearance.
8. Browse for Inspiration
If you don’t see anything to immediately fix for curb appeal, you can always look for inspiration. There are a number of magazines, such as Bend Home + Design, that are filled with ideas for both home décor and outdoor upgrades that can improve your curb appeal immensely. It’s always a good idea to turn to the experts for new ideas or landscaping options. Even a simple walk around the neighborhood to see what other owners are doing can yield promising plans of action.
9. Get Rid of the Needles and Debris
If there are any trees near your property, especially Ponderosa pine trees, then needles can quickly pile up on the roof and gutters. Needles and other debris can stick out like a sore thumb when it comes to first impressions. Clean out the gutters and roof at least twice a year or arrange gutter cleaning services with someone so that you’ll be prepared.
10. Think About Replacing Curbside Lawns
Curbside lawns can sometimes struggle, especially since they tend to be more exposed to bright summer sun and snow build-up in winter. That can leave them looking brown and patchy compared to other lawn areas. If your curbside lawn patch isn’t impressive, consider replacing it with a rock or gravel walkway. It’s a simple project that will fix those annoying bare patches permanently.
11. Upgrade Your Lighting
You can upgrade entry lighting in a couple of different ways. First, you can replace basic lamps with more ornate versions, or add more lamps, including ground lights, to spread lighting through the front yard (and improve safety). Or you can change the type of lighting by adding long-lasting, bright LED bulbs that last longer. There are plenty of innovative lighting ideas you can try depending on your space.
12. Add Window Shutters
Many houses look beautiful with new window shutters, but not all have them. If your home is a candidate for traditional window covers for the front exterior, think about adding them. You can pick colors that complement your trim or roof colors for the best effect. Look for durable shutters that you can easily take off if necessary, during harsh weather conditions.
If shutters aren’t quite right, there are other upgrades you can apply to your windows, such as window boxes for plants or new trim colors.
13. Create a Seating Area
If your property has a porch, make sure it includes at least some inviting seating options to make it look cozier and more inviting. There are plenty of weather-resistant wicker chairs and padding options available at local home improvement stores that you can use. If your property doesn’t have a porch area that can accommodate seating, think about getting creative. Replacing a patch of nearby lawn, for example, can allow you to create a little patio area with a couple of chairs – bonus points if it’s near a flower bed or in a great sunny spot.
14. Make Sure the Garage Door Looks Its Best
For many properties, the garage door is one of the most noticeable parts when people first pull up to a house. That’s why it’s particularly important that the garage door looks its best. It should clean and the paint should not be flecked or fading. Watch for dust build-up, stains from bird poop, and other problems that can cause noticeable blemishes. If you’re prepared to invest in a new garage door, look for one that matches the rest of the property, and includes more luxury features like windows and decorative hinges.
15. Spread New Mulch
It’s an annual tradition for many Central Oregon homes – spreading new mulch in the spring as the weather clears. Older mulch can fade and eventually disappear, creating bare patches in flowerbeds, along pathways, and in other important areas. That also makes it easy for weeds to grow. New mulch, meanwhile, adds a rich new look to the yard, helps resist weeds, and is easy to apply on an annual schedule.
Partner with Mt. Bachelor Property Management Today
Is it hard to find time for property maintenance? Mt. Bachelor Property Management works with local experts to make sure your investment properties look their best. We also help market a variety of rentals, ensure payment, and address any unexpected maintenance issues or emergencies…and that’s just the beginning. Take a look at the services we offer and contact us today to learn more about how we can help manage your property.
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