5 Quick Ways to Increase Curb Appeal Before You Rent
Even if there’s no curb, you still need curb appeal.
There’s always a tug-of-war when you’re getting a rental property ready to show to a new prospect. On the one hand, you want the place to look better than it already does, no matter how good it looks now. On the other hand, you have a limited amount of time and money to get the job done. So you want the most bang for your buck. Here are five easy ideas that can make a property pop:
Paint the Front Door, Possibly the Front Porch
Quite often, repainting the entire exterior is a job you just don’t want to spend the time and money on — but first impressions are still critical. So at the minimum, you should paint the front door so the prospects will see it on the way in and approve. If the door has a small porch or awning around it, painting the whole thing can heighten the effect without dramatically exacerbating the workload.
Improve the Hardware
Painting your front door isn’t going to do you much good if the doorknob is dented, the hinges are dingy and the house numbers are rusted. Getting all of that outer hardware — even the mailbox — replaced can cost less than fifty bucks and give a great impression to walk-ins.
Hire a Pressure Cleaner
Get the walkway, driveway, gutters, and any surfaces of the house that will stand up to it pressure washed. The time and money investment is fairly minimal, but the improvement in curb appeal is hard to overstate. In particular, getting the gutters done says ‘I care about this home,’ particularly if you pair it with a good washing of the front windows.
Window Boxes Add Charm and Functionality
It can be exorbitant to hire a landscaper — and it’s also rarely necessary. Planting a garden is a nice idea, but if the tenants don’t want to maintain it — or if there are no tenants for a month or so — it will wither and become a liability instead of an asset. Instead, add window boxes where relevant, and fill them with low-maintenance, beautiful plants like pansies or primroses. Your tenants will see a potential mini-garden and they’ll see pretty flowers — a double win.
Define Garden Areas
Who doesn’t want to at least believe that they might one day have a garden in their backyard? You can give a nod to this dream by using concrete curbing, paving stones, or bricks to define planting beds anywhere in the yard. Rip up the ground once to give the illusion of having been cared for at some point, and let the tenants take care of the rest if it suits their fancy.
Curb appeal isn’t completely mandatory to renting a property — but it helps. Keep your budget down and improve your chances of a quick rental by thinking about cosmetic changes that prospects will see before they hit the welcome mat.