Landscaping Investment Properties: Where to Focus Your Money

The key to any successful landscaping project is to implement aesthetics with functionality. You want to maximize the property’s usable space while also making it look easy on the eyes. Here are our top recommendations when it comes to landscaping:

1. First Remove, Then Improve

For the majority of home landscapes that have been neglected, the greatest impact will come from a good cleanup. Mowing, pruning, power-washing and de-cluttering mulch beds is the right place to start. Creating clean lines that draw attention to the house is key. You want the house to feel inviting so utilize mulch beds and paths in simple, clean ways.

2. Let In the Light!

Removing large shrubs close to the house and windows has three benefits: more light can enter the home, the house will appear larger, and the ground will become more usable since little can grow in deeply shaded/wet areas.  If the shrub is too mature for pruning, it’s better to remove it altogether.  For trees, it’s better to try pruning before removal as well. Start by removing limbs low to the ground and then thinning out branches as needed.

3. Keep Some Aspects Open to the Imagination

Not everyone will have the same taste as you no matter how beautiful you think your finished product is. Therefore, don’t finish it. Get 90% of the way there and allow other people to do the finishing touches. For example, utilizing boxwoods can be a great way to frame in a flower bed but stop short of filling in the entire flower bed. If you try to get a mature and full looking garden, you’ll end up paying a lot more for mature plants and a lot of that value will be lost on a buyer.

4. Create a Simple, Outdoor Living Space

We’ve all seen the $250,000 outdoor living space complete with stainless steel kitchen, stone walkways, seating, pergola and custom fireplace. Leave those upgrades to the next homeowner. However investors need to convey enough to show how the outdoor space can be used. Restoring a deck with new surface boards or sanding/staining will prove the highest return. If a deck is not already present, look at creating a simple paver patio, stamped concrete patio, or platform deck. It doesn’t need to be large, it just needs to add enough function to make the backyard become part of the home’s living space – where people and activities can easily flow from inside to outside.

5. Hire Local!

Cut out the middle man by going directly to the workers actually doing the work. Any good hustler wants to do more work on the side so driving around the neighborhood can usually result in finding guys working on other jobs. Plus, it’s a huge cost savings and lot less hassle for them to transport their tools down the road when they are finished with the neighbors. Just make sure you have a discussion regarding liability. It’s also important to have an umbrella policy in case something were to happen.