Too many real estate investors assume that curb appeal doesn’t matter. After all, renters just want a clean, affordable place to live, right?
That may be true in some cases. But curb appeal means that you can attain higher rental rates and better tenants, and curb appeal also means you get a greater return on investment when you sell.
And here’s the real kicker: Improving your rental property’s curb appeal isn’t hard or expensive. At HUNTAHOME, we specialize in property management in Dallas and Fort Worth. We manage day-to-day operations so that owners can focus on big-picture investment strategy or enjoying their monthly cash flow. Here are 10 curb appeal ideas we’ve taken advantage of as the leading provider of DFW property management.
1. New Front Door
A front door serves as the focal point of a home. If you’re just scraping by with a utilitarian aluminum front door that has seen better days, your curb appeal will suffer. But, if you install a new door that complements your home’s exterior and adds a new element of style, your curb appeal will skyrocket.
Think of curb appeal as the first impression your home makes. The right front door means that your property will make the right first impression, both on prospective tenants and on prospective buyers down the road.
Can’t afford a new front door? Try changing out the hardware on your old front door. New hardware can make an impact on curb appeal almost as dramatic as an entirely new door.
2. Lawn Care and Landscaping
There’s nothing quite like an emerald lawn to enhance curb appeal. Make sure that you and your tenants have an understanding of who is responsible for what when it comes to lawn care. Perhaps they mow on a regular basis and run the sprinklers, and you take care of regular fertilizing.
Find low-maintenance plants and simple landscaping components to enhance your curb appeal, too. If you choose plants or landscaping features that require lots of attention, they likely won’t get the care they need.
3. Fresh Lighting
No one wants to live where the entryway is dark. Some front doors sit under long, low porches, which makes them naturally dark. If this is the case at your property, do whatever it takes to lighten up that entry.
You need not spend a lot of money adding fresh lighting to your home’s entry. Stop by a Lowe’s or Home Depot, and choose a new light fixture. Also, you might consider adding lighting throughout the front yard. There is a wealth of landscaping lights that run on batteries or solar power to make maintenance and upkeep as simple as possible.
4. New Mailbox
You don’t often think about mailboxes. But prospective tenants and buyers are going to notice if you have an old, rotting mailbox that’s leaning a little too far to one side. This is another project that doesn’t require a huge investment. You can buy lumber and a new mailbox at the hardware store, and you can find all sorts of plans for building mailboxes online.
Once you’ve built your new mailbox, paint it, level it and set it with a bag of quick-dry cement. It’s that simple.
5. Stylish House Numbers
If you really want bang for your buck, invest in new house numbers for your rental property. Many homeowners paint their house numbers along the curb, and some use stickers to mark house numbers of exterior pillars. But a shiny new set of stylish house numbers can add helpful panache to an otherwise boring exterior.
6. New Garage Door
A new garage door requires a bit more of an investment, but a garage door has the ability to transform a home’s curb appeal. Think of it this way: At many rental properties, the garage door represents the largest street-facing portion of the house.
You can choose a modern option like an aluminum-and-glass garage door, or you can provide a sense of old-world charm by selecting a carriage house-style garage door. Either way, when you find the right garage door, you boost your property’s curb appeal — and value.
7. Fresh Paint
Paint is always a value investment, both inside a home and outside a home. When was the last time you considered the paint color of your rental property? If you’re having a hard time raising rent or securing tenants, consider changing things up paint-wise.
As a rule of thumb, homes set back from the street that also have lots of shade do better with lighter colors (to help avoid the black hole effect). Conversely, you can explore darker colors for homes closer to the street and without shade in the front yard.
8. Regular Power Washing
Here’s one that many investors don’t think about: power washing. Over time, homes get covered in dust and dirt and pollen and allergens (especially in Texas). The same holds true for driveways and sidewalks. Over time, they get darker as they get dirtier.
A good power washing will rinse away that dust, dirt and pollen, and it will make your home sparkle. You can often hire out power washing duties for a small investment. This is a great idea when you’re preparing a home to lease or sell.
9. New (or Clean) Windows
OK, so we all know that new windows are expensive. That said, they do a world of good for your curb appeal. Can’t afford new windows? Give your older ones a spot-free clean. Sparkling windows are one of the best ways to improve curb appeal when you’re trying to lease or sell.
10. Snappy Furniture
Looking for a fun twist for your home’s exterior? Try adding a little bit of furniture. A porch swing can be a perfect fit for some homes, while simply investing in a pair of colorful Adirondack chairs can do wonders for others.
When leasing or selling, the goal is to get prospective tenants or buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Offering a livable outdoor area (like a porch with a swing or a sitting area with Adirondacks) helps them envision what life would be like at your property.
At HUNTAHOME, We’re Ready to Help
As a real estate investor, you have more important things to worry about than curb appeal. At HUNTAHOME, that’s why we’re passionate about property management in Fort Worth and Dallas. We worry about things like leasing, background checks, repairs, maintenance and curb appeal so that your clients don’t have to.
Are you looking for quality DFW property management? The team at HUNTAHOME is ready to help improve your curb appeal and boost your cash flow and return on investment.
Contact us today to learn more about our services as the leading provider of property management in Dallas and Fort Worth.