What Montgomery County Tenants Are Looking for in a Home Exterior
For many renters in Montgomery County, the outside of a rental property is just as important as the interior.
On nice days, tenants want to know that they can go out and spend time in the yard or enjoy a glass of wine on the porch and feel like they’re in an extension of their home.
A polished outdoor space can also help tenants choose one home over another.
Many individuals make snap judgments the moment they pull up to a prospective home. Those with manicured lawns and an inviting presence are more appealing than those with attractive interiors but nothing to offer outside.
Most of the time, investing in an outdoor space offers a high return for property owners.
Here are some of the features tenants want to see in an outdoor space:
A home’s landscaping is what sets it apart from the crowd. Great landscaping adds that extra touch of polish and can greatly enhance homes with interiors that lack amenities.
Montgomery County tenants want to know they can go outside and enjoy the space without having to worry about weekly maintenance that may not be covered by their rental agreement.
Keep landscaping simple, functional, and appealing.
- Lawn. Investing in quality grass in well-lit areas can make a huge difference in the outside feel of a home. Nice lawns invite children to play and tenants to enjoy warm evenings outside with their families. A uniform lawn is also easier to care for than patchy grass that grows wherever it chooses. Some property management companies in Montgomery County offer regular lawn maintenance, so be sure to ask if yours does.
- Plants and trees. Choose hardy plants that will come back year after year for an easily maintained rental property. Boxwoods, peonies, monkey grass, and hydrangeas are all easy-care plants that can really brighten up a rental property. Add hardwoods for a lasting effect on the property that generations to come can enjoy.
- Gardens. Many renters want to feel like the home is really theirs. Try to accommodate this by including a garden plot for any tenants who want to grow ornamental plants or vegetables. Alternatively, window boxes are great additions that allow tenants to grow small plants without affecting the overall landscape of a property.
- Sustainability. Environmental friendliness is a popular selling point in real estate these days. Renters like to know that their landscaping includes native plants that are easy to care for and do well in the local environment.
Patio and Porch Spaces
Many properties in Montgomery County offer great scenic views, making outdoor patios the perfect place for tenants to relax and entertain. Renters will appreciate any extra effort that a homeowner puts in to make the patio area comfortable.
While homeowners should not worry about investing in all possible bells and whistles, there are some basics that will make the patio an attractive rental feature.
- Lighting. Make sure that the lighting is clean, working, and illuminates the area well. Use energy-efficient outdoor bulbs (LED) in all the fixtures as an added bonus to help tenants keep their electric bills down. LED bulbs are also advisable for the lights inside your home. They last much longer than a regular light bulb, and help to lower the utility bill. High-quality bulbs should last for several years without a problem and are an important comfort and security feature for the outside of the home.
- Sitting areas. Homeowners may choose to provide a basic sitting area, porch swing, or built-in benches. However, they should protect their investment if this includes any movable furniture by putting their expectations for care and safekeeping in the lease. Patio furniture is absolutely optional for a property owner, but can add significant value to any tenant who does not already own outdoor furniture.
- Grill. A built-in grill will last for years and is an instant value-add to any home. Gathering spaces and food preparation areas are both highlights for renters and homeowners. A small portable charcoal grill can also be a valuable addition to a rental exterior, and provides tenants an alternative to indoor cooking. If a tenant chooses not to use it, the grill can be easily stored. Portable grills are also a cost-effective value promotion for a property.
It’s important that your rental property have something to set it above competing properties in Montgomery County. By highlighting additional amenities, property management companies can more easily market homes to viable prospects.
Choose exterior coloring that is neutral and calming, and even if the exterior features are limited, make sure the area is very well groomed.
Other top rental property amenities include:
- External sound systems. A home wired with a sound system provides tenants with flexibility to take their activities inside or out. External sound systems can add an extra touch to the home experience and can be as inexpensive or as extravagant as a property owner wants.
- Neighborhood access. Provide renters with information about additional amenities they may have access to by living in the neighborhood. Nearby tennis courts, pools, and community clubhouses can all make a home more enticing to prospective renters. Consider keeping a booklet spotlighting such information to help newcomers become acquainted with their new community and list nearby grocery stores and entertainment options.
- Parking. Safe and easy to access parking is very important for renters. Make sure that the garage doors are working and that the driveway is accessible. Consider lining the driveway with plants or solar lighting to provide easy visibility at night
- Mail. The mailbox is often overlooked, but is an easy improvement for property owners. Make sure the landscaping around the mailbox is attractive and that the mailbox itself is sturdy, attractive, and functioning smoothly.
- Hammocks, swings, and more. In Maryland, small investments in the backyard can lead to big payoffs for property owners. If you have trees that are perfect for a tire swing or hammock, consider installing bolts and giving tenants the opportunity for lounging in the afternoon shade during the summer.
Many tenants place a high value on the care property owners take with the exterior of a home.
Property management companies in Montgomery County, such as Bay Management Group, are well acquainted with local exterior selling points and can help property owners decide on exterior improvements and maintain the property throughout the year.
Contact us for more information about improving your outdoor space and improving your rental property experience today.