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Five Landscaping Ideas to Enhance Curb Appeal and Differentiate Your Property

July 27, 2015 | Bryn Huntpalmer

Property managers know: first impressions matter. To many people, curb appeal is indicative of how a building has been maintained. If you haven’t done so lately, drive by and try to experience your property from the perspective of a potential tenant. Are the grounds dark and gloomy at night? Is the walkway riddled with cracks and weeds? Does the traffic noise from the street overwhelm you? Don’t let your property get passed up because of a lack of curb appeal.

Read on for design ideas and tips you may not have considered to make your landscaping attract (and keep) renters.

  1. Ditch the Concrete and Add Natural Elements to Walkways and Driveways

    Gravel or pavers

    Plain concrete driveways and walkways don’t add much style to your property and can require constant upkeep to avoid cracks and the inevitable oil spots from cars. Grass pavers--where grass is planted in between slabs of concrete--are beautiful and will make your property stand out to potential tenants. They are also a great solution for driveways and walkways that have drainage problems. Water goes through the soil (instead of sitting on the concrete) and helps irrigate the rest of your lawn and surrounding plants, too.

    Gravel is also a nice alternative to concrete. Gravel walkways and driveways do require regular maintenance in the form of weeding, replacing gravel as needed, and the occasional raking to level gravel. The natural color of the gravel can create a rustic look that ties the entire design of your property together. Like grass pavers, it can offer a potential solution for drainage problems. Gravel is also a very affordable alternative to concrete.

  2. Install a Water Feature

    water feature

    A simple water feature is a great way to add a tranquil feel to your property. Surrounded by plants like lavender, verbena, sage, bee balm, and geraniums, your water feature will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and beneficial bees that help pollinate for lush landscaping. A simple fountain or pond-less waterfall will make tenants feel that the space is more natural and unique while also masking noise from passing cars or noisy neighbors.

  3. Plant Native Plants

    native plants

    Native plants are easier to care for than non-native species, and introduce a natural beauty to even the most urban environments. Best yet, once established, they require little care beyond watering, reducing your landscaping maintenance costs. You can introduce a variety of colors and shapes with native plants, and make the most of the changing seasons. Like water features, native plants are also great at making the outdoor space one that attracts a great variety of birds and butterflies.

  4. Consider Subtle Lawn Art

    lawn art

    Lawn art gets a bad rap, but it’s a great way to make your property look unique and well-tended. While you don’t want to go overboard—think pink flamingos—a few subtle additions can add a touch of whimsy to differentiate your property from the competition. Consider wind chimes, a glass hummingbird feeder, plant markers, or even a garden gnome or gargoyle. Just remember not to go overboard! One or two pieces are all you need.

  5. Accent Landscaping with Quality Lighting
    Remember that many potential tenants may drive by your property after they get off of work. Make sure that your property is well-lit so that it looks secure and to highlight all of the elements that make your exterior beautiful.

About the Author
Bryn Huntpalmer a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, Scary Mommy, About.com and on her personal blog Her Own Wings.

Images credit: Modernize.com

Comments

30 Jul 2015 | tjackson3
These are great ideas in areas where there aren't severe water restrictions; would it be possible to get some ideas for those of us in drought ridden parts of the country? Especially for retail properties? Thanks!
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