I’ve always hated managing our rental property.
There’s always that fear that something is going to go wrong. When it’s a “little” something, you breathe a sign of relief until the next phone call comes from your tenant.
Our recent tenant of three years has moved out and I’m left to pick up the pieces of turning around the townhouse into a clean, pretty, attractive place for the next prospective tenants.
At times, the stress of it is a little nagging worry that digs into my self-confidence that everything will be okay.
The only way I’ve been able to tackle that little nagging worry is with ACTION.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’d know that I’m busy, busy, busy. I rarely sit down (unless it’s to type up a blog post or edit video for my YouTube channel. Ha!). I prefer to be busy because when I stop moving, I feel like there’s something I should be doing somewhere.
It’s when I’m moving and taking ACTION that I feel in control of my life, and I feel like I’m attacking life’s little daggers of doubt and making a decision to create my own destiny.
So that’s the approach I took with our rental property.
Instead of sitting there worried about finding new renters and feeling overwhelmed about paying professional painters $2,000 to paint the entire interior, I decided to do what I could do: give the exterior a mini makeover!
So this past weekend, I added curb appeal to our rental property!
Just Because You Rent Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Pretty Up the Outside
As I stooped down on a knee pulling thorny weeds from the worn mulch bed in the front of the townhouse, I wondered why my tenant didn’t tend to the townhouse’s exterior.
Did she think it was my responsibility?
Did she hate gardening?
Was she so busy that she didn’t have time to help the curb appeal of the townhouse?
Or did she just think, “That’s not my responsibility”?
Whatever the reason, it was clear that she did nothing to maintain the exterior.
And I admit that in the 3 years she lived there, I did nothing for the exterior, either.
I don’t know if we even determined who would be responsible for what.
It wasn’t until she had moved out that I realized how much needed to be done to make the exterior pretty and inviting again.
My advice would be this: if you are renting, talk to your landlord and find out who’s responsbility it is to do the weeding and maintain the pretty curb appeal of the property.
Maybe you notice that the front door is worn and you’d love to be able to paint it a pop of color!
You might be surprised to learn that the landlord may very well allow you to do some of those prettying-up things! Not only are you happy to do projects, but the landlord may appreciate the “help” they get from a tenant who wants to jazz things up!
Anyhow…let’s move on to the things I did this weekend! They made a huge difference!
Painting the Front Door
This was one of the easiest things to do to add curb appeal to a rental property (or to a house you own)!
Over the years, the paint just gets so worn, you start ignoring that it looks so bad!
It was badly in need of a paint job!
And by the time I was done, I was pretty pleased and excited over how fresh the front looked now!
The amazing thing is that I started to feel much better about the property.
It felt like “home.”
It had such cute curb appeal!
I didn’t want to fully match the color of the door, but I wanted a color that had some LIFE in it!
This color had some “kick” to it!
Spray Painting the Exterior Lamp
I hate doing anything electrical.
I always feel like I’m going to make a mistake and shock the crap out of myself. LOL
To avoid that, I do what any creative DIYers would do: I tape newspaper around the lamp and then spray paint!
This allows me to skip that scary “I-might-kill-myself” electrical part and just get the project done fast.
I was shocked that I didn’t have a massive amount of overspray on the brick!
It looks brand new, doesn’t it??
Washing the glass inserts also helped, too, along with popping in a new, fresh bulb.
Adding Fresh Mulch and Flowers!
This is by far one of the easiest ways to make a house “pop”!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of the “before” mulched area, but this gives you some indication.
The bushes are overgrown, and the mulch was simply pathetic!
Not to mention missing, messy bricks…
With a few vinca flowers and some random plants that I-have-no-idea-what-they-are-but-they-looked good, and with fresh brown mulch, the area looked well maintained and vibrant!
Thanks to a reader in the last post who suggested getting a planter for the front! It did wonders for the curb appeal! 🙂
Pressure Wash It Pretty!
Ahhh….the power of the pressure washer….
I admit that I looovveee pressure washing! It’s so satisfying, isn’t it?? Seeing the scumb instantly blasted away….!
The back of the house was in bad shape, guys!
When I arrived at the townhouse, this is what I found:
The problem was going to be getting up high enough to reach 2 stories.
I don’t have a huge ladder, as you can see!
I pulled out my RYOBI pressure washer and went to work, and OMG….it looked soooo much better!
What a sad little space…
After pressure washing and removal of the junk and weeds, and adding a little mulch to the dirt areas to clean it up, it looks great!
I imagine a small bistro table set up here with some pretty plants!
This light still needs updating, but it will likely just get some black spray paint, too!
The concrete is now vibrant and not green anymore!
The Dirty Garage….ICK!
The tenants cleaned out their things from the garage but hadn’t cleaned the garage. Since I was there doing some curb appeal things, I decided to sweep out the garage, throw bleach everywhere for good measure, and pressure wash the crap out of it!
By the end of the day….after a full 8 hours doing all this stuff…I felt soooo much better!
I felt like I wasn’t just a “victim” landlord who would have to find a tenant to beg to live here.
Instead, I felt like I was turning this house into a pretty little gem and that I was getting it ready for the next nice family that will live here and takes care of it (hopefully!).
Here’s another quick look at the “BEFORE”:
And now, it’s just vibrant and clean and looks well maintained!
The front needs a nicer WELCOME mat, but I just used the one from the back porch after pressure washing the gunk off of it!
Why spend extra money if I don’t need to, right?? 🙂
It’s amazing how just a few things can really boost the curb appeal of a home!
It doesn’t matter if it’s a rental or a home you own and live in yourself.
Go ahead…try a vibrant paint color.
Get some pretty plants.
Spray paint old fixtures.
And, please….pressure wash the dirt away.
All of those things say, “I care about this place. This is my home.”
And don’t be afraid to ask your landlord if you can do some of these things. More than likely, your landlord might very well thank you.
Now Your Turn
What’s your favorite curb appeal tip? Leave a comment below and let me know!