No question about it, renting out your home or investment property can be extremely profitable. But in locations such as Los Angeles, renters will pay even more for a nice, well-cared-for rental property. That means that you, as a landlord, can maximize your profit by doing a little work on the inside and outside of your real estate property. Whether it’s trimming trees or clearing out the pests, you can make your house a hot rental property in a busy housing market. Here are seven home care tips for Los Angeles landlords:
Maintain the Lawn
The first thing prospective renters see is the lawn of your investment property. If the grass is unkempt, disheveled, and overgrown, it’s like trying to sell a book with a torn cover. Keeping your lawn mowed and healthy will entice tenants to come in and tour the rest of the property.
According to LawnStarter, the most popular lawn mowing frequency for residents in LA is monthly mowing. So, even at the very least, mow your lawn once per month for regular maintenance, if not bi-weekly. When mowing your lawn, make sure never to cut more than ⅓ the length of your grass. It’s also important to keep your mower blades sharp. Cutting with a dull blade can cause damage to the turf.
Trim the Trees, Shrubs, and Bushes
Any successful landlord in Los Angeles and beyond should know that adding a tree to your rental property can boost the value of the property as much as 9%. But only if that tree is healthy and beautiful. Neglected trees, shrubs, and bushes can turn into a real eyesore.
It’s essential to remove dead or dying branches and cut back overgrowth to keep your trees and shrubs healthy. Proper pruning will also keep your real estate property safe from falling branches.
Clear Out Weeds and Debris
A lawn covered in weeds is an ugly lawn. A pre-emergent weed treatment will get rid of the weeds. Use a post-emergent treatment to safeguard your rental property from future invasions. If you still need to pull the weeds by hand, make sure to pull them up by the roots, so they don’t return.
Chances are prospective tenants won’t be climbing up to look at the gutters. But it’s important to clear them out since clogged gutters lead to pooling water, the breeding ground of mosquitoes. A lawn full of leaves is also an open invitation to pests which will destroy your grass.
Plant Drought-Resistant, Native Plants
Here in Southern California, water is becoming more scarce every year. As it vanishes, prices for water will continue to grow. One way to save a lot of water is to make your lawn more drought resistant.
Xeriscaping, or dry landscaping, is a growing trend. That doesn’t mean covering your yard with rocks. It just means using plants and grass that are native to Southern California. Native plants use less water. So, you’ll be saving water, money, and the planet.
Maintain and Paint the Exterior
After taking care of your lawn and green spaces, it’s time to take care of the exterior of your house. Check siding, caulking, doors, and windows for any gaps. Filling in and repairing all gaps will make your investment property more energy efficient and pest-proof, and that’s something you definitely want as a landlord.
A good, fresh coat of paint will also boost your curb appeal and put a bright, shiny spotlight on your rental property.
Manage the Interior of the Investment Property
Once you’ve finished with the exterior, it’s time to turn your focus to the interior. Obviously, it should be clean. A fresh coat of paint as well as new or clean carpeting go a long way to freshening up a house. Check the heating and plumbing and change the locks. Recaulk the showers and baths and any loose tile.
No tenants will want to move into a rental property that’s overrun with ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, or any other pests. Before listing your home, make sure to get it inspected. A single visit from an exterminator may be all you need. As a real estate investor and a landlord, you may also want to invest in a perimeter pest control program.
Follow these seven home care tips for landlords, and you’ll fill that vacancy in your Los Angeles investment property in no time.
If you are considering buying an investment property in Los Angeles, Southern California, or another US real estate market and would like to have the highest return on investment possible, sign up for a free trial with Mashvisor today to see how we can help you.
This article has been contributed by Rachael Baihn from LawnStarter.