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Outdoor Space – Why It’s Important For Rental Properties

Connect Realty Tauranga Property Management Blog outdor space for rental property tenants

We all love the outdoors in New Zealand, and outdoor living is often a key driver for people moving to the Tauranga region.  Here in the Bay of Plenty we have surf beaches, picturesque harbours, long stretches of white sand beaches and more, all adding to the attraction of coastal living.  But it is not just the open outdoors that are important, many rental property tenants also look for a home with their own private outdoor area.

At Connect Realty Property Management we have tenants looking for a range of outdoor areas including large backyards, small low maintenance gardens, apartments with a terrace, BBQ areas, or even just a small area to entertain friends on a summer’s evening.

What many landlords don’t realise is that the outdoor space of a home or apartment can help rent the property, or it can spoil the deal.  While indoor layout and amenities are important, outdoor space is just as significant to many people.  This is especially true in the Tauranga region where our climate suits outdoor entertaining.

From our experience as property managers, outdoor space needs to be easily accessible, sheltered, and preferably easy to maintain.  Well kept gardens that are low-maintenance are the best for properties with large sections.  Examples are bark or stone gardens, shrubs and bushes that don’t require watering or pruning, and easily mowed lawns.  For apartments and flats we recommend providing an outdoor space for a BBQ and room for a small table and chair set.  Small garden boxes can also make a single story or downstairs apartment/flat look more appealing to potential tenants, along with suitable outdoor lighting.

The key is to make sure your property’s outdoor area is attractive and functional.  For some homes this may require alterations such as adding a ranch slider or French doors to connect outdoor space to the home.  Other more simple changes include adding pavers where there will be the most foot traffic, or defining paths by adding railway sleepers and stones or gravel.

We also recommend that you clean outdoor areas before we advertise your property.  Water-blast footpaths, walkways, patios and decks.  Fix broken trellis, reapply grout where needed, remove or prune foliage that blocks sunlight on the house, and remove plants that require a lot of maintenance such as roses.  These simple fixes require minimal investment but can generate maximum returns in rental price and in real estate value in the longer term.  We have a number of ground and maintenance people on our books and can provide quotes for any work you need done on your rental property.

If you require more advice about how to improve the curb appeal of your rental property, or any other rental property investment tips, then call Chris at Connect Realty Property Managers.  Chris has many years of real estate experience and is an expert on all matters about property management in the Tauranga Region.

Connect Realty Blog image for Four Tips To Make Your Rental Property More Inviting

Four Tips To Make Your Rental Property More Inviting

Connect Realty Blog image for Four Tips To Make Your Rental Property More Inviting

Some property investors make the mistake of thinking that every house they buy will be snapped up for rent, but this doesn’t always happen.  Your property may look old and tired, seem cold, or it could lack street appeal.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to your rental property to increase its rent appeal:

Update Bathrooms and Kitchen

An ugly, outdated bathroom and kitchen makes a house unappealing and will pull down your rental property’s value in the long term. By updating key items such as vanities, bench tops, cabinets and fixtures your property will look modern, fresh, clean and more attractive to potential tenants.

Renovations don’t have to be expensive.  We often share blog posts from interior designers, decorators and inspiring renovation tips from around the world that don’t involve a lot of money.  Think a coat of paint on the walls or cabinet doors, new retro or modern fixtures and handles and a colourful splash-back for the kitchen. Google ‘Update your kitchen/bathroom on a budget’ to get inspired.

Insulation

Good quality, well installed insulation is a necessity in all homes, and a real advantage when renting out a property.  Good insulation will make it easier and cheaper to heat your rental house properly, and more comfortable and healthy for tenants to live in.   Conversely, sub-standard insulation can result in your property becoming damp and attracting mould.

There is funding available for older homes and if your main tenant has a Community Services Card. To find out if you qualify for any government assistance you will need to contact an insulation service provider in your area. Some local councils and banks also have payment options available to help with the cost of installing insulation and heating.

If you are considering the DIY approach, everything you need to know about installing insulation can be found at this link New Zealand Standard NZS 4246:2006 Installing insulation in residential buildings. It’s easy to follow and it’s free to download.

Also consider quality window coverings, such as thermal lined drapes, if your home is an older home.

Heating

Choosing an efficient heating system for your rental property is important for your tenants and also for future re-sell value of your property.

There are lots of heating options for homes, from wood burners and pellet burners to heat pumps and panel heaters.  It’s important to match the size of the system to the space that needs heating and to consider all rooms in the house.  While some heating solutions will have a larger outlay at the beginning they will also add considerable value to your property in the longer term.

If your home provides modern efficient heating you are more likely to attract a quality long-term tenant for your property.

Curb appeal

It’s important to make a first impression. If the outside of your rental property is overgrown and/or dirty in any way potentially great tenants may just walk away.  We recommend you tidy your section before renting out your property e.g. mow and edge your grass, pull out weeds, fix any broken or damaged exterior fixtures, paint tired looking doors or outside areas, and make sure the shed is clutter free.

Most property owners use a property maintenance company to mow the lawns etc, this can be factored in when doing your rent appraisal.

The above tips can increase your chance of renting out your investment property and boost your property’s value.  For more property investment tips and advice call or email Chris atConnect Realty today.