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Curb appeal

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

Curb appeal is one of the number one sellers when it comes to tenant decision-making, but it can be costly to keep up.

Most landlords eventually plant trees and plants, but most of these are useless when it comes to autumn and winter. Because you don’t want to spend a lot on your curb appeal, you want it to be as maintenance free as possible for long term cost effectiveness. While curb appeal isn’t everything, it is a lot, so you should consider it. Here are five tricks for almost maintenance free curb appeal from your Issaquah Property Management.  

Evergreen Bushes 

Almost everyone does plants and for a good reason. They make an area look more inviting, more attractive, and more peaceful. Instead of spending your money on plants and trees that will look like dead sticks in the winter, try spending on evergreen bushes. Issaquah is a zone 8-10 for plants, and you can check here or visit a local nursery to find affordable zone 9 plants. You want the right zone so that the plants survive the winter with less care.  

Seal Driveways and Parking Lots 

There are a lot of reasons to seal driveways and parking lots, especially before it freezes, but it also increases curb appeal. Sealing fills small cracks and holes, which can prevent ice from widening them, and makes the whole area look better, but it can be pricey. You can seal most asphalt parking lots and driveways yourself for less money, but you should keep in mind that the pros will be able to do it better and with better materials. You can expect to pay around $200 per 1,000 square feet (sometimes a little higher or lower depending on the company) for sealing.  


The idea of having to paint an apartment complex can send many landlords running, but it can make a great deal of difference to the outward appearance of your rentals. While you might be tempted to go bright in order to stand out, try choosing colors that are easy on the eyes and not too boring. Picking a color scheme such as white trim and slate grey walls is a perfect example. Usually you want to aim for elegance and timelessness, so consider light or dark grey, beige, eggshell white, or a dark brown, but try to stay away from primary colors that some of your tenants might dislike. If you want your paint to last, choose an oil base, and make sure it’s high quality, so you won’t have to paint again for at least 5 years.  

New Windows 

New windows can be very, very expensive, but they can also increase curb appeal, value, and tenant satisfaction. If you have new windows already then skip this step, if not, consider are the windows older than 10 to 15 years? Are they mismatched or discolored from use? If your windows are in less then perfect condition, replacing them with new windows can make a huge difference to your home, and if you go with energy star windows, you get a better tax break.  

Add Some Trim 

Whether it’s paint, railing around your walkways, or literal wood trim and cornices around the exterior of your building, a little trim can go a long way to increase curb value. Consider adding exterior lights and make sure they’re decorative, cast iron fences and railing, window boxes, and pathways to add attractive details to the property.  

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