Declutter for a Big Return

When you first start a fix-n-flip project, you need to decide how much to invest on landscaping the front and back yards and include this in your funding request. If you decide to stick to the minimum, bring the yards up to the standards of the neighborhood but not much higher, you are looking at the declutter, clean, maintain, and disguise course of action.

Clutter weighs us down, stresses us out, destroys focus, and creates a terrible first impression. Clutter can also be hazardous and ugly. Most fix-n-flip investors, landscapers, and remodelers have a line item on their budget sheer for performing maintenance and cleaning up. This is the first level of landscaping, the cheapest and the most necessary. First impressions are so important that the labor and materials required to clean up the front porch and yard and the driveway and backyard should definitely be included in your renovation budget.

Make Safe

Inspect the yard for hazards like glass, pieces of metal, and chemicals and clean these up first so later workers and home buyers will not be injured. Clean out downspouts, gutters, and window wells, replacing any missing or damaged parts. Repair fences, level and repair walkways and patios, replace broken patio or porch railings or steps. Paint.


Next, you can declutter the landscaping, digging or pulling out weeds and plants that are dead, refreshing mulch, planters, and container gardens. recommends removing plants that are ugly, messy, or overgrowing a sidewalk or porch, simplifying the landscape. Since you have already made the property safe, you can pay high school students out of school for the summer to help you with these removal, maintenance, and cleaning activities.

Disguise also lists some inexpensive remodeling tricks that can be done to or with backyard structures, like garden sheds, equipment boxes, and walls to disguise garbage bins or a neighbor’s driveway. These structures can be renovated into beautiful features instead of eyesores without too much expense using repurposed materials, like rough barn wood and antique hinges, antique doors and gates.

Adding Plants While Protecting Your Return

Now you may want to consider adding plants and amenities that will appeal to buyers. At one time you certainly would get back any investment you made plus some in landscaping both front and back. In an article written in 2013, “Landscape your Home to Sell: 5 Tips to Save Green,” Debbie Abrams Kaplan interviews real estate experts for on what landscaping techniques might sell a home faster. Margaret Woda of Maryland says that you could recoup as much as 215% of your landscaping investment, but only 68% of your kitchen renovation expenses.

On the other hand, Frank L. Lucco, a Houston appraiser and realtor, interviewed in the same article, says that installing a deck, patio, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, lighting, and fountains are a good ideas, but added that you should “install them if you want them, but you won’t recoup the costs.”

Reduce Maintenance

Add plants sparingly and add plants that grow well in the environment you are in, so they do not require too much water, fertilizer, or pruning. Add flowering plants to add a spot of color. suggests investing in an irrigation system, using perennial plants that come back every year and are adapted to the climate in a yard because these reduce the amount of labor and attention involved in maintaining a landscape.

Whether you add or subtract plants and amenities from the landscape, reducing your costs in the renovation should translate into reducing your buyer’s labor while they live in the home, an important selling point. Buyers at a minimum want to fit into the neighborhood they buy into without too much labor or additional outlay of money.  They also want to come home to a house that is safe and does not consume all their free time in lawn and garden care.

Our fix-n-flip loan program is one of our most popular real estate loan programs. Competition for houses to fix-n-flip is tight. The ability to get fast funds to buy and remodel a property is important. As a broker and a direct lender, it is my job to help you get a hard money loan easily and quickly. Private Lenders, not banks, are willing to help you fund your project based on the value of the property and its after renovation value. We have money to lend and you need money quickly. A perfect fit is out there.

Call me or e-mail me for a quick response.

Patrick StCin, 512-213-2271,

e-mail: �

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s