Tag Archives: Investment

Preparing Your Rental Before Winter

WinterThere’s no doubt that in most parts of the country, winter weather is just around the corner. As a Chico landlord, you may think of fall maintenance at your rental properties as raking leaves and tending to flower beds. However, fall is the best time to prepare your rental property for winter weather. Winters here in Northern California may not always be the worst, but still it is smart to take the time now to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

If you don’t deal with potential issues now, before they actually happen, you could end up with some significant repairs to work through that could have been prevented. Here are 13 ways that landlords can prepare their rental properties now for the coldest months of the year.

Clear rain gutters. It’s important that you don’t skip this fall task, because it could have a big impact on the rental property in the winter. Clear out leaves, sticks and other debris so the gutters can easily drain water from the roof. If the gutters are clogged, the roof could suffer damage from poor drainage and excessive rain.
Inspect the roof. It’s much easier to repair or replace shingles in the non-winter months and that ensures your rental property roof will be strong enough to withstand even the biggest winter storm.
Winterize yard sprinklers. If the rental property has a sprinkler system, you can empty them of any leftover water to ensure they don’t freeze and burst. Whether you do this yourself or hire a service, it’s a small task that could have a big impact if not done.
Seal sidewalk and driveway cracks. Water gets into cracks in sidewalks and driveways and expands them via freezing and thawing. What was a small crack in the fall can turn into an eyesore or a safety hazard by spring. Use a concrete sealer manufactured for just this purpose to stop the process.
Take care of the A/C unit. If your rental property has an A/C system, fall is a wonderful time to safeguard it for the winter. Clean out any debris and cover it up, especially if you live in an area of heavy snow or ice. Protecting the A/C unit will ensure that it will be ready to kick on next year when it is needed.

Inspect doors and windows. Locate areas around doors and windows where heat is most likely to escape, such as loose caulking, torn weather stripping and gaps where doors and windows meet frames. Take the time to repair these areas now before the cold weather arrives, because it is easier and will save your tenants money on their heating bill.
Wrap pipes before winter. Look for un-insulated pipes and wrap them with foam sleeves to ensure they won’t freeze when temperatures drop. Frozen pipes can easily burst, causing all kinds of water damage. By getting a jump on it, you can prevent this kind of catastrophe. Don’t forget to detach garden hoses from spigots and draining those lines as well.
Inspect the heating system. Turn the heater on to ensure that everything is working properly so you can get a service person out before it’s the middle of winter and the waiting list is very long. Also, replace the furnace filter and make sure vents open and close properly.
Arrange for a furnace tune-up. Many professional services offer winterizing tune ups for furnaces, and it’s always a good idea for a professional to perform maintenance on the furnace than it is to wait for it to break.
Check alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are a critical part of keeping tenants safe, and it’s your duty to ensure that they are all in proper working order. Carbon monoxide detectors are particularly important in winter, as people tend to keep windows closed.
Clean ducts out. Every few years, it’s a smart idea to get the ductwork of the rental property vacuumed out. Debris can build up, restricting the flow of air and putting strain on heating and cooling systems.
Inspect the chimney. If your rental property has a fireplace and chimney, make sure it is taken care of before tenants use the fireplace for the first time. Arrange for a professional to inspect and clean the chimney, clearing it for debris and checking to make sure no other repairs are needed. A faulty chimney can become a health hazard as well as a safety and fire hazard.
Consider adding more insulation. While there is a cost involved, many home owners add insulation to the attic in the fall to help with heating and cooling. Adding to the existing insulation can make a big difference in how well the rental property stays warm or cool.

Sooner than you think, winter will be unleashing its full fury, and it is up to you to make sure your rental property is ready for the serious frost, rain and cold that is being predicted. The time to prepare is in the fall, well before the first winter storm arrives in your area. While your rental property may not be able to withstand every single winter-related disaster, by being prepared you can minimize the damage and problems, thus saving yourself time, stress and money.

Landlord Tips for Preventing a Dispute with a Contractor

HomepageContractor1The potential for disagreements with contractors is high, so follow these 10 steps to protect yourself and your rental property from costly disagreements and miscommunications:

1. Make sure to get everything in writing, and take notes on the conversations you have

2. Do not rush into hiring a contractor. You want to wait and make sure you have all of the information you need in order to make an informed decision.

3. Shop around. Talk to people, ask questions, and do as much as you possibly can to learn about the project before you start on it.

4. Check out the references of your contractor before you sign the contract.

5. Check on the contractor’s license, and make sure they are properly licensed to do the job you are considering hiring them for.

6. Ask how “extras” will be handled, and make sure that these procedures are part of the contract.

7. Never sign a document or paper unless you understand the full meaning of what you are signing.

8. Have an open line of communication with the contractor. You want to talk to them before they start work on the project, and while they are working on it.

9. Be reasonable when working with your contractor. Construction projects hardly ever go as planned. When something unexpected comes up, see how your contractor handles the situation. If he is acting responsible and it seemed like the right way to handle the situation, then be reasonable about it.

10. Check references. This is the most important step and often overlooked, so we have mentioned it twice. Be sure to thoroughly check all references given.

What to do When a Tenant Abandons a Rental Property

Even the best of Chico landlords deal with nightmare tenants. Besides landlord-tenant disputes and resident enew_apartment_housevictions, another headache that can come with the job is resident abandonment. What do you do when a resident abandons the property without notice? Before you clean out the unit and list it for rent, it’s important to follow the correct legal procedure for dealing with property abandonment.

Give notice before entering:

Even if multiple neighbors tell you they saw the resident move out weeks ago, you still need to give the tenant advance notice before entering the property. Send a written notice, contact the resident numerous times, and give them the appropriate advance notice required by your state’s laws. As always, double check your state and local rental laws before moving forward.

Document the inspection:

Be very careful when you enter the unit. Legally, you don’t have possession of the property yet. The resident could be out of town or in the process of moving. Bring a witness with you for the inspection and use a camera or videotape to document the condition of the unit. Photographic evidence will show what was abandoned and the value of the belongings in case a claim is brought against you by the tenant for disposing of their belongings. Check that the resident didn’t leave any dangerous or hazardous conditions when they left the unit. Look for signs of abandonment, such as missing furniture or expensive electronics.

Don’t throw anything out:

Your first reflex may be to clear the unit of all the tenant’s personal belongings, but not so fast. When a resident abandons a unit, the law requires you to care for the personal property and return it to the tenant. Disposing of items prematurely could result in a claim from the tenant that you owe them for the items they left behind, leaving you with a hefty replacement fee (especially if you haven’t documented the items that were abandoned). Check how long your state law requires you to hold the belongings.

Decide on the best course of action

Once you’ve confirmed that the resident has abandoned the unit, the best course of action will probably be to go forward with your state’s procedure for abandonment. This usually involves holding the tenant’s property for up to one month and letting them know where their belongings are being held and where they can be claimed. Depending on the situation, evicting the resident or having them sign a release of rights of possession (if they can be reached) is also an option. Consult professional legal advice to find out the best way to proceed in your situation.

Resident abandonment puts landlords in a tricky situation. Do your research on state and local laws concerning abandonment and follow them closely to protect yourself from legal trouble.

5 Ways to Make You a Better Chico Landlord

logoEveryone focuses on making personal and professional goals aimed at looking at the past and applying those lessons toward a better future. As a Chico landlord, it’s a good opportunity for you to make some changes to improve how you run your business.

Here are 5 tips for landlords that you can do to really make a difference in becoming the best landlord you can be:

1. Take time and spend money to find good tenants

Good tenants are the critical component of making your business a success.

Taking the time to find ones that will respect the property, pay on time and stick to the rules is imperative. Make the commitment to perform thorough tenant screenings on applicants to reduce the risk of getting into a contract with renters who won’t work out.

If you haven’t been happy with your current tenant screening process, it’s not too late to make some changes starting now. Also, don’t forget to make sure you do your homework when choosing a tenant screening company to handle your background checks.

2. Say goodbye to bad tenants

Make the decision to stop tolerating bad tenants.

Tenants who are a drain on your resources, cost you money and bring down your business don’t deserve any more breaks. Getting rid of bad tenants will solve a lot of your problems, so be assertive and commit to action when they violate the lease agreement. Choose between non-renewal of the lease, notices to pay or quit when they are late, or notices to comply or quit when they cause trouble.

3. Streamline landlord tasks

Your time is valuable, so stop wasting it.

Technology allows landlords to streamline many of the processes that used to take lots of time or lead to mistakes.

Maybe you are currently driving to the bank all the time to deposit checks. Instead, set up electronic deposits from the tenants to your bank account.

Maybe your residents are filling out maintenance requests by hand and dropping them at the office. Instead, update your website to include an electronic maintenance request.

Maybe you are still holding on to that cell phone you bought 5 years ago that is slow to text and doesn’t include handy apps like calendars, appointment reminders and GPS mapping. Instead, get a smart phone and simplify dozens of tasks immediately.

Choose at least one new way to harness the power and convenience of technology and make your life a little easier.

4. Review relationships with services and contractors

You need service companies and contractors you can depend on. When you have a problem with your rental property, the service companies you work with need to be prompt, affordable and flexible. Whether it’s the plumber, exterminator or carpet cleaner, take the time to evaluate your current contracts, rates and other aspects. Then, make appointments as needed to renegotiate so that both of you are getting the best out of the relationship.

If you haven’t been happy with a service but are holding on out of some kind of loyalty, get tough and start shopping around for something better.

5. Plan for quality upgrades

Never let your rental properties look run down or outdated.

Take a look at each property and determine what kind of an upgrade your property needs. Keeping your rental properties updated and comfortable has many benefits, such as attracting higher quality tenants and maintaining the property’s value.

Depending on your budget, you can look at new carpet, upgrading an appliance, invest in landscaping or something else that will boost the property value and each tenant’s overall happiness with the unit.

Hopefully these tips are helpful in your venture to become the Chico landlord everyone wants to rent from!

Common Staging Misakes

Home staging is a useful tool to control the message as you market your property. By taking the livingroomtime to declutter and rearrange furniture, you’ll position yourself to attract the largest pool of potential renters possible. Improve your listing photos, showing success, and quality of applicants by staging your property to play to its strengths. Here are some common staging mis
takes that can throw off the look and feel of a space, and easy solutions to fix them.

There’s not enough light.

Good lighting makes a space look inviting, attractive, and comfortable. Bad lighting also results in low-quality listing photos. Improve the look and feel of the rooms on your property by making sure there light sources in each room. While windows that let in natural light are ideal, you can improve the lighting in the room by adding an overhead light or a smaller lamp.

The furniture is the wrong size.

Oversized furniture in a small room will make the area look even more cramped and awkward. Prevent the room from looking off-balance by measuring the space before bringing in the furniture. In large rooms, don’t be afraid to place couches and chairs away from the walls and grouped together to make the room look cozier. If you have dark furniture, using light-colored slipcovers makes large or heavy items seem smaller. You can also remove a piece or two to lighten up the space.

Weirdly positioned artwork

Hanging artwork on the walls is an easy solution to keep a room from feeling too bare and sterile. Similar to having furniture in listing photos, the placement of artwork gives viewers a better feel for the size of the room and the amount of space relative to the objects. However, art that’s in the wrong place can look strange or even give a false impression of the space. A large frame in a smaller space, such as a bathroom wall or narrow corner, can make the room feel even more cramped. Art that’s hung too high or isn’t large enough (like a frame above the sofa) can make the space look awkward.

Instead of going out and buying a large canvas, hang your art displays to scale by decorating with a gallery wall and making sure the size of the artwork is the right scale for the items around it. Help your art blend in and add to the décor by hanging the canvas so that the center of the piece is at eye level.

There’s no texture.

Keep your rooms from looking dull by adding color and texture. Remember that not everything needs to match. A fruit bowl on the counter, throw blanket on the couch, or basket on a shelf adds texture and dimension. Focus less on everything ‘matching’ and being from the same period or style – instead, don’t be afraid to mix things up and go with what you think looks good.

Water Preservation and Lawn Upkeep for Summer Months

garden-hoseChico summers tend to bring with them high temperatures and ample humidity—both of which can take their toll, not just on homeowners but on their lawns and gardens, to say nothing of their utility bills. In fact, many homeowners throughout the country find that their water bills increase significantly over the summer months, especially if irrigation systems are in use to keep lawns lush and green. However there are some simple yet effective steps homeowners can take to reduce water waste.

One way to conserve water during the hot summer months is to implement the correct lawn and garden tools. For instance, a standard hose and nozzle will lead to copious amounts of wasted water—including water that’s lost as mist or as runoff. Instead, homeowners should water their grass and their plants with a soaker hose or a sprinkler wand.

Of course, overwatering is another cause of wasted water. Generally speaking, lawns need about an inch of water each week to survive, though in Chico a full two inches might be more appropriate. The best rule of thumb is to keep the soil lightly moist, and also to keep eyes open for signs of wilting—but to avoid simply watering the lawn past the point of necessity. A related tip is to avoid soaking the plant’s leaves or watering past its root zone; this is simply a waste, and does little or nothing to help the plant stay hydrated.

Mulching is encouraged, as it helps plants to retain moisture—homeowners should regularly inspect mulch for crusting-over, breaking up these crusts with a rake. Crusted mulch actually prevents moisture from reaching the soil, which can in turn lead to wasted water.

A final tip for homeowners eager to keep their lawn and garden water waste to a minimum: Water in the mornings. Watering when it is still relatively cool outside prevents there being too much water lost to evaporation. Watering in the evenings or at night is also acceptable, but runs the risk of fungus formation.

10 Ways to Make Your Chico Apartment Handicap Accessible

Wheelchair-ProgramsMillions of people in the United States have disabilities and often find that traditional housing options don’t meet their needs. Chico landlords can attract these potential tenants by converting their Chico apartments into handicap accessible apartments that are comfortable and friendly to those with special needs.

Wheelchair accessible and handicap accessible apartments are not very common, therefore disabled or elderly tenants are an underserved market. With a few modifications and changes, you could attract these potential tenants and keep your Chico rental property from sitting vacant.

What is a Handicap Apartment?

Modifying an apartment to be accessible for elderly or disabled residents simply means making some changes to fit someone who uses a wheelchair, scooter or walker or has limited mobility. Everything from doorways to counter tops can pose an obstacle for someone in a wheelchair, for example.

Converting an apartment to accommodate the prospective tenant with physical limitations makes it more accessible and therefore boosting his or her quality of life. Handicap apartments are often hard to find, so many disabled and elderly residents cannot find what they need.

10 Ways to Convert to Handicap Apartments

There are some basic changes you can make to an existing Chico apartment that would turn it into a handicap apartment and therefore more friendly toward the elderly or the disabled. Other approaches to convert traditional units to handicap apartments require more extensive remodeling.

Here’s a list of 10 ways to modify an existing apartment to cater to those with physical limitations:

1. Entrances to the apartment should not have stairs, but be replaced or covered with a wheelchair ramp. These can be made of wood, aluminum or even poured concrete. Check with your local building codes for ramp angles and other important specifications to ensure you are compliant.

2. Doorways must be wide enough to accommodate a standard wheelchair. From the entrance to the interior doors, this width needs to be at least 32 inches wide. Consider changing the hinge system on the doors to the swing-away style, allowing doors to open even wider to allow the chair to pass all the way through without hitting it.

3. Thresholds must be flat, not raised, in order to give residents with scooters, wheelchairs and walkers a smooth path all the way throughout the apartment. A ½-inch threshold can become a big deal to a disabled tenant who doesn’t have much mobility.

4. Faucets in an accessible Chico apartment should be changed out to single lever style. These are easier for people to grip and maneuver if they don’t have full mobility in their hands, arms or upper body. Single lever faucets are simply raised up to turn on, pushed down to turn off and moved right or left to control temperature.

5. Sinks are hard for people to access when they are in a wheelchair because of low vanity cabinets prevent the user from getting close enough. Consider installing pedestal sinks, wall mounted sinks or removing the cabinets altogether.

6. Moving from a wheelchair or scooter to the toilet is a challenge, but an accessible apartment should have a raised toilet in the bathroom. Installing sturdy hand bars by the toilet is another way to ensure that the disabled resident can safely and securely maneuver around when he or she needs to use the toilet.

7. Bathing and showering is a real challenge for residents who are wheelchair-bound or cannot lower themselves into a tub or stand for long periods of time in a shower. It helps greatly when landlords install a handicapped accessible tub/shower unit. This is a tall, deep tub with a door on the side that opens to reveal a seat inside. The tenant can sit on the seat and either bathe or shower. The tenant has no high tub wall to go over, and no slippery shower floor to worry about. These specialized units can easily be installed into existing tub/shower units.

8. Standard kitchen and bathroom counter tops are often too high for someone in a wheelchair or scooter—usually 36 inches for standard height. Lowering countertops to 30 inches makes all the difference and lets a disabled person reach all the way back, utilizing more of the surface space.

9. Floor level cabinets in the kitchen can hinder the maneuverability of a resident in a wheelchair, so take out some of the floor cabinets, leaving empty space, to allow them to get up close to the counter tops.

10. Many landlords who cater to elderly or disabled tenants install a personal alarm system inside the apartment. This is an electronic device that the resident carries around and can activate to summon help if they are sick, hurt or injured and cannot reach the phone. Some alarms simply make a loud sound, while others are linked to a medical services call center. Providing this as part of an accessible apartment will make it even more attractive to prospective tenants who are elderly or disabled.

7 Tips for Writing a Rental Reference Letter

letter writingA tenant may ask you to write a rental reference letter in order to help them rent another place down the road. Writing a rental reference letter doesn’t take much time, but some landlords may get confused about what to say.

As a Chico landlord, you appreciate an honest and thorough rental reference on prospective tenants, but are you extending the same professional courtesy to your former tenant’s new landlord? When a tenant requests a rental reference letter, deliver the information honestly and succinctly.

Writing a rental reference letter doesn’t have to take a long time, especially if you have your tenant’s file in front of you for reference. Keep the file by your computer, and follow these 7 steps to writing a rental reference letter:

1. Put the date at the top of the letter, and then address the letter “To whom it may concern.”

2. Provide the tenancy information by including the tenant’s full name, the address of the rental property and the dates of occupancy.

3. Share whether or not the tenant paid rent on time, and if there were any instances of late rent, you can note how the issue was resolved.

4. Reveal the care and condition of the property while the tenant lived there and use several accurate descriptive words.

5. Give information about the tenant’s behavior and interactions with you and with other tenants.

6. Summarize the landlord/tenant relationship by stating whether you would rent to the tenant again, if given the opportunity.

7. Provide your contact information and invite the reader to contact you with any questions.

 

A rental reference letter should only relate the facts as they relate to the tenancy—never about personal feelings. You should never go overboard in revealing any personal information about the tenant either, such as gossip or stereotypes. The reference letter should be factual and end with a simple endorsement. When the future landlord has the chance to evaluate all the facts, he or she can make the call on whether to rent to the tenant or not.

 

Rental Reference Letter Sample

Sometimes it’s easiest to see what a rental reference letter should include by an example:

 

July 15, 2011

To whom it may concern,

I have been asked to write a rental reference letter on behalf of John Doe, who rented an apartment from me at 2202 Orange Street from June 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

During the 1-year lease, John always paid the rent on time except for once, when he contacted me in advance about a family emergency and made arrangements to pay in full by the 15th of the month plus late fees. He fulfilled that agreement.

John kept the apartment in good condition and always alerted me to any maintenance issues in a timely manner. At the move-out inspection, there were only 2 very minor charges for damages. I have no complaints about him on file from other residents and found him to be a quiet and respectful tenant.

If given the opportunity, I would definitely rent to John again. Please contact me with any questions about his tenancy at 777-8888.

Sincerely,

Ms. Landlord

 

Remember that it is not your responsibility to share every detail of your tenant’s file with the world. Instead, let the facts speak for themselves and do your duty as a landlord in creating a simple, informational letter for your tenant to use.

cash-flow

Managing Cashflow as a Landlord

cash-flowPoor cash-flow management is causing more business failures today than ever before. These failures are often attributed to a lack of cash flow, but it is the mismanagement of the cash flow that poses the real threat. This is an especially common issue for property owners and managers who, in spite of a full building or multiple Chico rental properties, may be facing empty bank accounts in the middle of each month.

Target the Cause of the Leak
Before you can fix your cash flow problems, you need to figure out where the leaks is. Are tenants refusing to pay the rents or are the rents too low? Look at other rentals in your area and make sure that your prices are comparable. Keep in mind, however, that a responsible tenant can be worth more than a couple of hundred dollars each month, and try not to drive away any stable tenants with aggressive rent increases.

Are your buildings only half full? Vacancies are your worst enemy, and if your building is harboring a lot of empty space, it may be time to mix up your advertising strategy.

Perhaps maintenance issues are causing the issues. Can you save costs by doing some of the work yourself? Do you need to spend more on routine maintenance so you can spend less on repairs?

Tighten Your Application Process
When you rent a property to a tenant, you are essentially offering them credit. If they fail to make good on that arrangement, you are left holding the empty bag. The process of removing a delinquent tenant is long and cumbersome in many areas, and property managers typically lose money in the process. Halt this progression before it even starts by taking Inc.com’s advice to increase cash flow by tightening credit requirements and ensuring that you have responsible tenants. If you do have delinquent tenants, use a service like the American Apartment Owners Association to report them to credit bureaus and inform them you are doing so. It might serve as extra motivation to pay on time.

Engaged Management
Property is not a passive investment, and if you are not engaged with your investment, that may be the reason your cash flow is suffering. The benefits of an engaged management style, including a stable tenant base result in lower turnover and ultimately results in less cost and effort on your part. When tenants know you are there to help them out with routine maintenance or to answer questions, they tend to take better care of the property. That results in boosted property values, safer properties, and more appreciative neighbors.

Keep Your Receipts
A big part of property management is fielding calls from little old ladies with broken faucets and clogged toilets. Although you may just be spending a few dollars on a couple of parts, you need to track these expenditures. RoofTopInvestment.com suggests collecting every receipt and reminds you to claim those expenses on your taxes. By being meticulous about your records, you will lower your tax burden and thus augment your cash flow. We know this is important, part of the reason all owners have instant access to all their invoices bills and more.

landscape

Save Money with Low Water Landscaping

landscapeWhile there has been some relief with spring rains, widespread drought continues to plague the Chico area which means property managers may want to reach a little deeper into their wheelbarrows for landscape options this year that don’t require as much moisture.

Landscapers across the state are getting more and more calls from concerned property owners about their water-starved landscapes. But lack of rainfall, depleted reservoirs and water restrictions don’t mean that property beds and gardens should become sand boxes. Many varieties of drought tolerant plants and grasses offer pleasing solutions that have sustainability.

Beautiful variations of contrasting colors of rock and fairly sparse plantings can evoke the effect of a healthy landscape that’s soft on the eyes. Done right, a property can have a beautiful and long-term landscape that will go easy on the water bill.

When considering a drought tolerant landscape, just look around. See what is growing on its own in nature without man-made irrigation or supplementation. What you see in the wild, on the side of the road or open areas are surviving with the cards that Mother Nature deals.

Species vary from region to region, depending on climate, and some are not so attractive. But there are many, many desirable plants, trees, bushes and grasses that when placed in a similar environment to their natural setting will react as they do in nature and give property owners a low-maintenance option during periods of limited rain and water supply.

Here are some property management tips to help beat the drought.

Get it Established
As with any plant life, the key to long-term growth is establishment. Don’t discount that any kind of landscaping, whether it’s drought tolerant or not, needs time to take root and needs water up front. And no matter how drought tolerant it is, the plant will have some issues with transplant shock and sensitivity to its new surroundings.

Adequate watering for the first couple of months after the planting is necessary, as well as keeping a close eye on progress. The plant will tell you what it needs if you pay attention. Once drought tolerant landscaping is established it should be able to survive on natural rainfall and environment.

Types of Drought Tolerant Plant Life
Each area has its own tolerances and properties should consult area horticulturalists or landscape professionals for the right choices. Again, take note of what’s growing around the area that doesn’t require much intervention from mankind.

A number of ornamental and maiden grasses are fairly drought tolerant and are sustainable. Muhly grass, known as Muhlenbergia capillaries, is a common ornamental grass that adds vibrant color to a property but can survive with limited moisture. The grass has beautiful pinkish and redish blooms instead of white blooms, which are common on most other grasses.

Rock On
A lot of the drought tolerant landscapes will incorporate rock and boulders as ornaments. Of course, they have zero water requirements. Something that is making a comeback is Lava Rock, which was popular in the 1970s and 80s, as evidence by recent requests.

Natural rocks come in a variety of colors and can add a distinctive presence to a property’s landscaping. They are inexpensive (and don’t require irrigation) and make great center pieces. Most stone specialists have ample supply of rocks from the region, as well as other types of stones that can add an always manicured look to any landscape.

Rather than surrounding a Red-Tip Photinia with Monkey Grass, consider stylishly situating a large rock indigenous to the region amid Muhly grass.

Turf Alternatives
Decomposed granite is a great alternative to turf because it can be compacted to the point where it’s easy to walk on and it’s easy for pets to run on. Decomposed granite is small, weathered chunks of granite that takes on the effect of gravel or course sand.

Most common uses are for driveways, garden walkways and heavy-use paths. It compacts well and comes in a variety of colors.

Deciding on a drought tolerant landscape can involve a little strategy, but for the most part Mother Nature has already put a plan in place nearby. Even in the most severe drought conditions, there is an alternative to create and maintain an attractive, well-groomed landscape.

Did you know we also do monthly yard services for Chico rental properties?