Whether or not to use fake grass for your investment…

Quite often we come across owners who are torn with what to do with their landscaping. They love their home and want to make sure it appeals to good quality renters- but, they’re not sure if having a lawn to mow will appeal to families? Or is it now seen as a hassle?

The Pros and Cons of Fake Grass for your Investment Property

If you have a yard at your investment property, it may be tempting to use fake grass to add some greenery to the property while reducing the maintenance typically associated with real turf – mowing the lawn, making sure it’s weeded, watered and so on… Maintenance aside, there are other impacts to think about when it comes to using fake grass. In this article, we hope to provide some points to consider so you can feel better about making a decision.

Fake grass has environmental impacts

While it may seem convenient and low maintenance, fake grass is made from plastic. And with plastic already a global problem, choosing to install artificial turf can potentially add to a problem we’re trying to address. Materials aside, many fake options are imported due to their lower price, which also adds to environmental impacts when you take production and freight into account.

Real turf can have positive health impacts

If your investment property is a family home and your current and potential tenants have young children, exposure to the soil under real grass can be good for building young immune systems. Further, it gives kids somewhere natural to play and explore while being on your property’s front or back doorstep, which is perfect for lunch breaks or enjoying the last of the sun in the evenings. Also, have you ever dealt with the type of ‘carpet burn’ one gets from falling on fake grass? It’s not pretty.

Grass can handle the elements better

Some grass doesn’t handle tough conditions well, and things such as lawn grub can result in patchy, muddy lawns. If the lawns aren’t regularly mowed, watered and weeded – they can end up turning into a giant weed mud pit! Even so – being part of nature, real turf can better respond to the elements (note real established turf is the key here, not seeded grass in the hope that it will grow). On hot days artificial turf can become too hot to walk on it barefoot, which is especially unsuitable for little feet.

On the contrary, think about lawn maintenance

A common argument for artificial turf is that those with real turf may need to buy a couple of lawnmowers over the life of the grass, along with the need for weed killers and sprays (if you opt to use these products). Other regular maintenance considerations for fake lawns include regular mould treatments and the need to wash the lawn if animals and pets leave droppings on the grass.

What do renters / families think?

This here is is the key question and it’s not as easy to answer as what you might think. Location and the size of your property plays a big role here. A small courtyard in a town house is obviously not going to be great for real lawn if a renter has to get a lawn mower through the house because there’s no backyard access – so here, real grass is not recommended. A larger family home close to schools however – real grass is a great idea! So many ‘cookie cutter’ investment packages come with a stock standard boxed garden and tuscan toping paths (Which end up as weeds if not done properly!). So steer away from the stock standard. For advice on your exact property – the best thing to do though, is reach out to us here at Personalised Property Management so we can go through your local demographics, ideal tenants and what is going to suit your property the best!

Overall, you could argue that the environmental impacts of having artificial turf or real turf are quite balanced. If this is the case, choosing between fake and real grass may come down to personal preference. No matter which option you choose, make sure the maintenance responsibilities are clear when you list and lease your property and that you create an attractive outdoor space that will invite quality tenants to apply.