Hi, this is Devin Elder and what you can see behind me here are some private yards that we put in, in one of our projects in San Antonio and this is a relatively low cost, easy amenity that you can add provided you have the space. And on some of these units … this is a 75 unit apartment complex … some of these units, we were able to add some fairly substantial yards because there was room outside of the units and now, if the resident has a dog or they just want to have some privacy or they just want to avoid people walking right by their windows and doors, it creates that sense of privacy and that buffer. And it also looks nice, right? It’s an amenity for the resident but it’s also an amenity for the property in terms of the overall aesthetic appeal of the property.
The way that you would calculate whether this investment is worth it or not, you basically take the cost to install the yard. Let’s say it costs $1,000 or $1,200 to install the yard between materials and labor and then you would look at the rent premium you’d be able to command for that yard. Let’s say it’s a $50 rent premium so how many months of that rent premium does it take to pay back your investment in that yard? There’s no hard and fast rule there but that’s just one of the things you’ll want to consider if you’re going to put in an amenity like this. But, I like them, if you have the room and you have the physical space to put in the yard and you’ve got the financial space, so to speak, in your budget to put them in and the pay back makes sense, meaning that you’re going to recoup that investment in a relatively short period of time, then it might be something to consider doing on a multi-family property as part of a value add strategy as we’ve done here.
Lots of strategies to add value to an older apartment complex like this and a private yard is one of them. Thank you.