Ok, it’s accountability time. You need to know that I practice what I preach.

When I started this blog/journey in 2011, one of the first ideas I promoted was the concept of incremental improvements when it comes to curb appeal. I also shared my frustrations with balancing making progress in my landscaping goals (the important, but not urgent) with immediate needs (the important and urgent).

So the project creeped along.


In 2011, I installed and irrigation controller and planted a small combination of bushes and vines inside my self-closing gates – the “courtyard” area (pictures not shown).


In 2012, I bribed a friend to crawl through the building’s 24-inch tall crawl space and bring the control wire from the back laundry room to the front of the building, about 80 feet. I wanted the wiring to look professional. That detail is important to me, so I sweat it. Then installed the back row of bushes near the building.


I had a year full of vacancies in 2013, and low cashflow (creating the need for my zero-vacancy plans), so I didn’t make any progress on my landscaping project. I now regret that mindset. It wasn’t bold and demonstrated a lack of faith. Who wants to live like that?


For 2014, this year, I’m extending the plan towards the sidewalk.


I just went out and spent $178 on these small bushes and grasses. I have a move out happening next month so I want to take some nice looking pictures for my Craigslist ad, and this was a small investment to make.


Remember, my goal is to sign a replacement tenant before my current tenant moves out. I’ve rationalized the purchase by thinking I’m spending the money I would have lost on an empty unit..


Here’s a look at the landscape plan I’m working from.Landscape Plan


Moving Deliberately Slowly Has Benefits


1. I haven’t put in anything that’s gotten stolen or vandalized. I’m not always everyone’s favorite person; especially when someone’s doing something illegal. My front yard is an easy target.


2. I’ve got more people cheering for me. It turns out I’ve built up curiosity – which is great. Neighbors want to see someone set a goal, especially a multi-year goal,  and achieve it. It’s inspirational.


3. My building looks increasingly nicer as my block has gotten nicer. Coincidence? Maybe not.


What are you doing to make incremental improvements? Are you able to repeat my experiment and tell us if you get the same results? Either way, please leave a comment below and share your curb appeal experience.