It’s common knowledge that aside from location, curb appeal – real landscaping – is one of the single most important factors that contribute to making a strong first impression on guests, and prospective residents and homeowners. It’s so important in fact, that it can easily make or break a real estate transaction!

Well-maintained landscaping, trees, foliage and entrances enhance a property’s value. These factors will keep your community in high ranks when it comes to curb appeal. According to a recent industry survey, over 70% of homebuyers consider curb appeal to be an important factor when choosing the place to call home. It’s the responsibility of each community to maintain common areas and ensure constant upkeep (even during hurricanes). Having welcoming entranceways and properly maintained landscaping will give your residents a great sense of pride and added value to the community. Common areas such as sidewalks and roads are bound to depreciate in time; follow these five landscaping and maintenance tips to help your community look more appealing.

1. Your mower or mine?

For smaller communities, maintaining the landscape may be a manageable task to be handled in-house. But in most cases, hiring a professional landscaping company is the best choice for the community. Not only does landscaping require constant upkeep, it is an important element to homebuyers. If you live in a managed community, your property manager will work diligently with your board members to select the best tree-care company or other trusted service providers to meet your needs. If your community is self-managed, a good property management company can point you toward recommended contractors.

2. Life’s a garden, so dig it.

Be sure to do some research and see what plant species are known to prosper in your area. Take into account your community’s soil conditions, maintenance budget and resources. As you have a better understanding of the landscaping needs in your community, it is a good decision for your association to seek the expertise of a professional contractor. You will want a well-thought-out design concept that will ensure your plants can thrive. Professional landscaping companies will know which plants need more space for their roots to grow and ensure they have the proper amount of water and sunlight. Regular watering the lawn and fertilizing as needed will ensure your garden grows healthy and strong. 

Now, let the grassing begin! It’s always good to add more grass before planting. You’ll want to enrich poor soil and mow the grass consistently and ensure the lawn is properly maintained.

3. Save the trees

Besides the great deal of curb appeal trees offer, they also provide splendor, beauty and much-needed shade from the Florida heat. It is important for you to protect your trees by keeping them regularly maintained and free of disease. You can seek out tree-care professionals or ensure the association staff is giving them constant care. A few tips to help maintain your trees include keeping them well trimmed, fertilized and mulched. A good property management company will keep you well informed on the details you should consider to have a happy and healthy landscape.

4. Whack those weeds.

Having a beautifully landscaped lawn gives homeowners great sense of pride; don’t let that be hindered by the appearance of weeds. You can minimize the amount of weeds by physically pulling them out, using natural mixtures such as hot water with soap or vinegar or applying a chemical weed killer to treat the problem. Be aware of the significant affects that may come along with your decision. Pulling out weeds manually is labor intensive and will be tedious, while chemical methods will work quickly but may harm the environment. Our best recommendation is to plant more! All growing things compete for resources like water, sunlight and nutrients, so if you plant more flowers, bushes and shrubbery and maintain a rich and healthy lawn, they’ll naturally keep the weeds at bay.

5. Get smarter.

The more knowledgeable you are, the better. Being proactive in maintaining the trees and landscape of your community will benefit homeowners in many ways. Not only will it benefit your association’s curb appeal, quality of living and the growth of the community, but it will assist in fulfilling its fiduciary duty in protecting the community’s assets. Besides the expertise of a good property management company, there’s an abundance of information you can educate yourself with, from the internet to professional landscaping service providers. Utilize your resources and be sure to rake it all in!
For more grounds maintenance and landscaping tips and insights, contact FirstService Residential today.
Monday January 04, 2016