Business & Real Estate: Creating curb appeal for your home

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You’re now contemplating putting your home out on the market and am wondering what should you do to the property.

Let’s start with the outside, since we are into the summer season and all trees have bloomed, seasonal flowers and shrubs have popped.

However, have you closely observed and inspected your property?

Kind of lifeless, boring, no color, very blah?  That’s exactly the reaction your purchasers will have when they come down your walkway to your front door.

Wouldn’t you rather have them smile and go, ooh, ah, wow, look at this landscape?

Well, it’s not too late!  Most garden centers, including the large box stores have some excellent sales on flowering plants and shrubbery.

You can also take a day trip out on Long Island to the growers, where prices are even lower and when done, you could visit the wineries on the North Fork, in and around Aquebogue, (Sound Ave) and enjoy some wine tasting.

But stay overnight, if you are going to drink! (Don’t drink and drive!) I recently visited Hicks Nurseries on Jericho Turnpike in Westbury spread out over several acres of buildings and grounds and to be very candid, this was my first time stepping foot into this most magnificent and mesmerizing, colorful world of unusual flowering shrubs and plants!

I am slightly embarrassed that after the 25 years of doing my landscape design and professional applications business  that I never had gone there, since I always went out on the island or up on the North Shore in Glen Head, on Glen Cove Ave to Fischetti and Sons Nursery and always dealt with Philip and Mario Fischetti, they just might remember me and my company, Lawn Gro Lawn C! re from 23 years ago!

Back to your home and what you should do.

Annuals, such as impatiens, black-eyed susans phlox, astilbe, petunias and many, many other plants can be planted along walkways, in sunny to partial sunny areas.

Azaleas, Rhododendrons, flowering dogwood trees also can be planted, although some have already bloomed, but you be ready for next year by planting now.

How does your lawn look?

Is it full and weed free?  Did you apply the pre-emergence crabgrass control by the time the forsythia dropped its blooms?

If not, you will get a great amount of crabgrass this year in the sunny areas.

You could apply it to potentially kill the second round of crabgrass plants that will emerge this summer, but you will not control the current flock that is now emerging.

You can spot seed or fully seed your lawn now, but you must lightly water everyday 10-15 minutes in each zone, if you have an automatic sprinkler system or with a manual sprinkler.

Once the grass matures take a straight sided cup and put it in the area to be watered and when it fills up to one inch, then you have watered the soil three inches deep.

When cutting, raise your mower to the top setting or at least three inches, so you don’t scalp the grass and take away the manufacturing part of the plant, that converts the sunlight to rhizomes and tillers, building a strong root system.

A good way to judge your home from the eyes of a purchaser, is to stand in the street in front of your home and notice where your eyes go, especially where the front walkway and areas surrounding are; that is what the buyer will see and the more you light it up with color, assuming the front exterior looks presentable, the more attractive it will be to prospective purchasers.

As I have mentioned in earlier columns, always keep shrubbery trimmed and pruned below windows, so people can see out and also, it will make it easier for the sun to pour into your home.

Conical type shrubs should be used to covered downspouts from the roof, since they are not something that enhances the look of the exterior.

Gas, water or electrical meters should be hidden, as they take away from the esthetic appeal.  Any structure that will take away from the overall look of the outside should be covered or, if possible taken away.

When is the last time you painted the outside of your home?  Is it time for a facelift?

For every dollar invested in the outside landscape, you can expect to receive five dollars back.

Curb appeal has always been an excellent method in getting a home noticed, especially when you are taking digital pictures and videos for online marketing.

The more pictures and videos available to the public, the more views you will receive.

Buyers will skip properties without pictures or those with insufficient or poorly taken photographs.

In the U.S. a home is generally the most valuable asset that one owns, so keeping it in the most desirable condition will go a long way, when it comes time to putting it up for sale.

Come back next week for Part 2: Sprucing Up Your Interior

Philip A. Raices is the owner of Turn Key Real Estate in Great Neck. He can be reached by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com or by cell, (516) 647-4289 to answer any of your questions.  

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