If you haven’t yet begun to take advantage of the warmer than normal temperatures to reseed or renovate your lawn, don’t wait any longer.
However, as temperatures cool off, the fall is the best time during the year to consider adding trees and shrubs to your landscape to make it stand out, especially if you are considering selling.
Remove those plants and bushes that are worn and unsightly and replace them to enhance your property and provide more curb appeal. Remember, buyers can and will be critical of everything, starting from the exterior. Put yourself in the eyes of the purchasers and what do you think of the landscape outside of your home?
Does it entice buyers to want to come and take a look, if they were to do a drive-by or does it look a bit dated or is everything overgrown or on their last legs? Are your flowerbeds edged and cultivated or are they undefined as to where they start and finish?
As they sometimes say, “you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.” I imagine you wash your car regularly and polish it, while it depreciates and loses value over time or you give it back after your lease is up and have nothing to show for it. But your home for most everyone is your most valuable asset.
Maybe unintentionally, due to lack of time, a bit of being lackadaisical, a bit lazy, lack of available funds or whatever your reasons, you totally forget about the outside landscape. So we sometimes disregard what’s most important to us financially and we say to ourselves, “I’ll get around to it.”
Well what about today, as you read this column, if needed, to start thinking about what you can do to freshen up the outside of your home, especially if your home is currently for sale or, you just might consider selling in the very near future?
Over the years I have seen the most poorly and “under the weather” landscapes and that is what everyone initially sees. Adding valuable trees and shrubs will provide from one hundred to one thousand percent return on your investment.
However, there is a multitude of variables that have to be taken into account, eg. your budget and expenditure when the landscape was renewed, when you purchased, location and current condition of the landscape, etc. What trees and shrubs might you consider? Should I hire a contractor (make sure he is licensed and insured and provides you a certificate with you as an additional person of interest, in case of any issue that pops up) or go online to get some advice or even attend a presentation by one of the big box stores? There are numerous choices to be had and if you have a gardener who you trust and feel confident in, you can always rely on him too.
However, if you have a limited budget, then doing this on your own can be accomplished with some basic knowledge. Knowing how to plant is crucial to the survival of your landscape.
Spacing your new plantings, digging a large enough hole, adding proper nutrients and water, will go a long way to having your plantings survive and flourish. Also, extremely critical is to know the exposure and how much sun and shade you have on your property, which will be tantamount in determining what type of shrubs to consider purchasing. Obviously, flowering shrubs need more sun than shade-tolerant plantings.
Another example is evergreens which do better and will grow faster (Green giants, Leyland cypress) in the sunniest locations. Going online to first figure out what you want and what they look like will also assist you in making choices.
Regardless of what you purchase, always read the labels on all your plant material. The growers give specific information to enable you to plant your material properly. Moreover, you should know whether or not the trees have a lot of surface roots like swamp maples usually do or deeper rooted trees like oaks, so you place them further away from your foundation as to not eventually cause possible damage to the foundation of your home. Here are some examples of possible choices of trees:
1.) White or black birch
2.) Norway, red or silver maples
3.) Honey locust
4.) London plane
5.) Little leaf linden
6.) Dogwood (Japanese or Korean variety)
Also the more shade your trees provide the more shade tolerant grass seed must be sowed into the soil in order to have an adequate ground cover. You can also eliminate the grass altogether and just plant any type of shade-tolerant ground cover. Some examples are:
4.) Creeping juniper
5.) Liriope/monkey grass
8.) Wild violets
Fall is the most beneficial season to plant as it is a less stressful, due to cooler temperatures and a more advantageous time to have the plant material root and take hold. So get to work and start planning what you want to do and turn your landscape into an oasis that all will be drawn to and appreciated and it just might sell your home quicker and at a higher price!
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and a Certified International Property Specialist.
He can be reached by email, at:Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com, or by cell: (516) 647-4289