Column: How to make the exterior of your home stand out this spring


Well, spring is finally here and some food for thought, the winter was the 10th least snowy period, since weather record keeping began.

The globe continued to bake in 2018, and still more warming is predicted in the decades to come. 2018 is expected to be the fourth-warmest year on record for the Earth, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization said Thursday. Do you still believe there is no global warming?
So, let’s first talk about your lawn and here is what you should begin to do right now to create a lush, thick and green carpet:
1. Dethatch your lawn to remove, dead grass, leaves, twigs and any debris that will hinder the growth of the tillers and rhizomes to allow the necessary nutrients to penetrate the soil surface
2. If you haven’t done a winter fertilization in late November or early December of 2018, then use a rotary spreader and apply a thirty two-seven-five balanced organic fertilizer (32 percent nitrogen, 7 percent phosphorous and five percent potash) at four pounds per thousand square feet, making patterns with a tiny bit of overlap, to make sure all lawn areas are covered sufficiently.

The reasons are that specific nutrients will assist and advance the production through photosynthesis producing chlorophyll, the greening of the grass plant, and the building and expansion of tillers (new shoots of grass above the soil level), to expand the grass plant as well as rhizomes, (below surface rooting spread by stems that stretch out from the crown of the plant.

New shoots develop from nodes on underground stems, called rhizomes, or on horizontally growing above ground stems, called stolons. Also, you should test your soil acidity at the cooperative extension service of Nassau County and add, as needed, fifty lbs of pelletized lime per thousand sq. ft to raise the ph of your soil to between 6.5-7
3. Cut and prune all dead branches on deciduous trees, and any winter kill (the browning of leaves on non-deciduous, plant material, eg. Any shrub that keep their leaves all year long) to allow for immediate growth of new sprouts and healthy spring growth. Lastly, keep all shrubbery trimmed below all window sills, as this is the proper way to maintain your landscape.

Many homeowners forget to perform this task over the years, out of lack of time, forgetfulness or laziness, but these tasks will always provide you more money when you are ready to sell and less expensive if you have to redo your landscape. For every dollar you spend on your landscape, you will reap a return of $5! I always, say jokingly, that, if you are going to cover your windows, why not just remove them and cement the space?
4. Make sure you also, regularly edge and cultivate your flower beds and lawn areas around your home, to provide a real neat and tidy appearance, as buyers will always look at every little thing to determine what money they might have to spend after their purchase.
5. Begin to clean or power wash your patios, barbecue grills, patio tables and chairs to give them a fresh spring look.

Also, make sure you perform this task very carefully, on your siding, bricks or stucco; but be very careful on your vinyl or aluminum siding, as to not damage any areas with excessive pressure. These chores will truly make your home have more curb appeal.
6. Begin to think about some annuals, (once a year) perennials (comes up every year) and biennials (comes up every other year) to plant. Some suggestions are as follows:
a. Annuals: Bright colored impatiens, pansies. Pocketbook plant, etc.
b. Perennials: daffodils, geraniums, black-eyed susans or any type of bulbs that initially need to be planted
c. Biennials: sweet William dwarf, canterbury bells, forget-me-not (myosotis), foxglove and hollyhock as a few examples
d. Shrubbery: colorful azaleas, rhododendrons, flowering cherry trees, dwarf Japanese maples, etc.
These examples are an assortment of possibilities to make your landscape pop and make a very positive impression for your valuable asset, your home.

Obviously, you can hire a contractor to perform some or all of these important tasks and chores; but I would get at least three estimates and make sure they have insurance with a certificate of insurance with you as a person of interest or if corporate-owned, as an additional insured, in the event of damage caused by your contractor.
Other minor things to check and repair, are as follows:
1. Patching you’re your asphalt driveway when warmer temperatures permit
2. If you have sidewalks, make sure there are no slabs that might cause tripping and/or lawsuits by prospective purchasers or anyone walking by on your sidewalks, which you are generally responsible for (call your town or village to verify)
3. Clean all your windows on the outside after you have trimmed your shrubbery below your window sills.
4. Clean out your garage and any things that are not hazardous, throw away. However, any chemicals should be discarded in the proper fashion (check online for the next (S.T.O.P. program-stop throwing out pollutants) for the days and times to be able to bring your chemicals, old computers etc or any other items that they will accept, instead of discarding them in your trash or down the drain to pollute our aquifers!)

Also, inquire about any prescription drugs that may or may not be accepted at the sites in 2019.
As you can see, there are many, many things to be accomplished this spring. But if you don’t start, you’ll never finish, and it will possibly cost you more money when you are ready to sell!

Philp 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. Receive regular “free” updates of sold homes in your area and a “free” Comparative Market Analysis” of what your home would sell for in today’s market or search on: WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com He can be reached by email, Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com or by cell: (516) 647-4289.


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