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Proper Landscaping for your Investment Property
Should I landscape my investment property? I mean, isn’t it a waste of money to plant flowers, prune, water the lawn, etc.?
There are many aspects of property management that are not glamorous, exciting or exciting. After the adrenaline of acquisition fades into the distant past, the day-to-day care and nurturing of an investment property falls into this category. Opinions on the subject are all over the map, including some property owners who believe the more concrete the better. According to that thinking, the bush is just an additional expense. However, I would disagree. Remember the primary theme that governs the acquisition and financing of our investment grade real estate is that we want to own properties that are attractive, romantic and beautiful. That is, we want properties that make people want to live in them for all the intangible reasons we’ve discussed on this website – great properties don’t have vacancies, but waiting lists, great properties protect our downside because they hold value better than unattractive properties, and great properties appreciate. The market will move faster.
An investment property without landscaping lacks all the beauty, charm, and romance that we consider vital to our overall real estate investment strategy. After all, who wants to live in a concrete jungle? You don’t want to and neither will your potential tenant. So we must landscape. Tenants who are renters or are attracted to well-maintained neighborhoods are the types of tenants you want. They notice beauty and care about their surroundings. Nice landscaping also communicates to potential tenants your standard of care for the building – with landscaping, you already set expectations.
Finally, good landscaping helps you build relationships with your neighbors, especially if your apartment building is located in a residential neighborhood of single-family homes and you don’t live nearby. Neighbors who appreciate good landscaping will stop you on the street and ask you about your plants, so this is a great platform to start a conversation and you want your neighbors to be your friends. They live in your building and with your tenants every day, so they know first-hand if something is amiss. If you have a good relationship with them, they will notify you immediately if they see something suspicious.
Ok, I agree. I want the landscape. What exactly should I plant and what should I not plant?
Here are my high-level guidelines for landscaping your investment property:
1. Very large trees near your property that grow quickly with large roots. Very large trees create ongoing maintenance issues that the property owner must deal with on a regular basis, including potential foundation and plumbing problems, not to mention the costly pruning of high branches.
2. Very large trees near your property that shed a lot of shed. Large trees that shed profusely can clog your building’s gutters, especially during the fall season, not to mention the mess that comes with falling leaves. If your building is in the Puget Sound area, you should also be aware that winter rain and leaves can clog gutters, which can lead to roof leaks if the building has a flat roof.
3. High maintenance shrub. There is a class called Plants Ornamental Annual, which is used to add a splash of color to a typically colorless or undifferentiated garden. Examples would include begonias, petunias and hollyhocks. These plants are beautiful and do exactly what they are meant to do, which is to provide a garden with color, character and personality. That said, ornamental annuals, however, should not be part of your investment property landscaping plans. why They die at the end of the year, so you need to replant next year. It is expensive and time consuming. Save decorative annuals for your own personal flower garden. Something called what a property owner should put up Perennial. What is a perennial? They are the opposite of annuals. They only need to be installed once and they will beautify your investment property for years to come. They also require maintenance. All plants require maintenance, but perennials will not die at the end of the year. You need to be aware of water needs, the heat tolerance of the types of perennials you plant, and how vulnerable they may or may not be to direct sunlight. For sunny gardens, try Bergenia Winter Glow, Russian Sage, or Baptisia Australis. Of course, small evergreens are always desirable because they stay green and theoretically live forever. Your best bet would be to visit your local nursery (in Seattle, I’d recommend Molbach in Woodinville) and ask the nursery to recommend hearty, long-lasting perennials for your investment property landscape.
4. Other Matters:
- Consider the basics – climate, location, sunlight, soil conditions and moisture requirements.
- Choose hearty plants.
- Consider scale to building size (plant size at maturity). Trees that are too small make a large space look “lonely”. Too big trees look cluttered. Do not place tall objects and the like in front of small buildings.
- Aesthetics is part of balancing texture, color, and scale to make sure everything blends well. This requires you to pay attention and develop an “eye” for style.
- Consider the impact of your choices on the building. Trees should be at least a foot from the building, if not more, and should not block windows.
- Other than watering, your shrub shouldn’t need light weeding, pruning, and deadheading more than once a month. Regular fertilization and preparation for seasonal changes will increase the longevity and health of your plants.
- “Favorite trees” are “hardworking” and provide something nice to look at for at least three seasons of the year (buds, blooms, and foliage). It’s about stretching your landscaping dollars.
5. grass. Grass is beautiful, but too much grass creates major maintenance problems. Grass is also very inviting to dogs, cats and other animals. Grass invites animals to do things you wouldn’t want them to do on grass, at least not regularly. You get the point. Grass also grows quickly in the summer and can make your property look like the Amazon jungle if not maintained regularly and sometimes at great expense. In the Pacific Northwest, minimal grass can create attractive gardens that add charm to your property without the inconvenience of attendant maintenance associated with excessive grass. Use your best judgment when it comes to hay, but use hay sparingly. Also remember, in the Pacific Northwest, grass will turn brown in the summer if not watered regularly. Watering the grass so that stray animals have a green bed on which to do their work will increase your water bill. So take grass sparingly!
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