Along with the exterior appearance of buildings themselves, landscaping is the first point of contact for potential residents and visitors to a condo or HOA community. While it’s tough to quantify the effect of beautifully curated and maintained exteriors on the lives of residents, the importance of physical upkeep and care is well-documented. Attractive, healthy landscaping has true value – not only in improving and maintaining quality of life and community morale, but also in terms of elevating curb appeal, and by extension, property values.
The Value of Professional Input
While worrying about flower beds when there’s a roof project looming may seem frivolous, or hiring a professional landscape architect may feel like an avoidable expense when plenty of residents have green thumbs and a burning desire to get into the dirt in the early spring, the fact is that hiring and collaborating with the right team of pros can save money and boost value. A knowledgeable plant and landscaping expert can inform and support your enthusiastic in-house gardeners, and help ensure that they’re working with good information, accurate seasonal timetables, and the proper tools.
“Location is always the first thing to look at in order to determine what best fits an area’s soil, in regard to exposure to sunlight, water source and general aesthetics,” recommends Denise Becker, Senior Vice President of Homestead Management Services in Hillsborough. “A landscaping area not carefully planned can be taken over the three D’s of disease, drought, and deer. Consulting with a landscape architect or the regular landscaping vendor for a property should be the starting point as to which landscaping elements will perform best and where.”
When asking any group of professionals how exactly to make things go right, it’s rare to get a unanimous response. When it comes to landscaping however, the pros we spoke with all agreed that the biggest mistake a co-op or condo board can make is to fail in creating a master plan.
That’s the word from Chapman Manzer of Manzer’s Landscape Design & Development Inc., in Peekskill, New York. “What happens when you do piecemeal projects is, it ends up looking like that: piecemeal,” Manzer says. “It looks like it wasn’t well thought out. When you do a master plan, it allows you to see what the whole will look like.”