Should I design my investment property? I mean, isn’t it a waste of money to plant flowers, plums, water the lawn, etc.?

There are many aspects of property management that are not glamorous, exciting, or necessarily exhilarating. After the adrenaline rush of acquisition has faded into the not too distant past, there is the daily care and feeding of the investment property itself, and landscaping falls into this category. Thought on this topic is everywhere, including some homeowners who believe that the more concrete you have, the better. According to that line of thinking, bushes are simply an added expense. However, I would not agree. Remember the main theme that governs our acquisition and financing of investment grade real estate, namely that we want to own properties that are charming, romantic and beautiful. That is, we want to own the same properties that people want to live in for all the intangible reasons we’ve discussed on this website: great properties don’t have vacancies, but waiting lists protect our downside because keeping value better than unattractive properties, and large properties will appreciate faster in an appreciating market.

An investment property without landscaping lacks all of the beauty, charm, and romance that we consider essential to our overall real estate investment strategy. After all, who wants to live in a concrete jungle? You don’t want to and neither does your potential tenant. Then you should landscaping. Tenants who comment on or are attracted to a well-maintained environment are the type of tenants you want. They realize beauty and care about their surroundings. Nice landscaping also tells prospective tenants what your standard is for building care: When landscaping, set expectations up front.

Lastly, good landscaping helps you build relationships with your neighbors, especially if your apartment building is located in a residential neighborhood between single-family homes and you don’t live nearby. Neighbors who appreciate good landscaping will stop you on the street and ask about your plants, so it’s a great conversation starter and you want your neighbors to be your friends. They live with your building and its tenants every day, so they are probably the first to know if something goes wrong. If you have a good relationship with them, they will let you know right away if they see anything suspicious.

Is good. I agree. I should landscaping. 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 rapidly 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 issues, not to mention expensive trimming of tall branches.

two. Very large trees near your property that shed profusely. Very large trees that shed profusely will tend to clog your building’s gutters, not to mention the mess that comes with falling leaves, particularly during the fall. If your building is in the Puget Sound area, you should also be aware of rain during the winter season and the fact that leaves can clog gutters, which can cause roof leaks if the building has a flat roof. .

3. high maintenance shrubs. There is a class of plants called ornamental annuals, which are typically used to add splashes of color to an otherwise colorless or indistinguishable garden. Examples would include begonias, petunias, and hollyhocks. These are lovely plants and they do exactly what they are intended to do, which is to provide a garden with colour, character and personality. That said, ornamental annuals, however, should not be part of your investment property’s landscaping plans.. Why? They die at the end of the year, so you need to repot the next year. This is expensive and time consuming. Save ornamental annuals for your own personal flower garden. What a property owner must plant is something called perennial plants. What are perennial plants? They are the opposite of annuals. They only need to be planted once and 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’ll need to know the water requirements, the heat resistance 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 Glows, Russian Sage, or Baptisia Australis. Of course, small evergreens are always desirable because they stay green and, in theory, live forever. Your best bet would be to visit your local nursery (in Seattle, I’d recommend Molbak’s in Woodinville) and ask the nursery to recommend hearty, long-lasting perennials for your investment property landscape.

4. Other considerations:

  1. Consider the basics: weather, location, sun exposure, soil conditions, and moisture requirements.
  2. Choose hearty plants.
  3. Consider the scale (the size of the plant at maturity) to the size of the building. Plants that are too small make a large space seem “lonely.” Plants that are too big make a place look cluttered. Don’t plant tall things in front of low buildings and the like.
  4. There’s the aesthetic part about balancing texture, colors, and scale to make sure everything blends well. This requires you to pay attention and develop an “eye” for style.
  5. Consider the impact of your choices on the building. Plants should be at least a foot from the building, if not more, and should not block windows.
  6. Aside from watering, your shrubs shouldn’t require light weeding, pruning, and heading more than once a month. Regular fertilization and preparation for the changing seasons will increase the longevity and health of your plants.
  7. “Preferred plants” are “hardworking” and offer something pleasing to the eye during at least three seasons of the year (buds, flowers and foliage). It’s about stretching your landscaping dollars.

Grass. Grass is beautiful, but too much grass creates big maintenance problems. The grass is also very attractive to dogs, cats and other animals. Grass invites animals to do things you might not want them to do on grass, at least not on a regular basis. You understand. Grass also grows quickly in the summer and can make your property look like an Amazon jungle if not maintained regularly and sometimes at significant cost. In the Pacific Northwest, delightful gardens can be created with a minimal amount of grass that infuses your property with charm without the maintenance hassles associated with excess grass. Use your best judgment when it comes to grass, but use it sparingly. Also remember, in the Pacific Northwest, grass will turn brown in the summer unless it is watered regularly. Watering the lawn so stray animals have green bedding to do their business will only increase your water bill.
So be frugal with the weed!

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