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.
“We rely on guidance from our trusted landscapers, consider all options and prices provided that pertain to a particular project, then present it at a board meeting for a vote before making a final decision on any landscaping work,” explains Bart Steele, Senior Regional Property Manager with Premier Property Solutions in Boston, illustrating the degree to which any type of work is evaluated before getting the green light.
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 “not doing 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.”