It’s time once again to think about your landscape

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Turn Key Real Estate 31RA0874656

We have been extremely lucky this past winter, with the least amount of snow falling locally as well as the longest wait (Feb 1st) for snowfall in 150 years, which barely measured 0.4 inches according to The Weather Channel.  On the other hand, California and other areas out west had the 2nd highest record snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of 56.4 feet, the 6th snowiest on record dating back to 1869.  It has completely eliminated the severe drought that has plagued California and other surrounding states and locations.  The surprising thing was that I saw crocuses and other small flowers blooming in February which I had never experienced in the past.  This led me to think about the exterior of my own home and plan what I would be planting this spring.  Out on Long Island, the growers began delivering their Trees, Shrubs, and annuals to nurseries and big box stores.  It seems most definitely that we had an early spring. So it would behoove you to get out and begin checking out your own landscaping and see how you could spruce it up and add some color and value.  If you are going to do a major overhaul, then the first thing you must do is determine what your budget is and what types of trees, shrubs, and flowers you want to purchase as well as where you are going to plant them.

The most critical area to focus on is your front area and main walkway, where everyone will be walking into your home.  Whether you are considering selling now or in the future, this will always be a crucial area to plant colorful and a diverse variety of flowers.  Many will consider impatiens, which are your standard most popular type of annuals only surviving for one season.  They are also excellent around flower beds in and around to the left and right of your front door.   Other types are petunias in planters, coleus, and begonias.  In addition, you might consider some biennials which are self-seeders (not to be confused with perennials), such as foxglove, hollyhock, pansy, black-eyed  Susan, sweet William, Queen Anne's lace, honesty, forget-me-not, Canterbury bells and several varieties of evening primrose.  They say, “you don’t get a 2nd chance at a first impression.” So adding color to the front of your home becomes tantamount to curb appeal. There are many applications that you can download into your cell that can assist you in picking out various types of trees, shrubs, and flowers when you are out at your local nurseries.  Even taking a trip way out on Long Island for the day, where many of the growers are, could save you some serious money and provide you with a lot of choices and a fun day.

My former career, as a landscape designer, and certified and licensed lawn, tree, shrub, and lawn applicator has provided many benefits in guiding my current and past real estate clients by sharing my knowledge and advice.  The name of my former company was Lawn Gro Lawn Care.  We also had an irrigation division as well as a carpet cleaning service, so if we dirtied anyone’s carpeting or interior, we had that covered!  I know that some of you who read my weekly real estate/business column realized that you were my customers in the past.  I thank you for contacting me and I truly enjoyed our conversations together, reminiscing and assisting you today with your questions about what to plant.  If you weren't my past customers and want some advice, always feel free to contact me. 

In a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 99% of our participating members said that they believe the curb appeal of your home is the first point of contact in attracting purchasers. The photos and virtual tours of one’s home can make or break whether or not a prospective buyer may or may not want to see your home. So when considering putting your home on the market, first look at your exterior landscape as if you were the buyer and try to be objective in determining whether or not you believe the landscape would motivate you to want to consider viewing let alone buy the home.  When buyers do a drive-by in advance of making an appointment, your exterior will either attract or detract from making your home stand out above the others in the area.  So, enabling your place to be as attractive as possible, outside as well as inside, will require planning and budgeting.  But the investment and the end result will be an increase in value and your satisfaction and a more positive impression to your future potential purchasers.

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Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck.  He has 40 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S) as well as the new “Green Industry” Certification for eco-friendly construction and upgradesFor a “FREE” 15-minute consultation, value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com  Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas or suggestions on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he will call or email you back.


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Philip A. Raices, Pres/CEO, 

Graduate Realtor Institute

(What I consider a Masters Degree in Real Estate)
C.I.P.S. (Certified International Property Specialist)
The National Association of Realtors "Green" designation
(Certified in Eco-Friendly Low Carbon Footprint Construction/3-D Printed Foundations/Geo-Thermal HVAC/Solar Panels/Heat Pumps)

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We truly and thoroughly enjoy doing business with Matrimonial/Divorce Attorneys as we assist them in helping their clients with the challenging, tumultuous, and stressful process of navigating and guiding them through the potential sale (or showing how the wife or husband) can potentially keep and stay in the home.  If allowed, we will hold their hand(s) and build rapport and a relationship with either 1 or both parties as we traverse through the selling process.  We are also in Part 36 of the NYS Court system in helping those attorneys who need a Professional, Expert, and Qualified Broker with their indigent, disabled, or clients who have passed away with the sale of their properties.
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Past President of the Rotary Club Of Great Neck 2011-2012

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Former Member of N.A.R.'s Business Policy & Issues Committee


Director of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce 1995-present

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Volunteer Driver for the American Cancer Association 1994-2010



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Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Landscaping takes an entirely different flavor when living in the mountains out west! While homeowners in our towns might have typical lawns and landscaping, those that live in the forests might have parked out areas for visual wow's, or a drive that comes up to a view, or flowers lining an otherwise "natural" road. You have provided great information for the east!

Apr 22, 2023 04:37 AM
Philip A. Raices

Hi Kat,  yes I can imagine our location requires much different plant material than in NY.  Temperatures and sunshine are 2 factors that can a positive or negative impact on the plant material.  BTW, thanks for the compliment, really appreciate it!

Apr 26, 2023 06:53 PM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent information. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

Apr 22, 2023 05:13 AM
Philip A. Raices

Have Charles, I was a landscape designer for 25 yrs until I sold the entire company and semi-retired in my early 40s.  But got bored and slightly depressed as I no longer had to wake up at @5AM, which in reality, I thoroughly enjoyed minus some of my employees.  Now I have only independent contractors (1099s) and outsource all my admin work.  If you love what you do it no longer is work and For me, I haven't worked in 30 yrs!! 

Apr 26, 2023 06:57 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Spring is here, time to spruce up. Great information. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your weekend. Bill Salvatore

Apr 22, 2023 05:18 AM
Philip A. Raices

Yes, Bill, spring started off hot in NY and now we are back to the much cooler days.  But all the tulips, crocuses and other flowering plants have finally popped.  Enjoy your weekend too!

Apr 26, 2023 06:59 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

That is a very pretty front yard, but must have to live in an area where you can keep it watered.

Apr 22, 2023 06:43 AM
Philip A. Raices

Hi Joan, yes, our rainfall is several inches below normal.  We are only allowed to water on odd & even days.  It's when the heat comes on board that we have to watch our sensitive plantings.  However, we hope for an easy and mild summer.  Weather has been so eratic the last few yrs we just have to do the best we can and keep all our landscape watered, fertilized and healthy as you can see that it is.

Apr 26, 2023 07:16 PM