An inviting community encourages homeowners take advantage of amenities, visit neighbors, or simply look forward to coming home after a busy day. To find out how your board can create this welcoming atmosphere, we polled our maintenance experts from across the globe for tips on maximizing the appearance of your community. Here’s what they had to say.
Keep Lighting Consistent
“A few simple lighting updates can not only improve safety in the community but enhance curb appeal as well. First, make sure that your lighting is set to a photocell or a solar timer. As the seasons change, your lighting will stay in sync and won’t miss a beat around dawn and dusk. This is important because nothing stands out in a streetscape more than a dark spot. Next, stay on top of replacing missing bulbs. It can be costly to change a single bulb at a time, so have all bulbs inspected monthly and replaced as needed. This will typically give you the opportunity to purchase bulbs in bulk, providing a big savings opportunity. To save on energy as well, consider migrating to LED lamps in your existing fixtures as the prices have come down and the quality has improved.
Together these initiatives will ensure consistent lighting for the community plus provide the added benefit of reduced costs.”
Vice President of Field Services, Associa OnCall
Plant the Right Trees
“You can create great curb appeal with a tree, no matter the size or space. A tree can increase the value of a property by more than $7,000, on average. Placement and size of plants is very important because although you want to incorporate a mixture of plants and trees, you need to make sure that none become so big when they’re mature that they will block any homes or buildings. Plant trees that won’t cover a structure at their mature size but will instead draw attention to it. Research shows that people tend to be more familiar and socialize more with neighbors in tree-filled neighborhoods, and a 10 percent increase in neighborhood trees can reduce crime by 12 percent. The power of trees is truly remarkable. ”
- Shawn Fitzgerald
Technical Advisor, The Davey Tree Expert Company
Give Fences a Fresh Coat of Paint
“Although we typically focus our attention on the interior areas of our community, the exterior appearance can be significantly impacted by simple actions such as painting the perimeter fence or wall. This effort will not only immediately enhance property values for your community as a whole, but drastically impact the membership’s sense of comfort and understanding of the association’s value. They can directly see where their funds are being spent to improve the appearance of the community. It’s an immediate return on investment!”
-Dawn Osterode, CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM®
Supervising Community Manager and Reserve Study Specialist, Associa Sierra North
Make Landscape Maintenance Simple
“Make plantings in common areas easy to maintain throughout the season with a thick layer of mulch. A 3-inch deep layer of mulch reduces weed growth by as much as 80 percent and has a crisp, clean look. Avoid piling mulch up against tree trunks and shrub stems; rodents can burrow under the mulch and gnaw on the plants. Leave at least an inch gap between the stem/trunk and the mulch for optimal health.”
Garden Expert, Costa Farms