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Increase Your Property Values by Decluttering Your Landscaping

Soon after Ginger Creek was established it was considered one of the top 10 most attractive and affluent communities in the United States.

The property was developed by Paul Butler in the 1960s.  Ginger Creek was one of the few subdivisions that could boast of large wooded lots, with golf course and lake views.  Ginger Creek was able to maintain its high standards because of the "dedication to high quality" provisions incorporated into the Ginger Creek Declarations and Covenants by Paul Butler. 

Over the years, Ginger Creek was further improved by former Association president Peter Huizenga who had the foresight to have concrete aprons installed that replaced the gravel and boulders previously lining the Ginger Creek roadways. Peter also implemented the installation of uniform mailboxes that further enhanced the look and appeal of Ginger Creek. 

In the spirit of Peter Huizinga and Paul Butler, how can we continue their vision and increase property values in Ginger Creek? We posed this question to local real estate and landscape professionals.

The landscaping and real estate professionals acknowledged the attributes of the Ginger Creek Community. Statistics show that when a property is sold, the homeowner receives a 100% return on landscaping improvements, but not necessarily on all improvements to the interior of the home. 

Colleen Wilcox,a real estate luxury home specialist with Compass Hinsdale, points out landscaping should be regularly updated.  She says that evergreen trees and shrubs that were planted years ago often become overgrown, lack symmetry and are unsightly. Colleen suggests that it is better to remove old overgrown and spindly trees and shrubs than to retain them as buyers will conclude that if landscaping is outdated, the home inside must also be outdated.

Dan Stone, a landscape architect with Wingren’s Landscape says that due to the harsh Midwestern weather, many evergreen tree and shrub species are prone to diseases and pests and should have preventative tree care. Dan also reports that most professional landscapers no longer use black plastic landscape edging or large singular boulders in landscape design.  It is also recommended that property owners maintain weed free planting beds with the help of lighter weight leaf mulch or compost with ground cover or perennials.  Woody shrub beds tolerate a heavier layer of shredded wood mulch.  A dark brown color looks the most natural.  A 2” depth of mulch is good, and an additional application of a thin layer of new mulch with occasional cultivation throughout the year keeps it looking fresh.

These landscaping and real estate professionals recommend the following:

  • Remove old evergreen trees, juniper and yew bushes that have become gnarled, overgrown and spindly with age

  • Weed flowerbeds and apply a layer of brown mulch for weed reduction

  • Remove outdated black plastic edging especially edging that has raised due to cold temperatures

  • Remove diseased and unsightly trees and shrubs from your property, and remember to remove the stump too

  • Remove unkempt brush and bushes on property lines

  • Seed bare spots in your lawn especially in the spring time

  • Select flower pots for your home that match your home, and remove dead flowers 

  • Avoid large ornate fountains that detract from property

  • Remove old basketball standards that are no longer in use, or paint the standard and replace the netting on the existing basketball standard 

  • If children are no longer using playground equipment or playhouses, donate  them to a charity or give them to a family who can enjoy them 

  • Replace brick edging around flowerbeds that have deteriorated or have missing stones or bricks. Retain a landscaper or stonemason to restore the brick or stone

  • Schedule your driveway, patios and walkways for services such as power washing and seal coating now. This gives a home a more appealing look

  • Avoid over planting your yard with small trees and shrubs, as this will cause overcrowding. Newly planted trees must be 4½" caliper or larger.

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