Monday, June 9, 2014

Why lawn care is important.

Mowing the lawn and caring for the garden is a waste of time and money, right?  Wrong.  At best, a neglected lawn allows weed species to flourish.  At worst, it can damage your house.  How?  Long lawns create habitat for mice and rats, attracted by the hiding places and seeds and other food sources in the lawn, and protected from predators.  Once they are in the lawn, it is a small transition to the house, where they set to work chewing on wiring, plumbing, woodwork, soft furnishings, and food.

This can result in a lot of expensive damage to the property, as well as possible disease transmission to the occupants.  Not good.  We once saw a property so badly overgrown the rats had bitten through the wires in the fridge motor.  An easy fix to restore the fridge back to working order, but a lot of hard work to chop back the overgrowth from the house and kill all the rats (two buckets of wax bait were needed, the first was consumed practically overnight).  Sale price was significantly affected by the neglect, $60,000 drop in what the owner had paid for it.  Estimated cost of yard care to maintain property value?  Around $1,200.  No brainer, right?  

Another neglected property actually had holes the rats chewed through the walls, and muddy rat footprints marking their paths through the house.  At the property viewing, wearing muddy gumboots inside was no problem.  To clear up that yard would have taken months of hard work.  Lots of investors said ‘no’ to buying it, unsurprisingly.  A bit of regular yard care would have saved lots of expense in damage, and also increased the sale price.

Make sure your properties yards are maintained to keep up property value, and prevent expensive damage to your houses.  If tenants are not doing it, hire a contractor and build it into the rent.