The Benefits of Landscaping

Landscaping does more than just create beautiful curb appeal. Taking care of your property, whether a single-family residence, a condominium community, or a commercial development, has environmental, economic, and health benefits.

Environmental Benefits

Maintaining your lawn or property helps to protect you and the environment. Here are some of the ways landscaping helps the environment:

  • A lawn helps to control temperature extremes. In summer months, grass is cooler than pavement or cement, and trees that provide shade help cool down the property and home even more.
  • Grass helps to capture dust and pollutants and produces oxygen, keeping the air we breathe cleaner.
  • Pollutants and storm runoff are reduced when healthy lawns absorb water, which reduces local flooding and keeps polluted water out of larger bodies of water.

Economic Benefits

Along with helping the environment, a well-cared for property has economic benefits for homeowners and business owners alike:

  • Curb appeal is the first thing people notice when looking to buy a home. A beautiful property can increase the value of your home and reduce the time your property is on the market.
  • Residents of apartment complexes or condominiums are likely to pay more to live in a complex with grounds that are well cared for. HOA fees generally take care of landscaping, which means residents can enjoy the benefits of the property without having to care for it themselves.
  • In commercial spaces, green space encourages shoppers to spend more time at the development and increases property values.

Health Benefits

Landscaping also positively impacts health, both at home and work environments.

  • By filtering pollutants, landscaping helps to clean to the air.
  • In workplaces, landscaped areas help to decrease stress and increase positive mood, even if just looking out a window.
  • A well-planned property can provide privacy and a beautiful environment where you can spend time with loved ones.

With warmer weather approaching, now is the time to get started on your landscaping, so that you can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors for the next several months.

What are HOA fees?

When looking for a condo, townhome, or a property in a planned or gated community, be sure to take a look at the Homeowners Association (HOA) fees. HOA fees are included for all common areas of the property. Since there are multiple residents in the same complex, all are required to join the HOA and help cover the costs of common areas.

Monthly Expenses

HOA fees cover monthly expenses for upkeep and maintenance of the property and common areas. This can include landscaping, pool area, fitness room, parking lots, and hallways. In addition, utilities and insurance for these common areas are covered through HOA fees.

Reserve Fund

Along with covering monthly maintenance costs, part of the fee goes into a reserve fund. This fund can be used for larger, planned expenses, such as plumbing or a new roof for a building. Reserve funds may also be used for emergency situations, like the expenses that occur from a natural disaster.

Are HOA fees worth it?

That can depend on what you are looking for. The amenities that come with complex living can be unbeatable, especially when you don’t have to deal with the day-to-day maintenance or the stress when an unexpected cost arises.  Generally speaking, the more upscale a complex and its amenities, the higher the HOA fees are. The cost of fees can also depend on where you live. For example, living in humid, subtropical Florida can raise the HOA fees for the price of landscaping alone. Always be sure to find out what the fees are and exactly what they cover before making a decision to purchase a condo or townhome

Benefits of Garbage Chutes

If you live or work in a building with multiple levels, it is neither convenient nor sanitary to go down the stairs or elevator carrying a bag of trash. Garbage chutes in these buildings go far beyond convenience – they are beneficial to all involved.

With garbage chutes, residents only need to walk a few steps to their floor’s chute drop off. Garbage goes down the chute, or large tube, to a central location in a building. Typically, the garbage chute has an entrance and is covered with a door for safety.  Residents do not need to worry about taking out the garbage for a certain day or time, and do not need to lug garbage bags to a dumpster.

Building management also benefits from garbage chutes. The Residences at 66 High Street have garbage chutes in the multi-level buildings The Whitfield, The Leete, and The Chittenden. This means management does not need to go around the entire building collecting garbage – it is all in one centralized location. In addition, the garbage collector only needs to go to one place to collect trash each week.

Garbage chutes may seem like a small convenience that can be overlooked when designing a building, but the benefits make it a must-have in commercial and residential buildings with multiple floors.

What are the benefits of underground parking?

The arrangements for parking at The Residences at 66 High Street are in large part site-specific. In the three new luxury condominium developments, resident parking is under the buildings. The quasi-underground parking structure mainly stemmed from efforts to raise the building’s living and mechanical spaces out of the 100-year flood zone.

Placing parking below the structure or underground can offer a number of other advantages. These include:

  • More available land. With parking under buildings, residents have more green space to enjoy.  
  • Reduces crime. With easier access control, underground parking reduces crime when compared to large, open parking lots, as a result of easier access control.
  • Unobstructed views. When looking out luxury condominium windows, the last thing residents want to see is a parking lot. With cars out of sight, people can enjoy the beauty of the shoreline.
  • Pollution control. Underground parking improves both liquid and solid waste pollution control.
  • Convenience. Underground parking keeps cars as close to the building as possible while protecting the cars from elements of weather.
  • Reduces artificial cover. Underground parking also reduces artificial impervious cover such as asphalt, concrete, or brick, which is an environmental concern.

The Residences at 66 High Street, combining the freeboard, or an elevated first floor, with parking, is both convenient and beneficial.

What are Common Areas?

Common areas are the areas of a condominium, apartment, or townhouse complex that are shared by all residents.

Some of the most basic common areas include parking lots, hallways, and shared laundry facilities. Depending on the complex, common areas can also include a fitness center, pool, or clubhouse. Because these areas are shared between all residents, the cost of upkeep and repair comes from Condo Association or HOA fees.

When setting our vision for Residences at 66 High Street, we knew we wanted to provide luxury condominiums with luxury common areas. Great care has been given to creating the outdoor environment. The landscaping and underground utilities allow for unobstructed views of the salt marsh and Long Island Sound, with thirty-foot trees strategically placed for privacy. All units face an intimate courtyard to create a sense of unity throughout the community.

In addition, a state of the art Fitness Room is located in the Whitfield Building and features top of the line equipment from Peloton, Life Fitness, and Hammer Strength. Residents will soon be able to enjoy a pool, which has the final approval to be built.

Common areas are also found in office buildings. The professional campus at 350 Goose Lane Office Park features three buildings of office space. The outside common areas include the parking lots, outdoor courtyard, and landscaped property. Formerly home to Wilber & King Nursery, the Horton Group kept the integrity of the grounds for ample green space, complete with a pond. Inside, the common areas of the buildings include the hallways, staircases, elevators, and bathrooms.

Common areas can be as important to residents and business owners as the individual units. By creating common spaces that are both functional and beautiful, people are more apt to feel like they are part of a community.

How to Downsize to a Condo

Follow these tips to get rid of unneeded possessions and make the most of your new space.

Downsizing can seem like a daunting task. Most people have a habit of collecting “stuff” throughout their lives – whether it is memorabilia, more furniture to fill a bigger home, or equipment for landscaping a yard. When the time comes to downsize or move into a condo, it can prove to be a difficult task, especially when emotions are involved. Here are some tips to help you through the process:

Start small

Choose a room you seldom use to begin. Start with the big pieces in the room, such as the furniture. Is there a specific spot for that couch in your new place? From there, move to other objects in the room. When was the last time you used it? If the answer is several months ago, it is time to let it go. From there, go to the next room. Before you know it, you will have cleared out many non-essential items from your home.

Start Selling

Selling your used items has never been easier. You no longer need to plan and hold a yard sale, hoping people show up. Simply take pictures, and upload with a short description to one of the apps below. Ebay and craigslist are still relevant, but here are some others that may be more convenient or get you more money:

Prioritize

If you know the layout of the condo you are moving into, measure the rooms and prioritize. What furniture is essential for the living room, bedroom, and dining area? If the furniture you own is too large, sell and look for something smaller. In the kitchen, separate your most used items from those you rarely (or never) use. You can also get rid of duplicate items as you go through your belongings.

Think Storage and Multipurpose

Storage is key for living in small spaces. At the Residences at 66 High Street, storage space is provided to residents to ease the transition from house to condo. If extra storage space is not an option, multipurpose furniture items are key. Ottomans with tops that lift can store extra items in the living area. Hanging shoe racks help to make the most of your closet space. Use the wall or ceiling for a rack to hang pots and pans in the kitchen. You’ll realize there are plenty of places to store items when you get creative.

Ask for help

When it comes to your most sentimental items, ask for help from somebody you trust, or hire a professional organizer. Create four piles: keep, sell, donate, or toss. As you go through your possessions, put each in a pile, and stick to your decisions! You can also consider taking a picture of meaningful memorabilia so you can look back at it without taking up any space.

If you are thinking of downsizing, you are not alone. This survey by Trulia shows that 60% of people who currently live in a home larger than 2,000 square feet want to downsize the next time they move. Tiny houses are also becoming more popular options for people who want to own an affordable home. Whatever the reason, downsizing your living space means downsizing your material possessions, leaving you with less clutter, less costs, and possibly a bit more peace of mind.

 

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