Paper First, Backhoe Second

When I leave the office to meet a potential client for the first time it has become a happy moment for me. I arrive eager to hear their needs and how I can potentially help them with some possible solutions. Sadly, I often find that the person/persons have already started a project but did not have a clear idea of what they were doing. Often when I arrive, I find partially installed patios, walkways, drainage systems or numerous plants sitting in pots/partially planted.

Sometimes I find the couple has not been able to agree on what they are doing because they had not taken the time to dialog, discuss and draw out a clear vision of what they would like to experience regarding their real estate. Numerous times I have been called in because one person in the household has maimed, or at the extreme, cut down a tree which should have been left alone or at a minimum, pruned correctly.

I have been called when a drainage system was being installed which caused more water damage because it pointed the water to their crawl space. When Blackberries, Bamboo or other invasive pests have become a problem I have been called in. Often the client cannot imagine their world without the plant and they struggle over agreeing how they should go about the task of removal.

I have been asked to help when several plants were purchased, some planted, but the partner did not like the species or where they had been placed. I have been called when a baby was born which changed the wife’s idea of what would be important in the landscape. However, the husband did not want the maintenance level that the wife expected. There was a lot of tension.

It is important when someone owns even a little bit of real estate that there is a vision of how they would like to have the space fit into their lives over time. Some examples include setting up their estate to:

  • make them feel happy when they drive up to the garage.
  • create a space for them to share a meal with family or friends, have it big enough, and have the ambiance level that they want to see, smell and hear.
  • create spaces—that are not in plain view—for storing garbage/recycle bins, kayaks, outdoor furniture, garden tools.
  • create a space outside which could be viewed regularly from inside the house, which would change by itself over the seasons.
  • create a space outside for retreating to:
    • read, swing in a swing seat with grandkids, grill hot dogs over a fire bowl or meditate by a waterfall.

The slower season of the year from November through February is the very best time of the year to ponder, process and dialog through your dreams of what you want your real estate to eventually do for you.

We say:

Paper First: get your plans prepared and set in the order and way that you BOTH want to have things done.

Backhoe Second: you will both then be ready to bring in the tools to make the changes that you want to have happen, as you have the time and the money to do them!

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