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20 MAY

Landscaping + Beautifying ROI

Landscaping + Beautifying ROI

Recently my wife and I were at a high-end worldly lux shopping center.  On the way to the fine dining restaurant, we were stopped by a fervent “never stop to take a a breath” salesperson in the middle of the mall.  Next thing we know we are being dragged into some cosmetic store trying to get out of the situation. The free packet of miracle makeup all of sudden was being applied under my eyes and correcting my dark circles, which I didn’t even know I had. Besides my circles I now have a newly born complex. I’ll probably need to see my shrink about the dark circles.

I’m not alone in having this new complex. People spend countless hours at the gym.  Toning and building muscles.  Nail polish, make up, eyeliner, highlights, tummy tuck, foundation (I’ve heard of foundation but don’t exactly know if that makeup for the dark circles was foundation or something else). The list goes on and on.

Last week was “do something good for your neighbor” week.  So, me, some of our crew at Echo Fine Properties, and Oscar the Grouch (my son Sam) all pitched in to help clean up a road on Donald Ross and Military Trail that we adopted.  We found everything from lots of little plastic bits to metal to Troy Maxmillian’s Visa card.  If you know Troy please tell him to reach out. NBC and Fox even did a story on us and how much it saves us taxpayers in picking up the ugly stuff off the ground.


Keeping our city roads and neighborhood beautiful is the biggest indicator of higher home valuations. More than the homes itself. A great example of that is a small subdivision of 202 homes in PGA National called Villa d’este.


Take a look at these photos of the general area of the community.


Villa d’este was built by Channing.  Channing also built the PGA Commons.  Everything is very pretty Italian architecture but it’s the details that matter.  There are fountains, and sculptures, and beautiful landscaping, orchids in the trees, and cobblestone streets. The values for small 1250 or 1400 square foot homes are through the roof.  Far more than neighborhoods of 600+ homes with just a nice entrance sign and pleasant landscaping.  Fountains, signs with LED multicolor lights, exotic flowers and plantings, and scriptures or benches can drastically change the price of every home in a subdivision.

People make a decision to buy in the neighborhood if it looks attractive before they even consider a home in the neighborhood.  If a neighborhood looks ordinary, it comes off the top where the home gets far less money.  Villa d’este has nice looking homes but there are subdivisions with far better floor plans and more square footage available.  People just want to be there because they love the look of the neighborhood.  If your Board would ever like a complimentary evaluation on what investments in beautification will yield what ROI results, feel free to reach out.  I’ll even take my advice about beautification and put some of that foundation under my eyes so you can’t see those dark circles!


Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet.  Some publications he has been quoted in.

Feel free to ask him a question directly at including a complementary  valuation of your home.


Posted in Open House Blog, Real Estate Tips on May 20, 2023 at 6:28 am.


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