I own a property in the Sunset Hills Area of Raleigh. Its a duplex, sharing a front yard, with separate, fenced in backyards with a total acreage of 0.4. I lived in one side and rented out the other, and it was a nice little house hack. When I moved away from Raleigh last summer, I decided that I would try "self managing" for a while, and just visit the property every few months since we still have a lot of friends in the area.
For the most part, its actually worked out pretty well. I have a decent network of people I've used for repairs when I lived on one side, so when I've had minor maintenance problems I've been able to just call them and set up the service. However, the one thing I haven't been able to get right is lawn care, since I just did it myself when I lived there.
I had a guy that I was paying to come 2x month to mow, trim the hedges, and weed-eat the edges. He also only charged $100/month. The price was nice, but he did a terrible job, killing all of the grass I worked so hard to grow when I lived there. Oh and also, he never trimmed any of the bushes and finally one of my tenants complained that the bushes were blocking her windows. Oops. Well I fired that guy and now have a guy that will mow for $160 month. He does an okay job, but never does the hedges either, he wants $125/session to do that, which seems pricey. For a summer month, I'd be looking at almost $300/month for just lawn care, which seems super high. I think he's going to get fired too.
So anyways, for the people here that have services do their lawncare, how much are you spending? I would have a tenant do it if it was a single family, but I'm trying to defuse any potential conflicts between tenants if the "designated tenant" decides to be lazy and not mow for a month or two.
@Matt Rothwell I pay about 30 bucks per mowing. I do that once per month. Haven’t had any hedges trimmed but just have a giant tree branch removed for 80 bucks.
I would just say remove the hedges. It’s going to be a pain long term anyways
Hi Matt, I dont know what you should pay but having been in the landscape business I can offer a few ideas to remove some headaches.
Yank out any trees or big shrubs near the houses. In addition to roots being notorious for foundation problems, shrubs and trees are a lot of work. Go to drought resistant small plants that grow slow and are native to your area—leave lots of space between so you can put in flowers when staging.
Find a small landscaper who owns and works their business with a tight route. If there is one who works the neighborhood and has a good reputation, then use them. They will know what a fair price is. Don't worry about a 5-10 dollar savings per week on mowing. Average mow in VA and NC IS 28 times per year. Even if they mow 30 times and you pay $10 extra each time for quality serviceâthat is only 300 more per year. Tell them you will pay monthly for a discount and outline a Service Level Agreement (SLA). For example-grass will be kept between 2.5 and 4 inches, mulch applied twice per year in spring and fall, weeds removed every other mowing etc..
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