“Another potential tenant decided to go with a unit across the street, Mary Anne.”
“Another one?! What is going on?!” Mary Anne groaned as she set the phone down and rubbed her eyes. The third prospect in as many weeks had passed up her Encinitas beachfront condo, preferring to stay in another unit in the community. After a deep sigh, she picked up the phone again. “Did they give any reason?”
“No, but it’s the same story as the others,” her property manager went on, voice prim and unsympathetic. “They were initially very excited after touring the property, but once they saw they others, they started hemming and hawing before they left. They called me back within the hour to tell me that they decided to go with another. Mary Anne, you know my opinion on why they keep slipping through our fingers.” Her voice was tight with that ‘I-told-you-so’ tone behind it.
Mary Anne was quiet, recognizing that she was right. The condo, while nice, hadn’t been updated for years even before she bought it. The appliances were old, and the cabinetry was beginning to show cracks in the paint. Her patio and backyard had just an old picnic table and a propane grill that was probably as old as she was. She had been convinced that it added to the rustic beach house look that she loved seeing in photographs, but the reality of the situation was making itself very much apparent.
She had noticed in the past summer that every other unit in the community that was rent out seemed to suddenly undergoing remodeling. It seemed to be working for them. She had bought the condo because of that slightly aged look, but if she couldn’t find renters, she would be going under very quickly. She supposed it was time to put pragmatism above her romantic notions of property ownership.
“Ok, Susan. I’m beginning to think you’re right, the house may be due for a bit of a facelift. Do you have anyone in mind?” Mary Anne said tepidly, finally breaking the silence. The prissy property manager almost started talking before she finished.
“Oh, I have just the company. They built this incredible outdoor kitchen down in San Diego, at another property I manage. It turned out incredible, and I think something like that will make your property stick out like nothing else. I’ll get them in contact with you immediately.” She hung up before Mary Anne had an opportunity to tell her that she wasn’t looking for anything but an updated kitchen.
The company, Torrey Pines Landscape Company, called her back later that afternoon. After giving them a cursory search on the internet, she decided a consultation and getting an estimate couldn’t hurt.
A couple weeks later, and her entire patio was dug up and a new outdoor area was well on its way to being built. She barely remembered what had happened, but as she had walked about the outside of her unit with their contractor excitedly pointing this way and that, painting a picture of what could be done with the space, she had herself grown more and more enamored with the idea. It wasn’t the end of her romantic ideas of property ownership, just an exciting new chapter!
A month went by, and she began falling more and more in love with the additions that kept popping up. An in-build barbeque complete with bar made of piled stone and quartz countertop, trellises providing ample shade and protection from a hot southern California sun, complete with a new row of gorgeous green shrubbery and a vertical garden on the patio walls to complete the look.
Upon completion, her fortunes with renters almost immediately turned for the better – not only were they securing new tenants weekly, she was starting to steal them away from other units on the block.
Resting in the shade on her new patio, a cool drink in her hand, she watched the clouds fly by, eyeing neighbors walking their dog looking into her patio appreciatively. The property manager appeared at her gate, giving three short knocks to announce her presence before folding her hands in front of her well-ironed pantsuit. She had an eyebrow raised, and was as close to smiling as Mary Anne had ever seen.
“I was just asked if a local writer could do a piece on your condo about the most effective landscape designs for Encinitas properties,” she stated, the smugness barely concealed behind her usual prim way of talking. “I told them you would be delighted. I’m sure you understand. They’ll be here in a half hour.”
Mary Anne sighed. She was hoping for a relaxing afternoon, but this woman knew how to advertise a property. She chugged the rest of her drink, rising from her chair and entered the house to look for a more appropriate outfit. Oh well, she thought. It’s a living.
If you’re interested in getting an estimate or consultation for a landscaping project, please call:
Torrey Pines Landscape Company
5560 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121