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Turfgrass Titians

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It seems every summer I see stories about folks getting fed up with dormant turf and hiring someone to paint their lawns green.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — When this summer’s drought turned her prized lawn brown, Terri LoPrimo fought back, but not with sprinklers: She had it painted green, making her suddenly lush-appearing yard the envy of her neighborhood.

The Staten Island, N.Y., resident and her husband, Ronnie, hired a local entrepreneur to spruce up their yard by spraying it with a deep-green organic dye. By Monday, the couple’s property was aglow with newly green blades of grass and no watering needed to sustain it.

“It looks just like a spring lawn, the way it looks after a rain. It’s really gorgeous,” said LoPrimo, a 62-year-old retiree.

I don’t begrudge them this – I mean, no one’s going to argue that a green stand of turf looks a lot better than a brown one. But, I’ve never actually seen a crew painting grass, or talked to a contractor that does this type of work.

Anyone out there getting calls for this, or have a spray (paint) rig on their trailer? Let me know at


August 1st, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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No one’s home

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The housing market continues to improve in pockets, but many large metros are still plagued by large numbers of vacant homes:

Vacant properties have increased by 43.8 percent nationwide since 2000, according to the Census Bureau. Homes can be vacant for many reasons, but are defined by the bureau as both unoccupied rental inventory as well as homes that are unoccupied and “for sale.” As of 2011, there were about 14.3 million year-round vacant housing units in the country, with a 10.6 percent gross vacancy rate that excludes seasonal vacancies such as vacation homes.

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Federal Reserve analyzed the impact of foreclosed and vacant homes on the surrounding communities. The study found that a vacant or tax-delinquent house decreases the value of nearby homes by at least 1.3 percent, thanks to poor maintenance, and making the neighborhood appear less desirable.

This effect is amplified in higher-income neighborhoods where a vacancy or foreclosure has a negative price impact of 4.6 percent.

CNBC compiled a slideshow of the 10 emptiest U.S. cities, which you can find here. Some of these will surprise you.


July 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

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