Parcel Mullet: real estate word of the day

Kyle_Plante_mullet_5th_grade (Wikipedia Source: Definition of Mullet)Definition: A “parcel mullet” refers to the phenomenon of having a well manicured short lawn in the front yard, but a wild long yard in the back. Or in laymen’s terms, business lawn in front, party lawn in the back. If you didn’t know, the mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back (Wikipedia).

Examples: 1) “Nobody would’ve ever known Tammy had a parcel mullet since her house looked so cute from the front.”  2) “Jim, your house is looking great. All you need to do before we list it on the market is a bit of touch-up paint in the hallway and well, chop the parcel mullet.” 3) “Randy’s parcel mullet didn’t impress his in-laws, but neighbors love him for keeping the street looking nice.”

parcel mullet evolution on TwitterOrigin of Word: This word came about during a conversation on Twitter with Heather Ostrom (@RosevilleRockLn). I had mentioned the way my front yard was neat and tidy, but my back yard was a jungle. Heather then alluded to the mullet concept (genius), which led me to think of the term “parcel mullet”. I don’t know about you, but while I keep the front yard constantly short throughout the year, I tend to let my backyard grow wild from December to March until most of the rainy season is finished. Or in other words, I grow a parcel mullet in the Winter each year (as seen in the image below). I actually enjoy mowing my lawn too, so no matter how busy I’ve been throughout the years, I have never hired a gardener. I guess I’m old school like that. Check out the Twitter feed to the right to see a portion of how this new real estate word emerged.

My parcel mullet being mowed yesterdayNeat & Tidy Lawn: In all seriousness, having a well-manicured lawn does make a difference with how buyers, passersby and community members might perceive a household or even a neighborhood if front lawns are perpetually overgrown. As I wrote about in Thou shalt mow thy lawn to decrease blight, “Unkempt front yards are actually a very big deal because people will judge a community based on what it looks like. Is this a place where residents invest in their neighborhood or have they stopped believing in the future of their community?” In short, mowing the lawn in the front is a free way to help boost neighborhood pride and show the community that neighbors care about the image of the community. Regarding the backyard, if you’re not selling, feel free to grow out a parcel mullet. But if you are selling, it’s time for a haircut.  🙂

Lundquist mullet - image by Heather OstromDisclaimer: This post is in no way meant to offend anyone who has had a mullet, currently has one or will have one. It’s simply a fun way to describe a realistic yard scenario (even on my parcel).

Lastly, thank you Heather for the funny mullet photoshop job. This was a great laugh after a long day!! Click the image to the right if you wish. I hope you enjoyed the post.

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  1. says

    I love it! And yes sellers, please give the party lawn a haircut before selling. 🙂 No Billy Ray lawns (no offense BRC – you’re achy breakyriffic). Great post and thanks for the laugh Ryan. I’m still giggling over your photo. #parcelmullet

    • says

      Heather, I’m glad we could invent such a word together. Maybe in our upcoming presentation at SACSMC, we could say we coined this phrase (or maybe not). 🙂 Thanks Heather. I appreciate the constant humor and support.

      • says

        Best part: your split-screen “real-time” of before and after lawn mullet. Solid work Ryan. ~ On a serious note, I know there are folks out there that physically may be limited to address their own lawns or perhaps financially to get help to address their lawn, but if you’re capable, it’s SO important to keep your lawns maintained … not only as a seller, but as the neighboring lawns. Who wants to move into an area, next to someone that doesn’t care about their yard? Buyers judge not on just the subject home, but the neighboring yards. It’s a team effort to keep the pride and visual appeal of a neighborhood up! 🙂

        • says

          I’m so glad you mentioned that, Heather. Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked the split screen too. 🙂

          Your point brings up the importance and relevance of being intentionally neighborly and helping those that cannot help themselves. It’s always important to ask why a lawn is not mowed. There is often a story behind that and sometimes some pretty intense sociological issues too (reasons for blight). Mowing someone else’s lawn is a very practical thing to do and can be such a huge help to someone if that person is truly unable. Or helping someone find the resources to get a lawn mowed is also equally as good (borrow a mower from you every week, find a gardener, teach lawn care skills, etc…). On a related note, without commenting to toot my own horn, one of the proudest moments of the week is when my boys take out the garbage for our 88-year old neighbor. She literally cannot do this by herself, so it’s important for my household to do this for her. What a joy it is to help in this very small way, and I hope my boys will remember that I made them do this. They may complain right now, but I hope someday they’ll in turn do the same with their own kids.

          • says

            With age and disability, there are people who want to do it, but physically can’t … but it’s hard to remain kind to see a young bachelor walking in and out of his work truck with weeds as high as high as his tires and do nothing. Though, I know I work hard hours and may have horrible items going on (so you try to remain good and human – that there’s more than you may see going on), but there’s responsibility to your home and your neighbors for what they need to see and tolerate. ~~ On to a happier topic – holy smokes, that’s the sweetest and best thing ever re: garbage and 88YO neighbor. Complain now, but they’ll look back with pride. You and Jenny are spectacular people and I imagine the best parents! I also love the garbage story because someone did it for my mom too … these neighbors have since moved away, but right after my Mom’s back surgery they would always take in, and out her garbage. Small actions mean BIG things to people and I will never forget how awesome that neighbor was … push the good forward! 🙂

          • says

            Very well said, Heather. I think when a lawn is out of control in a situation like that, it’s really an example of how our society has failed to embrace the concept of community. We do not live on parcel islands. What we do on our parcels matters and makes a difference to those around us. In situations like this the neighbor has a responsibility to the rest of the community. While we don’t need to be lawn police, it really does matter for the ethos of the community and even property values. Thanks Heather.

            I appreciate your parent kudos. We are just learning, enjoying the journey on most days and failing forward. That’s all we can do. What a neat story about your Mom.

        • says

          Ray, I have never actually sported a mullet, though in truth I wish the photo above was me when I was younger. It would be great to have such a classic mullet picture. Thanks Ray.

    • says

      Ha ha. Thanks Jeff. I’m still laughing over the word. It’s the small things in life and I’m getting such a kick out of it. Hey, I need to come see your band play ones of these days.

  2. says

    What a great laugh today, super way to start out a morning! You are so creative, keep up these entertaining blogs! How is your wife’s book coming along? Wasn’t she going to be distributed soon in bookstores?

    • says

      I’m glad you’re entertained. Thanks so much.

      Yes, her book came out and is currently in Barnes & Noble as well as the school system through Scholastic books. I imagine other bookstores are carrying her book too. It’s for sale on Amazon and many other places online too. For anyone intersted, check out her site at The book has had some great reviews too, which is wonderful. It’s been a fun few weeks. She actually did a book signing in Carpenteria last week and she is doing one in Berkeley soon as well as Seattle. Good times.

  3. Truett Neathery says

    If you enjoy things Mullet, there’s a souvenier shop in Nevada City that sells refrigerator magnets with different mullet styles, as well as Pontiac Firebird magnets. No, I won’t send you one.

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