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Increasing the value of your home: DOs and Don’ts of Landscaping

Landscaping can make a big difference to your home appeal, and increase its value – but you need to know what projects to take on to maximize Return on Investments.

According to homeguides, well-landscaped homes have a significant price advantage over homes with no landscaping.

This advantage ranges from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on the type of landscaping and the home’s original value. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.

How your home is perceived from the outside – also called curb appeal – is also a factor when it comes to selling your home, and buyers like to be impressed.

Most homebuyers are more excited about touring a home that looks inviting on the outside than one that is sad and dreary unless they were focused on buying a fixer-upper.

The number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a manicured design. Close behind is plant size and maturity.

The front yard may provide curb appeal but it is the backyard where the money needs to be spent. So where and how should you spend the money in the back yard? Below are the Do’s and Don’ts towards increasing home value with landscaping.

Backyard Dos

1. Adding an outdoor room

People enjoy the sun and outdoor space. An outdoor room is a great way to add value to your home. If you have a patio, roofing it and adding furniture may be all it takes to create an outdoor room.

According to Plant Care Today, a landscaped patio can raise the value of a home by as much as 12.4%. Anything you can do to incorporate the outdoors with the indoor comes as a buyer premium.

Water is a key feature in a backyard landscape design but that does not mean a pool! A fountain, a small pond or a hot tub can do the trick.

The key is to make the area a comfortable place to sit and relax.

2. Building a deck

It goes without saying that Aussies love decks. The great feature of any deck is that it basically adds another room to your home – and you can create an outdoor living area for relaxing or entertaining. Buyers also like homes with decks.

3. Laying a new lawn

If thinking of this, begin the process early. Do regular fertilizer treatments on your lawn; you want potential buyers to see a lush carpet, not a patchwork quilt.

Add splashes of color with flowers; pick up some colorful annuals for a few dollars apiece, and be willing to invest a few hundred dollars in larger perennials and shrubs, so that your yard doesn’t look as if you just started working on it – even if you did.

4. Planting Trees

The best money you can spend around the house is planting trees. Trees are a valuable investment especially if you plan to stay in your house for long periods of time.

Trees are a lifetime benefit. They will also increase the value of your home when you plan to sell.

A landscape full of large, mature plants is one that has been carefully tended to over the years, and that sends a signal to buyers.

That’s a good indication that they’ve taken care of the inside of the house as well, which is appealing to home buyers.

5. Laying Paving

Paving is a low-cost addition to your backyard, and like decking, it makes an area become more practical and useful. This is especially true for patios, pathways, garden paths and the area around a swimming pool.

6. Keeping it all maintained

Neglecting your backyard is basically throwing money away. Plants need to be watered, trimmed and fed, weeds need to be pulled and pools need to be maintained. Therefore always

  • Keep the yard weed free – preferably without the use of chemicals. That means getting your hands dirty.
  • Add some potted and planted flowering annuals near the front door. Also, consider putting in lawn sprinkler systems, the long term benefits are not only watering the plants regularly but also it adds to the “salability” of your home.
  • Mulch and edge the lawn for a clean and tidy appearance.
  • Keep the lawn mowed and watered.

Backyard Don’ts:

They have little or no effect on increasing the value of your home. Instead, they will set you back a little moneywise. These are;

1. Excavation

if you live on a sloping block or need large rocks removed this can take time, which always cost money.
This is a cost you need not incur. Instead, let the buyer decide whether they would like to excavate or not.

2. Pools

Having a pool is a costly affair that one need not invest in, especially if not sure of the return on investment.

From a homebuyers perspective, a pool translates into maintenance, additional cost, and fencing because of local ordinances and laws.

Ensure to do your due diligence before deciding to take on the project.

3. Retaining walls

Retaining walls are a costly undertaking. They will require the services of a structural engineer. This will attract costs that you may not have planned for as the seller.
Consider finding alternatives for these walls.

4. Driveway

The costs of the driveway depend on the exact time of the project you want to implement. If adding concrete or paving, it is important to know that this will create a bump to your budget.

5. Avoid constructing sports courts

Having a sports court is like having a pool. Do it for your enjoyment, not property value. These additions limit who could be interested in buying your property.

It would have to be a person or family with the same interest.

Prospective buyers look at a sports court and immediately start to calculate the money it will take to rip it out and replace it!

6. Avoid Concrete Patios

Patios are a great idea – however, having concrete slabs on the patios are not a good idea. Concrete is viewed as very 1950s and blue-collar according to Plant Care Today.

A wooden deck is considered even better though it does have a limited lifespan. Concrete cracks puddle water and do not look as good as a wood deck, landscape brick or pavers, especially for potential buyers.

In the end, curb appeal matters

Survey results as shared in Turf Magazine  show that relatively large landscape expenditures significantly increase perceived home value and will result in a higher selling price than homes with a minimal landscape.

Design sophistication and plant size were the landscape factors that most affected value. The resulting increase in “curb appeal” may also help differentiate a home in a subdivision where house styles are similar and thereby attract potential buyers into a home.

Landscape contractors can use the above information to help the homeowner understand the relationship between landscape and house value.

The overall survey conclusion was that design sophistication was the highest ranked factor that added to the perceived value of a home. Thus, investing in the services of a landscape design professional will optimize the value of a home.

You can reach landscape design professionals from Service Seeking and get much-valued services towards increasing the value of your home.