We get it, it's not unusual to become fixated on the indoor elements of your home, and invest in making the interior an absolutely delight for you and your family. However, it's often, at the expense of the outdoor living space being ignored or neglected. With small additions and consistent upkeep, the function and visual elements of your front yard, backyard lawn, and a well built hardscape can create valuable curb appeal and make a huge difference when selling a home.
When driving up to your home, what is the first thing that most people see? Maybe the car out front but even more is your front yard. This location is critical to your property’s appeal, and it is also where you should begin your landscaping transformation process to add the most value to your home.
The first impression of your home and its outdoor living space make on guests, visitors, and potential buyers help them anticipate what may be waiting for them on the inside. According to a 2019 HomeLight ‘Top Agent Insights’ report, landscaping experts and real estate agents believe that a home that is adequately landscaped and well-maintained increases value by 20%. A Virginia Tech Institute survey was able to conclude that expenditures made on landscaping substantially increase the perceived value of your home.
This investment in landscaping helps your home sell for a much higher price than it would if you tried to sell it with minimal or no landscaping efforts because the return on investments is higher than the cost endured.
A well-landscaped home has a significant price advantage over a home 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.
What do I need to know before landscaping my home?
Before you begin landscaping your home, you need to ask yourself an important question: do you plan on staying in this home for an indefinite period (maybe forever), or would you consider putting it on the market in the future? Your answer to this question will help you decide how much of your time, energy, and money you should focus on landscaping your current home. It will also help you understand what your priorities are and what the ideal scope of your landscaping projects should be. For example, if you plan to sell your home soon, then your landscaping should be done, keeping in mind the tastes of others - focus on curb appeal, plant trees for impact, install a water feature, and add stable pathway across your outdoor living space.
First, hardscapes & Then Garden
Hardscaping includes outdoor elements such as adding a porch, sidewalk, pathway, parking area, deck, fence arbor, or patio. It involves the construction of human-made features which are difficult to remove, so curate a careful outdoor architectural plan before you execute it. Follow natural patterns and curves already present in your front yard, to help guide visitors across your property. Hardscaping is the trickiest task in landscaping because it involves making long-lasting decisions about your front yard. Take care of this task before you move onto dealing with the plants, trees, and shrubbery.
Planting is easier to install, change, and maintain over time compared to more permanent architectural elements. Use trees and flowerbeds to cover up any negative space that awkwardly sits in your yard. If you have enough space, consider creating a small lawn if you can mow, water, and take care of it regularly. Use trees to frame the entrance of your house and bring attention to important locations. You can also plant them around your sidewalks for shade during the sunny summer.
FRESHEN UP YOUR DECK AND PATIO
Over time your deck and patio can get dirty, bear cracks or their color may start to fade. Rent an electric power washer and clean up your deck and patio by getting rid of grime that may be stuck in the cracks. Follow this up by applying at least two new stains to it for a polished look. You can take on this project yourself or hire a professional to do it for you if you don’t find the cost to be expensive. Simple budget-friendly landscaping efforts go a long way in making your front yard look more presentable.
Having a long-term landscaping plan is great if you're in the house for the long term. If you plan to sell within a year, you can take several immediate steps to dress up your landscape and raise your selling price. For example, cutting fresh edges around your planting beds; having a sharp, well-defined edge between grass and mulch or dirt gives the landscape a professional look. Also begin regular fertilizer treatments on your lawn; you want potential buyers to see a lush carpet, not a patchwork quilt. And 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.