Landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property. In fact, it is one of the few home improvements you can make that not only adds value immediately, but also increases in value as the years go by. While interior decor and design concepts regularly go out of style and mechanical systems wear down, plants grow fuller and more robust as the years go by.
First impressions count, and when a buyer sees your home for the first time, curb appeal and the care of the landscaping are the first indicators of how well the home has been cared for.
Landscaping Improves a Home’s Value
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. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home. There’s more to landscaping than sticking some flowers and a couple shrubs in the ground, however. The number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a manicured design. Close behind is plant size and maturity. A lesser factor, but one still worth considering, is the diversity of plant life within the landscaping design.
Planning the Landscaping
The biggest landscaping mistake that homeowners make is not having a coherent plan. They decide to put a tree in, and then a few years later add some flower beds, then maybe put in some shrubs and another tree. A landscape that’s assembled piecemeal looks disorganized, and that turns buyers off. Come up with a plan before you do any landscaping. Even if you don’t have – or won’t spend – the money to hire a landscape designer, at least draw up a master plan for your yard and stick to it. Even an amateur can get a professional-looking landscape for $500 to $3,000 worth of plants and materials if she’s willing to do the work.
Mature Gardens Add Value
A landscape full of large, mature plants is obviously 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.
Landscaping Tips For All Budgets
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 boost 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.