A well landscaped yard can increase your home value!
Common increases in value seen range from 5% – 10% depending on your area. Imagine bright green, healthy, grass. Vibrantly colored flowers in groupings that seem to make your eyes dart from here to there to another, all leading up to a nice island of shrubs and perennials of all sorts near a shade tree. Sounds pretty relaxing right? Realtors seem to agree; a well landscaped yard can in fact add value to your home. It can also increase the chance of that love at first sight feeling for potential buyers.
Let’s Talk Money
So how much money is this going to cost you? How much of that money will you get back at closing? Will the money I spend attract buyers?
Let’s talk about these points.
How Much Should You Spend?
The standard recommendation of how much you should spend on landscaping is 10% of the value of your home.
If your home is valued at $300,000, that’s a $30,000 price tag.
Not everyone has that kind of padding in their wallet.
And that’s okay.
It’s actually better to not go overboard with landscaping anyway.
An over-landscaped yard can result in buyers running the other direction because the idea of the time and cost to keep it up gives them a headache.
What Will I See For Return Investment?
The jury is out on this one.
While actually percentages and amounts vary widely depending on what seems to be infinite factors.
Let’s focus on what the home-selling experts have to say.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it’s recommended that sellers should complete a landscape maintenance program before listing their home.
One example of what that maintenance program should look like:
- Homeowners kept up on annual mulch application
- Regular mowing and trimming of lawn
- Keeping shrubs pruned
- Investing in around 60 plants including a variety of perennials and annuals
The cost was around $3000 and the sellers received a 100% return on their investment at closing. Outside of the NAR, others claim to have even higher returns.
So it’s likely safe to say if the money is used properly, you’re likely to see it returned and then some.
Another example of a preparatory landscape maintenance program included:
- Performance of professional lawn care service
- Include six applications of weed control and fertilizer
This type of maintenance cost the sellers $375 and at closing received an estimated $1000 in recovery, or a 267% return on their investment.
How Much Of An Increase Will I See?
As far as increase in value goes, it depends on where you live, but the numbers you can see will typically be that of around 5% – 10%, and your home with landscaping should be anywhere from 1% – 10% higher in value than a home without landscape.
What Should A Well-Landscaped Yard Include?
While there are lots of things you can do to upgrade your landscape, there are some things that should be done to every outdoor space no matter what your budget.
- Mowing The Lawn – If you own a home, this is sort of a no-brainer. If you have a yard, you have to mow it, or pay a professional lawn care service to do it for you. Or the neighbor kid. Somebody. Unless of course you have some goats readily available to do that for you. Regardless of who is doing the work, mowing has to be done. Remember not to have that deck set too low. Cutting your grass too short can result in unsightly brown spots from it being burnt by the sun.
- Trimming – That’s right. Don’t overlook the impact that trimming can provide. If you haven’t done it for a while, go out and take the time to whip down those strays around sidewalks and flower beds. Take the pruners to your trees and shrubbery. Now take a step back. It was worth it, right?
- Remove Weeds – While most people hate weeding, some actually find it cathartic. Next time you’re wound up about something, go take it out on those little buggers in your flower bed. You might feel better, and your yard will look better too!
- Deck Stain – If you have a deck, keep it looking nice by re-staining it when it starts to show signs of dinginess. If the stain is in great shape, powerwash it to remove built up dirt from the surface.
- Patio Upkeep – If you have a patio space in your yard, take some time to remove everything from it and powerwash the surface. If your space includes seating, you could powerwash that as well. Doing this removes caked on dirt, any mold or mildew buildup and any cobwebs that might be lurking in corners or under seats.
Landscape On A Budget
You read earlier how you should invest 10% of the value of your home into your landscape, right?
Well if you don’t have that kind of money to burn, don’t sweat it!
There are lots of things you can do to your landscape to give its look that needed punch.
- Mulch – Adding fresh mulch to your flower beds and around shrubbery and trees is an inexpensive way to add some appeal. Mulching creates a look of uniformed neatness, especially when you use it in several places throughout your space. Bonus, it will help keep weeds at bay too!
- Potted Plants – Add some color to your look with potted annuals. For pots think about the vibrant colors of wave petunias or the round and ruffly blooms of marigolds. Chrysanthemums are a popular choice for fall as well. No matter what varieties you choose, make sure that you space your pots around in small groupings in order to draw the eye from place to place to create interest.
- Perennials – Some perennials that pack a punch include hydrangeas, knockout roses and azaleas. Throw in something like hostas or the tried and trusty day lily and you’ve got an interesting blend of colors, shapes and sizes that are sure to draw attention.
- DIY Water Feature – Water features are a fun way to add some interest as well as cut down on background sounds. If you live nearby a highway or busy street, you may be used to the low hum of traffic in the distance but a potential buyer might not be. A water feature may help with this and the internet is full of cheap and easy DIY methods of creating one.
If you’re a fan of HGTV, (who isn’t by the way?), you’ve probably seen emerging trends like fully loaded outdoor kitchens, or lavish pool oases.
While all of those landscape designs likely make you go ooooh and ahhh, they have their downsides.
- First and foremost, these designs come with a hefty price tag. An outdoor kitchen could involve a brand new gas grill or outdoor stove, not to mention pavers, stone, outdoor countertops, and an awning over cooking space. And let’s not even get started on those out of this world poolscapes complete with waterfalls and the ever popular ‘infinity’ look.
- Second, remember that spaces that are overdone tend to put buyers off because of the potential time and cost of upkeep?
- And lastly, these big fancy outdoor spaces are not for everyone. They are a niche item and could actually work against you when it comes time to sell, unless the right buyer lands in your lap.
The one simple landscape trend that seems to be the most popular and affordable is a fire pit.
There are a number of options for all budgets when it comes to this backyard feature.
Who doesn’t like sitting around a fire with your family and friends and toasting smores? If you opt for something that isn’t overdone, this feature should be something that just about anybody can enjoy.
In conclusion, landscaping should definitely add value to your home and will prove to be a plus if you decide to sell.
While some landscape trends are costly, there are many things you can do to your yard that are low cost and will still have an impact.
And lots of them you can do yourself!