The first impression is essential, especially when you’re planning to sell your home. Every homeowner has heard the term “curb appeal,” which refers to how attractive the outside of your house looks to potential buyers. A large percentage of that curb appeal will come from your landscaping.
A good guideline for maximizing the value and curb appeal of your home is to invest 10% of the cost of your home into landscaping and outdoor improvements. Here are some cost-efficient ways to boost your curb appeal, regardless of your budget.
Yard maintenance is key. Keeping your lawn neatly-mowed and free of weeds will give potential buyers the impression that you’ve put a lot of care into the upkeep of the entire home, not just the outside.
If you’re the “set it and forget it” type, consider replacing your grass with alternative kinds of ground coverings, such as Irish moss, monkey grass, and other spreading or creeping plants. That will minimize the time you must spend on lawn maintenance. Also, perennial flowers and shrubs will come back year after year, eliminating the need to replant every season.
Most importantly, cleanliness can do wonders for the overall look of your exterior. Pressure washing your driveway or patio, raking dead leaves, and removing clutter from your yard can make a great first impression!
2. Stick to the Plan
No matter how much you’re spending, it’s crucial that your landscape matches the style of your house. A Japanese garden in front of a Victorian house may end up looking tacky, rather than sophisticated. Therefore, many homeowners choose to work with professional landscapers, at least during the planning stages. Once you’ve settled on a design for your landscape, try not to deviate, or your yard will end up looking haphazard and disorganized.
3. Think Long-Term
Trees are one of the few investments that appreciate over time. Just having trees in the neighborhood is enough to boost the sale price of a home, and that increases if there are trees in your yard. Mature trees add shade in the summer, provide privacy from neighbors, and add some sophistication to your landscape.
Also, try to find ways to make your outdoor space attractive year-round. Mixing early, mid, and late-blooming perennials ensure there will be foliage throughout the entire growing season. However, if you’re strapped for time and cash, some potted annual flowers and shrubs around the front entrance will improve the overall look of your house and yard. This is particularly helpful if your home is on the market during the winter when most lawns are brown and featureless.
4. Extend Your Home
Outdoor living spaces are very desirable right now. Just having a place to sit outside will add value to your home. If you have space and the budget for it, a deck or patio can be a great investment with a high ROI.
“Fences make good neighbors” is more than just an amusing proverb. A well-maintained fence dramatically increases the value of a house. Not only does a fence deter nosy neighbors, but it’s also an attractive feature for people with children or pets.
5. Create Some Drama
Water features can act as a focal point in your landscape, or serve as a backdrop for your deck or patio. An appropriately sized fountain or pond makes a beautiful addition to any garden. A hot tub can act as a huge selling point for some buyers. Swimming pools, surprisingly, can detract from the value of a home, however. They’re expensive and time-consuming to maintain and will be safety concerns for potential buyers with children.
Landscape lighting will make your outdoor living space feel more comfortable even at night. It also allows you to highlight the best features of your landscape. Low voltage, LED lights are the most energy-efficient method for lighting up your deck or yard. They need to be installed by a professional electrician or landscaping company, to ensure safety and durability.