When you first drive by a home one of the first things you will notice is the landscape. It can either be an appealing pro or a deafening con for the home. That is why it is necessary to have an attractive looking landscape, because it helps develop that first impression a person places on a home. A study done by a horticulturalist at Virginia Tech, found that a “well-landscaped home” had an advantage of making between $16,500 - $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home compared to a home that had no landscaping.
Avoid Having a Neglected Landscape
You never want to be known as that home that has a jungle growing in their front yard or desert where tumbleweeds roll away from. If you think you're known as “that home” on your street then you should definitely do something about it pronto! Having an unattractive landscape can instantly turn off a potential home buying candidate that could potentially like your home itself, but will not even bother looking into it if the outside looks horrid.
It is no different from how someone is perceived in a job interview for the first time based solely on their appearance and hygiene. This does not mean you have to go turn the Arizona desert into a beautiful rain forest. Just need to touch up the yard to at least to make the house look presentable and then let the house do the rest of the talking.
What Should Be in Your Landscape?
Having an "ok" landscape with very well maintained turf and a few small bushes is totally fine, if it makes the home look presentable and neat. Although, if you want to add some zing to your home and want return on investment later down the road, then it might be necessary to add something more sophisticated to your yard.
The standard amount of money that is usually placed into landscaping is about 10 percent the amount of what your home is. Now some people will say that they don’t have the money to spend on landscaping as such. Don’t worry, remember it is not the primary thing that is selling your home it's just icing on the cake. The most important thing is that you want your landscape to look vibrant and alive; want to be able to catch potential buyer's eyes.
You can start off by making sure all the plants and grass that should be green are, then you can go on by adding colorful flowers and bushes. If you have more money and area, then planting trees are said to be one of the best landscaping additions you can have in a yard. Having a tree that can shade and support the health of your lawn can have a return from couple hundred dollars to thousands depending on the size of the tree and location around the home. Another feature that can add to sales price of your home later down the road, is adding native plants to your landscape.
A consultant from Arizona found that having native cacti in clients’ landscapes added $500-$5000 to their home’s price. Another feature that is also very popular and brings not only views to your home but safety features at night as well is outdoor lighting. The lighting magnifies the great aspects of your home itself or other wonderful landscaping features. These are all top aspects that people have thrived on and paid extra thousands of dollars on a home for rather than a similar listing without these landscaping features.
Why is Landscape a Good Long-Term Investment?
Firstly, you should not try and update your landscape to an extreme if you’re just about to put your home on the market. That will result in a loss of return on investment. You should invest in landscaping early on when you first move into the home so 1) you and your family can enjoy the improvements and 2) plants/trees can grow and become more sophisticated as time moves on.
By doing so when it is time for you to move on from a specific home to another home you got the most out of the the patio or decking you built early on (for instance) and the plants/trees have become robust and plentiful that make the home look twice as appealing as it was when your first purchased the home years ago. Also, investing in your landscape can be a lot cheaper than some investments people put into their interior of their home in the long run.
Let us know of any other landscaping tips or ideas you may have used in the comments below.