Landscaping For the Long Term : Planning and Property Values

Landscaping and Property Value
As we head into Spring, many homeowners are looking outside and seeing a dreary, wet, bare landscape. This can motivate homeowners thinking about their property and contemplating making a change, to pull the trigger on a new project. However, many are unaware of the costs or benefits of a landscape makeover.
Landscaping and hardscaping are two of the most important ways to increase your property’s value quickly. In fact, a beautiful, well designed landscape /hardscape, can increase the value of your property substantially. Landscaping/hardscaping is not only one of the easiest home improvements you can make, but it is also one where you will get the greatest return on your investment. Here are some tips to get you started as you contemplate improving your backyard.

  • Well designed, properly installed landscaping/hardscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property.
    one of the few home improvements you can make that adds value immediately and increases in value as the years go by.
  • Interior styles and design concepts regularly go out of style and mechanical systems wear down however, plants grow fuller and more robust as the years go by and outdoor hardscape spaces continue to provide use years after installation.
  • A well-landscaped home has a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping, ranging from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on the type of landscaping and the home’s original value.
    This translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.

There is more to landscaping than sticking some flowers and a couple shrubs in the ground:
-number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a sophisticated and functional design concept that takes into consideration each properties unique characteristics
-as folks spend more time at home, functional outdoor spaces that provide gathering space and living space are becoming more of a draw to homeowners
-close behind is plant size and maturity,a lesser factor, but one still worth considering, is the diversity of plant life within the landscape

The biggest landscaping mistake that homeowners make is not having a 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 or maybe add a sidewalk now and come back in a few years and add the corresponding patio or seating area.
-A landscape that is assembled piecemeal looks disorganized, and that turns buyers off.
-Come up with a plan before you do any landscaping.
– Even if you do not 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 they are willing to do the work.

A landscape full of large, mature plants is clearly one that has been carefully tended to over the years, and that sends a signal to buyers. That is a good indication that they’ve taken care of the inside of the house as well, which is appealing to home buyers.

Long-term landscaping plans are great if you are planning to be in the house for the long term.
-you can take several immediate steps to dress up your landscape :
-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,
-begin regular fertilizer treatments on your lawn; you want potential buyers to see a lush carpet, not a patchwork quilt,
-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.

Of all improvements to boost home value, landscape is one that will get you the largest return on your investment.
-make sure that you design your landscape with a plan.
-keep the plantings manageable so as not to scare off potential buyers.

Match Landscape to Your Home’s Style

The best way to get an excellent return on investment with landscaping is to make sure it fits with your home’s style. For instance, if you own a Victorian home, a Japanese garden will be sorely out of place and may even lower your home’s value rather than add to it. In this instance, you are much better off with a country or cottage-style landscape that blends in with the old-fashioned formality of your home.

The same holds true for more modern home styles. If your home falls into one of these categories, you will want to stay away from square, formal gardens or an excess of flowery blooms. Instead, create a more modern landscape by relying on plenty of greenery and natural-looking beds that fit the contours of your property.

Design With a Strategy in Mind

You should have a good strategy. That means you should not clutter the entire yard with various high-maintenance plantings, but you also shouldn’t have plain grass with no landscaping. A study by the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture found that a good foundation planting along with a couple of well-designed points of interest can increase your home’s value by up to 42 percent.

By that same token, you should encourage diversity among your plantings without taking it too far. The ideal landscape has a good mixture of shrubs and perennials, but it doesn’t have one of every kind of plant that you can find at the garden center. Instead, it has a uniform look with just enough diversity to make it interesting, but not so little that it becomes boring.

Look for Balance

A profusion of spring blooms won’t interest potential buyers who look at your home during other parts of the year. Think about ways to make your landscape attractive all year — blooming bulbs for spring, annual beds around the house during the summer, shrubs with brightly colored leaves in the fall, and evergreens for the winter. Even though most buyers will be looking at your home during one season, they will notice the balance you’ve created, and they’ll think about how beautiful the home will be as the seasons change.

Plant Trees

A few simple trees can make an enormous difference to the sale price of your home. In one study, simply living on a tree-lined street added between 10 to 15 percent to the sale price compared to neighborhoods with fewer trees. So why are trees worth so much? Trees remove carbon dioxide and pollution from the air, so people view them as an eco-friendly option. The shade helps keep neighborhoods and homes cooler and more pleasant, which in turn cuts air conditioning costs. Trees are also a stress reliever — people enjoy relaxing in their shade or gazing at the leafy view.

Lawn Maintenance

Few things look nicer than a healthy, vibrant, carefully maintained lawn. The confined look of an edged lawn gives it an easy-to-maintain look. In other words, no weed whipping or weeding required.
Edging along driveways, sidewalks and garden beds also shows prospective buyers how meticulous you have been concerning the property’s upkeep. They’ll know that if you’re willing to keep the edges of your yard looking nice, the rest of the property is likely in pristine condition, too.

Usable Space

Just keep in mind when designing or planning your next outdoor project that the primary goal of any home improvement project is that you are happy with it. Create a usable, functional space that provides you enjoyment and you can enjoy it for many years while making contributing to an increase in your overall property value.