The following is a guest post by Zach Edwards
Whether you’re thinking about putting your home on the market or just want to be prepared, you’re looking for the best possible price. A clean, fresh place with a comfortable vibe, both inside and out, draws prospective buyers. And since the first thing to catch their eye is your landscaping, that’s the place to start. Landscaping focuses on the lawn, trees, and plants in your yard, but architectural features also increase the value of your home.
Landscape Maintenance Program
Curb appeal is the name of the game when you’re sprucing up your home. A vibrant green lawn is what buyers want to see. A landscape maintenance program covers the basics to keep your lawn looking its best. This includes mowing, edging and trimming, fertilization, pest control, and leaf removal. The National Association of Realtors lists landscape maintenance as a priority when selling your home, with a return on investment, or ROI, of 100%. You can do it yourself if you are diligent, but it may be more cost-effective to hire a lawn care professional who knows how to keep your yard in tip-top shape.
Since you’re going to be taking meticulous care of your lawn, why not do an overall landscape upgrade? This can include switching up your front walkway from concrete to natural flagstone, adding large stone planters, mulching with landscaping bark, and putting in flowering shrubs and a tree or two. The estimated cost of these projects is $6000, with a return of around $5000. That’s an ROI of 83%. And in a drought-prone area, take those upgrades a step further and help protect your property from fire. Surround your home with hardscaping, use fire-resistant plants and trees, and space them 5 to 30-feet away from your home.
Outdoor Living Spaces
The pandemic of the last couple of years forced many of us to spend more time at home. So today’s buyers are focused on comfort and livability. Putting in a patio, or refurbishing an existing one, attracts buyers and increases your home’s value. An outdoor kitchen and entertaining area extends your living space.
Set up cozy chairs and sofas made specifically for the outdoors. Add some colorful throw pillows, and don’t forget an outdoor table to center the space. A well-designed patio with comfortable features has an ROI of up to 80% and adds 8-10% to a home’s value.
While you’re busy making the outdoors all cozy and comfy, don’t forget a fire pit. Nights around the fire, toasting marshmallows, or just chatting with family and friends create lasting memories and add an air of relaxation to your yard. Gas pits will add more value to your home due to ease of use, but wood-burning pits also boost the value. Both have pros and cons, and you’ll need to do some research to see which works best for you. Adding a fire feature to your landscaping provides an ROI of about 70%.
Once you create a cozy outdoor living space, you want to be able to use it at night. That’s where outdoor lighting comes into play. When deciding how to incorporate it into the landscaping, consider where light is needed for safety and security, as well as any features you want to highlight. Don’t overdo it. You want to enhance your yard at night, not blind your guests with spotlights. Outdoor lighting done right can add up to 10% to your home’s value.
Automated Sprinkler System
Automating your sprinkler system not only adds home value, it gives you one less thing to worry about and helps conserve water! You can come home knowing that part of your yard maintenance is already done. Or you can travel without worrying about whether your lawn is getting enough water.
While installing an irrigation system can be costly, you can recoup that money in the long-term. Monthly water bills will likely decrease, as sprinklers come on only during optimal times of the day and use just the right amount of water. Cost estimates for a 3000 square foot lawn are around $3500. With an estimated cost recovery at $3000, that’s an ROI of 86%.
Making these landscaping improvements increases the odds for a faster sale and a better price. Buyers want to move in and relax, not have to make the changes themselves.
Zach Edwards is a lifestyle and landscape and design writer. He has refurbished a number of older homes and commercial buildings with a focus on spaces for entertaining.
Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog