25 Apr 2010


If you’re selling your current house or moving into a new one, great landscaping is essential for instant curb appeal, making your house an inviting investment. Before visitors leave their cars they will subconsciously decide what feeling your house and landscaping gives them. Curb appeal is easily achieved with a little thought and planning. Spending money on improving landscaping is more cost-effective, dollar for dollar, than renovating a kitchen or bathroom. Landscaping can have a 100%, or more, return on the initial investment. However, poor quality landscaping can reduce home value by10% and increase the time it takes to sell.

If your home’s landscaping is superior to others in the neighborhood it’s possible to get 7-10% more than similar homes in the area. According to industry professionals, properties with mature trees or shade trees sell for 10%, or more, compared to properties without trees, or trees that don’t shade buildings. When choosing trees for curb appeal consider attributes like seasonal flowers, attractive peeling bark and whether an evergreen or deciduous tree is desired. If you notice a particular plant thriving in your neighborhood, chances are it will work for you.

Keep all landscaping, including the lawn, well maintained. Overgrown landscaping looks neglected. Apply fresh mulch and remove overgrown trees and shrubs, especially if they are crowding the building or could cause structural damage. If necessary, consider replacing patchy lawns with fresh sod. Use native and low-maintenance plants that are drought tolerant. Maintenance and longevity of plants are important considerations for sellers and potential buyers. Plants can add privacy and create a more enjoyable place to spend time. Make the most of your home’s good features by staging outdoor areas with chairs and benches that create inviting spaces where potential buyers can picture themselves spending time or entertaining.

Small changes make a big difference. Whether you choose to hire a professional landscape architect or go DIY, chances are you will make a good return on your investment.

Use tall grasses and larger trees to detract from unbalanced features on your home. Fill blank walls and awkward spaces between windows with climbing plants like roses, clematis, or passionfruit. In narrow spaces try upright plants like Juniper ‘Blue Arrow’ or Italian Cypress. For visual interest use weeping trees in front of smaller plants and shrubs to add more perspective and dimension to the overall planting. Add hanging plants, or window baskets to highlight architectural features. Make the front door as inviting as possible with combinations of colorful potted plants. Define walkways with plants and neat beds. Keep edging tidy and well defined to improve the appearance and structure of the landscape.

With a few well chosen trees, shrubs, and colorful flowers it’s possible to maximize your home’s curb appeal and give it the facelift it needs to sell quickly in any market. Landscaping is even more important in tropical climates. In these areas it’s possible to recoup a 20% return on your investment.

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