How to use landscaping to improve your home's value

How to use landscaping to improve your home's value

For most people, the purchase of their home represents the single biggest investment they will ever make. In this ever-changing economy, one of the sure-fire ways to increase the value of a home is through professional landscaping.

A recent Michigan State University study found that, depending on where the house is located, high quality landscaping easily adds 5 to 10 percent to the value of a home. Many real-estate professionals believe that the home value can be increased by as much as 20 percent. Conversely, an unattractive, overgrown, or poorly designed landscape can reduce the value of a home by thousands of dollars.

When selling a home, first impressions are everything. That initial curb appeal plays a huge part in the buyer’s perception of the home. As a potential buyer drives up to a house, they will not separate the home from the landscape; they become one. The potential buyer is already making a judgment about the inside of the home based on how the home appears from the outside.

There are many factors that contribute to positive curb appeal, such as a fresh coat of paint, or a tidy appearance; however, one of the best ways to enhance curb appeal is through landscaping. A professionally landscaped home not only enhances sales appeal, but also increases the actual speed of the home sale.

Here are some quick landscape tips to improve the curb appeal of your home:

  • Remove any dead or dying plant material
  • Prune back any overgrown trees and shrubs
  • Widen the existing shrub beds by a few feet, if the shrubs are outgrowing the bed space
  • Top dress shrub and flower beds with new mulch
  • Replace any dead or dying grass
  • Fertilize your lawn on a regular basis (proper fertilization and watering keeps the grass green)
  • Mow your lawn and trim around trees and bed areas each week during the growing season to give your landscape a neat appearance
  • Add color to your landscape; create planting beds near your entry or front walkway (using the same type or color of flower in a bed has more impact than using a variety of colors and types)
  • When adding or replacing plant material, remember that a few larger plants have more visual appeal than 10 or 20 small ones

Kristina Smith-Becker is the president of highly rated American Design and Landscape in Parker, Colo., an award-winning landscape design/build firm that has been installing landscapes for more than 40 years.

As of December 5, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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