5 Landscaping Updates to Increase Your Home Value

Whether you are looking to sell or invest for the long term, landscaping is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Plus, unlike a kitchen or a bathroom remodel, many landscaping updates can be done quickly and easily.

The return on investment can be significant. Compared to no landscaping, the right landscaping projects can add as little as 5.5% to as much as 20% or more to the value of a home. If your yard could use a makeover, here are 5 landscaping updates to increase your home value that will give you a good return on your investment.

1. Planting Trees

Planting a tree is one of the simplest landscaping updates you can do and also one of the best for long-term investment. A single mature tree can add anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 to your home’s value, a great return considering the affordable price of saplings. Planting a larger tree will cost more upfront, but let you recoup your investment sooner. Trees also help the value of a neighborhood. Homes on tree-lined streets can sell for 10 to 15% above homes in neighborhoods without trees.

There are several reasons trees increase home value. Today’s buyers enjoy the eco-friendly benefits of trees. Homes and neighborhoods with trees enjoy better energy savings, thanks to shade in the summer and windbreaks in the winter. Trees also reduce stress and add enjoyment to homeownership.

2. Edging and Mulching  

A manicured lawn adds great curb appeal and will give potential home buyers a great first impression of your home. You can add finishing touches like edging and mulching to complete the look of a healthy green lawn. Best of all, edging and mulching are simple and affordable updates with impact.

“The standard suggested is to invest 10% of the value of your home in landscaping,” Erik Shorb, co-owner of American Plant, told the Washington Post. “If you don’t have that kind of money to invest, at the minimum I would recommend adding color with annuals, perennials or seasonal flowering shrubs; mulching; edging; removing weeds and getting the grass as green and full as possible. Those are the quick and inexpensive fixes.”

3. Using Seasonal Plantings

If you are going to update the plants around your home, you can achieve the best results with plant choices that make your landscaping attractive all year. Spring flowers will be beautiful in April and May, but you and potential buyers looking at your home won’t be able to enjoy them in November.

The solution is to choose the right variety of plants that will give your home a finished look any time of year. Blooming bulbs are recommended for spring, while annual flower beds will work better for summer. Shrubs can be very attractive in the fall, while evergreens will give your landscape character over the winter months. Remember to consider your location and do some quick research on which  plants thrive in your climate.

4. Matching Styles

Another key to adding the most value to your home is to work with your home’s existing style. “The best strategy is to research the architectural style of your home and create a landscaping plan that matches,” says John Gidding, host of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal.”

It’s important to follow this advice, as mixing the wrong landscaping with the architectural style of your home won’t add value. For instance, a Japanese garden is not the right match for a Victorian home, nor is an English garden the right pick for modern industrial construction. Matching your landscaping update to the style of your home will help you realize the best return on your investment.

5. Being Strategic with Landscaping

Before you “dig in” to your landscaping update you need to have a strategy. Going in with a plan will help you avoid a yard with cluttered plantings, undefined focal points, and plant choices that won’t work well for your climate. You’ll also want to avoid using too many different types of plants or too many of the same plants.

The results can pay off. Strategic landscaping design was the top choice for respondents of a landscaping survey conducted by the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture, with plant size considerations and plant variety also ranking highly. The survey found that a sophisticated landscape design could significantly boost a buyer’s perception of the value of a home by up to 42%.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re moving or just settling in, landscaping is a fast and affordable solution for adding more value and enjoyment to your home. Remember to think strategically about your options. Make sure to match your landscaping to the style of your home and consider ways to keep your curb appeal looking sharp in every season. Plant a tree or several for a big return down the road, and finish off the look with edging and mulching. In the end, you’ll have a yard that will look great now and that will yield a nice return on investment on resale.

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