Landscaping Trends To Increase The Value Of Your Home
By Cindy Mitchell
The National Association of Landscape Professionals monitors trends and sees a growing number of homeowners who want an outdoor space where they can relax and play. They just want it to be as bother-free as possible. “Homeowners yearn for beautiful outdoor spaces without the hassle of upkeep,” according to Missy Henrikson, vice president of public relations for NALP.
If the landscaping on your property isn’t up to snuff, you‘re not just missing out on outdoor fun. You’re also missing out on added property value!
The days of shopping for houses in the want ads are gone. Most prospective buyers begin their search on the internet. Nearly all millennials – the largest homebuying demographic – house-hunt online.
The first thing buyers will see is images of the exterior in which your landscaping is prominently displayed. Real estate agents know today’s clients shop through photographs and videos and increasingly get bird’s eye views thanks to flying drones. Because of tight market conditions, a growing number of people are making offers based on images alone.
Having your landscaping in tip-top shape is an easy way to ratchet up the price. But before you embark on a landscaping overhaul, keep two trends in mind.
Studies across all demographics show that:
1. Homebuyers want a beautiful landscape – but they want it to be low-maintenance.
2. Homebuyers increasingly think of their outdoors as extended living spaces.
Here are some ground rules for making your yard appealing to today’s buyers:
Clean It Up!
Nothing turns prospects off like a trashy yard. Get rid of debris that accumulated over the winter. This includes dead leaves and twigs that matted into the turf and flower beds and beneath shrubs. Cut away dead limbs from trees and cut back or remove plants that didn’t make it through the cold months.
This is the mantra of real estate agents and professional home stagers for home interiors, but it applies equally to the outdoors. Potential buyers want a landscape that is a canvas for their own vision – not yours. So bid farewell to the yard gnome and wind chimes. Store or get rid of the swing set and wading pool. Put away the yard tools and fold up the badminton net. Minimalist is best when it comes to yard décor.
Keep Your Lawn Healthy
Routine maintenance can do wonders for your landscape appeal. This includes regular and proper watering, fertilizing, weeding, mowing, and edging. Dead spots are unsightly and signal you may have a pest infestation. Have problem areas tested and treated. If you’re putting your home on the market, a professional lawn care service might be a wise investment.
Splash a little color
Green is great for outdoors, but a few tastefully arranged potted plants and flowers at an entryway or patio and along walkways can add sparkling accents. Replace worn-out mulch in your beds with fresh and colorful new mulch.
Because buyers see their yards as an extension of their living areas, good lighting is important for evenings on the patio as well as for security. Lights along pathways are always a welcome touch.
Broad swaths of grass imply the maintenance headaches of mowing, trimming, watering, and weeding. Extending flower beds and adding pathways (pavers, gravel, or mulch– not bare concrete) are a couple of ways you can reduce turf.
Give Up Your Darlings
If you’re a gardening enthusiast your yard might be a jungle oasis of plants you’ve carefully tended, but to a prospective buyer, it might seem a maintenance nightmare. Be willing to part with pieces of your paradise. You can’t take it with you, anyway.
Popular Landscaping Trends
To make a lawn story short, low-maintenance landscaping features appeal to nearly all prospective buyers:
Automatic sprinkler systems
Mature trees and shrubs
Adequate lighting for security and aesthetic appeal
Hardscapes such as patios, balconies, gazebos, and pergolas
Here are features that may appeal to some buyers but turn off others:
Pools, hot tubs, water features
Fruit trees and excessive permanent plants
Maintaining good landscaping can add up to 13 percent to your home’s value. That can mean an even bigger return in today’s hot market.
Cindy Mitchell is a home stager and lifestyle and landscape design writer. She is a social butterfly and loves to entertain guests at home with beautifully decorated spaces for any occasion.