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Landscaping and Home Value

1. A well-maintained lawn

· Leading the way among exterior improvements is a well-kept lawn. · a no-brainer: quick, relatively inexpensive, and returns the most on your investment. · Lawns remain a favorite of homebuyers. · a well-kept expanse of grass is visually pleasing. · It improves a property’s look, · offers a play area for children, · and it gives the adults a sense that they will enjoy a relaxed lifestyle. · recent study estimates that lawn care service of about $268 adds about $1,200 in value — a 352% ROI. · So if you don’t take care of the lawn before you list, you’re leaving money on the table. · basic yard care service is the top curb appeal project to tackle before selling.

2. Shrubs and trees

· Almost anything you buy decreases in value, but trees are an exception. · Mature trees enhance property values. · The mere presence of tall trees improves property values throughout a neighborhood by 3% to 15%, according to the University of Washington. · Installing mature trees is costly. · if you’re looking for a tree that already has some size, but still fits in the back of a truck, go for a 15-gallon pot. · It will hold a tree about 8 feet tall, for a reasonable price — $50-$150, depending on the variety.

3. Tidy garden

· Remove weeds. · For some buyers, they’re a red flag issue that signals neglect. · A tidy lawn leaves the buyer with the impression that they’re looking at a landscape that is easy to maintain.

4. Landscaped pathway

· where in your yard are people going to walk? · Up the walkway to your front doo? Pay attention to that walkway. · Repair cracks that will spoil the first impression. · Try designing a pathway that will create anticipation — ideally, have it winding with plants or a small hedge on each side. · Use a pressure-washer to scrub away any built-up dirt or slime. · Border it with pavers if you need to add width

5. Lighting

· Outdoor lighting options are a great option and there are lot’s to choose from · People appreciate a well-lit yard. Helps you get around at night as well. · It can provide a layer of security. · Lighting hardware has changed in recent years, with solar-powered and LED lighting products adding alternatives to traditional hard-wired lighting making it much easier to install. · Lighting can show off your garden at night, silhouette your trees, keep everyone safe from tripping and deter burglars.

6. Fresh mulch/barkdust

· Need something that will turn a dull yard fresh, economically, and quickly? Bark or mulch. · Adding fresh bark is second only to routine lawn care at returning your expense at sale. · Spending $340 on bark recoups about 126% upon closing. · Incorporating bark around shrubs and garden plants helps reduce evaporation, inhibits weed growth, moderates soil temperature, and prevents erosion. · Adding organic matter and aerating soil can improve its ability to hold water as well

7. All-season deck/outdoor kitchen

· One of the trendiest items is one of the most expensive — a permanent, built-in deck or paver patio for entertainment and cooking. · In effect, it increases the usable square footage of the house. It returns an estimated 83% of the amount spent. · That may sound like a losing proposition, but an outdoor kitchen space keeps your house on the shortlist for a number buyers. · Properly finish and weather-proof the space will last for years to come. · Adding a firepit to the area is another relatively simple way to add value · For smaller houses, an all-season outdoor space, can contribute 10% to 15% of a property’s value.

8. Pop of color through container plants, garden bed

· Even without spending thousands of dollars, a few hundred spent on an expanse of colorful flowers and eye-catching plants will return your investment. · One increasingly popular option is to add potted plants. They’ll dress up your porch and other entryways where buyers are sure to see them. · Flower beds define spaces and are a quick way to brighten up (or even cover up) areas where you’ve had less luck with other plants. · Generally speaking, annual plants — which have one or (rarely) two growing seasons — will be the less expensive option. · Perennials, which return every year, tend to cost more but grow in size to fill out your landscape. · Hanging plants off the front porch create a welcoming atmosphere

9. Automated sprinkler system

· Many of today’s buyers love landscaping but don’t have the time or inclination to devote the time it traditionally takes to maintain it. · Expect to pay at least $3,000 for a fully automated sprinkler system, but buyers will love it. · Today’s sprinkler systems aren’t the “dumb” ones your dad had. They can be equipped with sensors that sniff the air and the water levels in your landscape and water only when needed.

10. Professional landscape design

· A professional landscape design will help your lawn climb beyond the competition in the market. · There are several levels of help. If you know what you’re doing and just need to document it, there are many software options and apps. · A step up from there is landscape designers, who can prepare a detailed plan and often can do the installation as well. · although the services of the two can overlap, certified landscape architects usually go beyond designers, and can provide top-tier plans and installation help.

10 Landscape Features That Hurt Home Value 1. Artificial grass

· Artificial grass offers the ultimate in low maintenance. Lay it down once and you can forget it until it wears out. · But it frightens off many potential buyers, particularly those with children who want an area to play. · With a replacement cost averaging $3.50 per square foot, many buyers prefer to avoid it.

2. Outdoor water features

· Large non working water features could pull down your property value by also be negatively affecting your property value by $2,500+ · depending on the size and how it is “plumbed” into the garden. · While they are great for attracting bees, birds, and butterflies, some buyers see water features as more work to maintain and would want to have it removed if they purchased the house.

3. Unkempt garden

· An untended garden that hasn’t been given any TLC could knock 1 to 2% off your asking price. · a couple of scrawny plants actually hurts home value. · An unkempt garden will turn off those who don’t want to do much work, especially first-time buyers and young families.

4. Broken fence panels, cracked walls

· Good fences make good property values. · We appreciate that they set boundaries for children, keep our animals in, keep other animals out. · They offer privacy and seclusion. · They’re also pricey to build, repair, or replace, which is why most house-hunters look for a property with an unbroken fence. · In fact, research has shown that broken fence panels or cracked walls can remove $1,000 from the value of your house. · So if you’re looking to sell your house, fix that fence.

5. Swimming pools, hot tubs

· You may think that when someone sees your pool, they will conjure up splashing children, lazy afternoons, and happy summer memories. · Let that idea float away. · No matter how many great summer days you spent around a pool, many buyers see only maintenance headaches, additional insurance requirements, and constant worry about safety. · Many buyers won’t even look at a home with a pool. · Overall, the return on pools is also quite low at 43%. · However, that advice flips around for luxury homes that sit on large properties. They tend to do well with pools. · know what you’re getting into. This is a hefty investment: Installing an 18-foot by 36-foot in-ground pool that’s about 3 to 7 feet deep costs about $58,000, including the standard filtration system. · For an estimated 43% ROI, it’s not worth taking on just to sell your house. Plus, you may eliminate some buyers who aren’t “pool people” or who don’t want to deal with the maintenance.

6. Sports court

· Custom building a tennis or basketball court may suit your needs and your child’s, but it’s unlikely to enhance your property’s value. · Specialized patches of asphalt where the buyer expects a beautiful expanse of yard will get more boos than standing O’s from buyers.

7. Big concrete patio

· A little concrete is good. But a lot feels more industrial than homey. · A broad expanse of concrete creates a parking-lot type of yard where rain collects in puddles. It can look unsightly, become a heat producer, while also posing a safety hazard to friends and family.

8. Fruit trees

· Figs? Yum. Cherries? Love them. Apples? More than one a day. But tending to a fragrant orchard isn’t everyone’s idea of Eden. They attract insects, need constant pruning, and highly productive trees give you an extra chore: How do you get rid of all that fruit? · Many potential homebuyers would rather prowl the farmers market than prune the tree. · So while you may be up to the task of maintaining the trees and harvesting their bounty, most others won’t. · If you don’t plan to stay in a house long enough to reap the fruits of your landscaping choice, do a gut check and decide whether it’s right to let out your inner Johnny Appleseed. · From an economic standpoint, you’re better off to opt for ornamental trees instead.

9. Old-outdated garden decor, furniture

· An old picnic table rotting in the backyard could put a splinter in your home’s value. · Garden furniture, often used only seasonally and subject to the rigors of harsh weather, can fall into disrepair more quickly than the furniture kept comfortably inside. · A worthwhile compromise: Do your best to spruce up what you have. You can often refresh garden furniture by giving the fabric coverings a good washdown, and adding a lick of paint or stain to the wooden areas.

10. Highly personalized niche landscape design

· We get it. You love gnomes. And over the years you’ve collected a couple hundred of them that, in your view, peeking out from every niche. · Your friends and family tolerate, or even encourage, your quirky tastes. But homebuyers are a more cold-hearted lot. · Too-personal touches are a turnoff.