7 Landscaping Projects That Increase Home Value
Harness the power of landscaping to add value to your home. Get started with these seven projects to help realize your home’s true worth.
It’s never a bad idea to work on maximizing the value of your property, even when the real estate market is flourishing and home prices are high. This is especially true if you’re looking to put your home up for sale. One way to boost home value is by laying out money for a well-planned landscaping project. Pick an upgrade that will excite potential buyers and inspire them to pay a little more to seal the deal.
Many homeowners fail to tap into the power of landscaping when looking to add value to their home. It’s important to remember that first impressions are critical, and curb appeal is what potential buyers see first. What buyers view on the outside of a home is an indicator for what they can expect on the inside. The data backs this up: Sellers can expect to increase their home value 5 to 12 percent with a well-groomed landscape, depending on the location of their property.
Here are seven landscaping projects worth the investment, according to industry experts.
The one project almost universally recommended for boosting home value is planting trees. Doing so can increase value by up to $9,000, and approximately 4 to 20 percent when the trees are mature, which means trees are one of the rare investments that do not depreciate.
A key thing to remember when planting trees is not to place them near the driveway, septic system, or the house itself to avoid possible issues. Otherwise, the trees can actually decrease home value, as potential buyers may foresee expensive complications.
Tree positioning is also important due to falling branches, foundation damage from roots, or other potential issues. Place your trees wisely and they’ll prove to be a smart investment short- and long-term.
Upgrade the Front Walkway
Potential buyers get their first impression of a home as they advance up the walkway to the front entrance, so spending time making that journey impeccable is a worthwhile endeavor. An attractive walkway brings good vibes to the house.
If you’re uncertain how to dress up your walkway, consider planting flowers on both sides and keeping them well-lit. The result will be dramatic and beautiful.
Maintain the Lawn
Simply caring for and maintaining your lawn and front yard will have a considerable impact on your home’s desirability. At a minimum, your home’s landscaping should be comparable to the other homes in your neighborhood. Always keep the lawn mowed, flower beds full of seasonal flowers, weeds pulled, and trees pruned.
Choosing to leave your lawn unkempt and in disarray reduces curb appeal, but also serves as a warning to potential buyers that the home has not been taken care of. Luckily, lawn maintenance typically doesn’t kill a budget — it’s fast, rather inexpensive, and has a high return on investment.
The key benefit of a well-trimmed lawn is that it’s pleasing to potential buyers, allowing them to visualize their own family relaxing and playing on it, which is exactly what you want as a seller. By neglecting the lawn, you’re essentially leaving money on the table.
According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals and the National Association of Realtors, mulching every year, pruning shrubs, mowing a 2,800-square-foot lawn, and planting around 60 plants costs approximately $3,000, but has a 100-percent return on investment.
Add Landscape Lighting
Pretty landscape lighting serves a dual purpose: increasing security and boosting property value. A well-illuminated yard immediately enhances the overall appearance of a home, thereby adding to its value. In essence, lighting maximizes curb appeal by making sure the investment you made in landscaping can be seen at all times.
And with advances in technology, LED and solar-powered lighting are now effective alternatives to conventional hard-wired lighting. They light up your yard after dark, which helps prevent tripping, silhouettes your trees, and discourages burglars. LED lighting, a favorite of potential buyers, can up the value of your home by 1 to 3 percent.
For all these reasons, outdoor lighting fixtures continue to trend and are among the most sought-after landscaping elements for homebuyers. When installed correctly, elegant exterior lights yield a return on investment of 50 to 60 percent, and having good lighting can boost property value by as much as 20 percent. For example, spending about $5,000 on having a basic 600w transformer and 20 LED lights put in would see a recovery rate of approximately 50 percent when you sell your home. Another option would be to go with low-voltage lighting at about $50 per fixture.
Build a Fire Pit
Another extremely popular outdoor landscaping feature that enhances property value is a fire pit. It is a feature loved by pretty much everyone — young couples, families, and anyone who enjoys entertaining guests.
On average, building a fire pit runs about $700. If you manage to keep a tight budget on a project like this, you can expect to get a significant return on your investment. When fire pits are built from less expensive materials, it’s possible to recover 78 percent of the costs, as they can increase the return on investment to over 80 percent.
Giving your yard a sense of privacy is typically a big selling point for homes. One way to incorporate this is through well-designed landscaping.
Especially susceptible to a lack of privacy are homes with large windows. While they are great for letting in natural light, large windows also mean that people have a better chance of seeing into the house from outside. To improve privacy, consider planting hedges or shrubs near large windows. Not only will they provide a privacy barrier, but they’ll look good doing it.
One of the easiest projects you can do to improve your landscape is simply laying down new mulch. Not only does this go a long way in perking up a dull yard, but it also makes your landscaping more cost-effective.
Mulch is good for the plants too: It helps minimize evaporation, impede weed growth, mitigate soil temperature, and prevent erosion. Adding organic matter, in addition to aerating the soil, can also boost the soil’s power to hold sufficient water. Expect more than the cost of your investment back on this type of project.