When you buy a home, you’re investing in more than just the building itself; the lot and the neighborhood are also part of the deal! While having a great neighborhood is important, having and maintaining nice landscaping is, too. An attractive yard isn’t just about curb appeal. If done properly and well, landscaping can actually add significant value to your home.
The best part about landscaping is that it’s one of the easiest and most valuable home improvements you can make. Here are some tips on how to turn your landscape into one of your home’s most valuable assets.
- Think sophisticated. The days of straight rows of scraggly boxwoods and a lonesome pine tree are long gone. Design sophistication and plant size are among the factors that most affect the value of a landscape. Especially in a neighborhood where home styles are similar. Hire a professional landscape designer if your design skills are sparse.
- Style is everything. Make sure your landscape design fits with your home’s style. For instance, if you own a traditional-style home (Colonial, Victorian, Georgian), an Asian-style Zen garden will be out of place and may even lower your home’s value rather than add to it. The same holds true for more modern home styles, such as prairie or industrial, which would clash with formal English-style gardens.
- Plant trees. A few trees can make a big difference in the value of your home. Why? Trees remove carbon dioxide and pollution from the air, so people see them as eco-friendly. The shade they provide helps keep neighborhoods and homes cooler and more pleasant, which in turn cuts air conditioning costs. Trees are also a stress reliever — people enjoy relaxing under them or gazing at their leafy loveliness.
- Mix it up. Encourage diversity among your plantings without going crazy. Well-done landscape has a good mixture of shrubs and perennials, but not a mishmash of everything. Your landscape should have a cohesive look with enough diversity to make it interesting, but not so little that it becomes boring.
- Balance is good. Lots of spring blooms are nice, but that won’t add interest during other parts of the year. Consider ways to make your landscape attractive all year, like bulbs for spring, annuals during the summer, shrubs with colored leaves in the fall, and evergreens for the winter.
- Create living space. Landscaping helps create additional space for your family, like grassy play areas for the kids, hardscaped entertaining areas for guests, or quiet areas for reading and sky-gazing. It makes your home more welcoming and comfortable.
- Keep things natural. Try to preserve a natural feel. When you step into a landscaped area, you should feel that you are one with nature. Make your structures (deck, patio, pathways, furniture) meld with the plantings. While you’re creating an outdoor living space, it shouldn’t feel like your family room.