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Landscaping Ideas to Boost Home Value

Don Layman,  Sr. Mortgage Advisor

June 13, 2022 — 7 min read

The birds are chirping and the scent of flowers wafts through the wind. That's a sure sign summer is here, which means it's time to whip your yard into shape. But where to begin? From maintaining a healthy lawn to planting flowers or introducing a water feature, use these easy landscaping ideas to boost home value and keep your property pretty all year long.

Before Landscaping to Boost Home Value, Start with a Plan

The good news: landscape design can add as much as 15 percent to the value of your home, according to some experts. The bad news: landscaping costs can accumulate quickly, so you should only begin a project only after you have a plan and budget in place. Take stock of what you need to complete your project and prioritize the most important tasks. You should also take time to research your project to determine approximate costs, and how long they will take to complete. When prioritizing landscaping ideas to boost the value of your home, ask yourself these questions:
  • How long do I plan on living in this home?
  • What will be the long-term maintenance costs?
  • Does it make financial sense to complete everything at once, or in phases?

Our #1 Landscaping Idea to Boost Value: Love Your Lawn

It may sound clich?, but first impressions are important, right? Weeds and dead spots are a sign of neglect and may decrease the value of your home, so try to keep your lawn lush and green, if possible. Most of this work can be completed by the homeowner, but a lot of people hire out. Beyond regular mowing and watering, your lawn needs regular fertilization, and it may require annual liming. Other lawn maintenance tasks include dethatching, which removes dead grass stems to allow water, fertilizer, and air to reach the soil, and aeration, which drills holes in the soil to help nutrients reach grassroots. You'll also boost curb appeal by trimming overgrown plants. If you're hiring a landscape professional, it's a good idea to collect at least three estimates before selecting a contract. Woman planting a tree as one of her landscaping ideas to boost home value.

Proceed to Plant Trees

Unlike other home improvements, trees don't depreciate, and they have the potential to increase your property value by thousands, according to some experts. In addition to increasing home value, trees offer other benefits, including adding privacy, improving air quality, and creating shade to make your outdoor space more comfortable. However, before selecting a tree, consider maintenance costs--will the tree leave behind droppings or attract unwanted pests? Make sure you know how big the tree is going to get and plant it at a distance from septic tanks, driveways, and the house to avoid potential damage.

Install Lights

From preventing tripping at night to deterring robbers, outdoor lights enhance security around your property. Plus, it's one of the easiest landscaping ideas to boost home value. Select fixtures that complement your home and provide sufficient illumination to key areas of your outdoor space, such as your porch, garage, or side doors. Recently, solar-powered lights have emerged as a cheap alternative to traditional outdoor lighting solutions. These lights don't rely on an electrical connection, so they're much easier to install; however, they require sunlight to operate, which means they're not ideal for dark corners or covered areas.

Install an Irrigation System

Landscaping looks great, but it requires time and effort to maintain. That's why an irrigation system is a such big draw for potential buyers. When you use an irrigation system, there's no guesswork when it comes to determining how much water you'll need--this will reduce your expenses and your impact on the environment, as you'll be able to program your system to automatically water your lawn on a regular schedule. Plus, a properly designed system will provide complete coverage, ensuring there aren't any areas that are overwatered or left dry. If you want to know how to install your own sprinkler system, check out this resource. If this project is outside of your comfort zone, be sure to collect quotes from several professional contractors before moving forward.

Introduce a Water Feature

Whether fountain, waterfall, or pond, nothing contributes to a calming ambiance like the sight and sound of water. However, if you decide to introduce a water feature on your property, steer clear of items that require heavy maintenance, like pools. These involve significant upkeep, and the potential for liability could make it hard to sell the house. If you decide to install a water feature, think about its size, how it's decorated, and where you're going to put it. In general, it's best to install a water feature on high ground, as installing it on low ground could cause flooding after it rains. If you're going to put plants around it, make sure they will receive enough sunlight. Additionally, if you're considering a pond, you should be prepared to care for the animals, including installing a pump or aerator through the colder months. New outdoor kitchen ready for use after landscaping project.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen

This is the tastiest of our easy landscaping ideas. Outdoor cooking is a fun way to connect with family and friends, but if you want to build an outdoor kitchen, you'll need to plan ahead. Ideally, the cooking space should be set up close to your back door or near a deck or patio. You should also think about the appliances you're going to select. Charcoal or gas grills are standard in most yards, but for your outdoor kitchen, you may want to include a sink, an outdoor refrigerator, or a smoker, too. You should also consider your patio furniture. This is going to be a place where you go to relax and kick back, so choose furniture that is sturdy, comfortable, and matches your taste.

Build a Fire Pit

Is there a better way to end a summer day than around a fire and roasting s'mores? These landscape additions are cozy, comfortable, and loved by young couples, big families, and seniors alike. You can build your fire pit out of a lot of different materials, but the most popular include stone, brick, and concrete pavers. Typically, fire pits measure three to four feet across, but you can adjust that depending on the size of your yard. Before building, find a spot that is 10-25 feet far away from structures and low-hanging trees. Do not place your pit on a wooden deck or in the grass; instead, put it on a non-flammable surface, like concrete or patio blocks. Once your pit is complete, remember to be cautious when lighting, maintaining and extinguishing it. Depending on your insurance policy, you may need to disclose that you have a fire pit in your yard.

Last Landscaping Idea to Boost Home Value: Mulch

Of all the easy landscaping ideas, this one tops the list--mulch is cheap, simple to apply, and is the perfect complement for your garden beds. The color will contrast against surrounding plants, retain nutrients in the soil, and discourage weed growth. Additionally, planting annual flowers is a low-cost and low-maintenance project that will leave your flowerbeds full of beautiful blooms for years to come. In general, you should spread your mulch to be two to four inches thick; if it's too thin, weeds may push through, and if it's too thick, it will prevent water from reaching the soil. Whether you're a landscaping novice or a master gardener, everyone can use a little help around the house. Visit our blog for more tips, or reach out to your local Mortgage Advisor today.
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