Give Your Home Definitive ROI with Good Landscaping
Just in time for National Homeowner’s Month, it’s no surprise to see Mobile & Baldwin County leading the state again in home sales, prices, and days on the market. Our natural beauty, quality of life, strong schools and economy are a natural draw for families leaving larger locales for our slice of Mobile Bay heaven. If you’re considering selling your home soon or sometime in the future, landscaping is a smart place to plant your budget.
Think of it – landscaping makes up 80% of what a buyer sees at first sight. Is the lawn green and healthy? Is there an attractive landscape plan with a variety of plants and colors? A well-placed shade tree? Pavers or walkways? Study after study finds landscape quality boosts value by 12-15%. The green investment not only improves our quality of life while we’re there but brings more interested buyers and a better asking price when you’re ready to move on.
Great curb appeal adds tangible dollars to your asking price and speeds the sale overall. Regular lawn care — mowing, applying fertilizer, and weed control — can recover the cost of upkeep at the time of sale.
Landscaping cost versus value – is it worth it? You bet!
For several years, research has come to the same conclusion on the importance of landscaping to a home’s appraised value, its ability to sell quickly and at a higher value. Curb appeal? It is real.
What is the Best Way to Create Curb Appeal? And How Much Should I Spend?
1. Cut and edge your grass.
If you have a mower and edger and the yard is manageable, you can handle this on your own. Professional mow and blow will vary on square footage and extra fees for edging. As realtors recommend, consider a consistent maintenance plan or at least a good cleanup to include trimming trees, snipping shrubbery, and pruning overgrown branches. Don’t trim too short or often or you may create brown patches – definitely not the curb appeal you’re hoping for.
Leave clippings on the lawn unless they form up into clumps or rows, as they become wonderful organic matter to return nitrogen and nutrients to the lawn.
2. Apply fresh mulch.
Mulch – whether woodchips or pine straw – helps your soil retain moisture, reduces weeds, and instantly freshens your overall landscape appearance. A pine straw fluff is a landscaper’s #1 quick fix!
3. Group flowers with containers or a variety of colors. Even just around the porch area – fresh seasonal color sets the stage and makes your house pop. Use plants with a variety of sizes and heights to keep the landscape from seeming flat.
A Buyer Priority? Magnificent but Low-Maintenance
A low-maintenance landscape is a priority today for buyers without a green thumb, concerned about water conservation, or who just don’t want to spend the time on upkeep. Retiring baby-boomers (hello anyone?) have little interest in mowing themselves or spending much paying someone to mow a massive lawn. Consider ground cover to add seasonal color and brighten spaces in a more sophisticated look.
We look for low-maintenance solutions with hardscaping (non-living features such as a walkway, patio, or retaining wall), or even xeriscaping (a combination of the Greek word “xeros,” meaning “dry,” and the word “landscape.”) Ideal for our neighborhood and HOA clients, xeriscaping incorporates drought-tolerant plants such as succulents, sago palms or native grasses that need little watering.
What is Your Buyer Looking for in Your Yard?
According to the REALTOR ™ survey, there are several do’s and definite don’ts when it comes to not just attracting a buyer but sealing the deal.
1. Best Bang for the Buck? Plant trees!
Consider planting trees in the 8–10-foot range if you plan on staying in your house for only 2 or 3 more years. In our Gulf Coast climate, Nachez Crepe Myrtles, Tulip Magnolia or Japanese Maple offer beautiful options. Provide the right space for the tree to grow – and as it matures so will your home value.
2. Outdoor Living Space
Buyers love the Mobile Bay area for its seasonal temperatures, sunshine, and proximity to the water – whether bay, beach or endless creeks and rivers. We all want sun and outdoor space – and a landscaped patio can raise the value of your home by as much as 12.4%. A pool however can be seen as a negative to a potential buyer…read on.
3. Landscape Lighting
Lighting is one of our favorite finishes to any outdoor space. Landscape lighting provides a warm nighttime silhouette for trees, a garden glow, and safe visibility for walkways. Buyers also appreciate the security aspect of landscape lighting as a barrier to potential burglars.
4. Pass on the Pool.
If you are considering a move in the next year or two… investing in a pool to increase your property value rarely happens. Studies find in-ground pools with an average price of $60,000-$85,000 will not produce the same return for each dollar spent. Landscaping in contrast averages $3 return for every $1 spent. And while your family may see a cool splash, a potential homebuyer is envisioning maintenance and additional costs, ordinances and laws.
5. Nope to the Sports Court
A tennis or basketball court is much like a pool. Add it for the fun of your family… but not property value. Niche additions like these limit who might find interest in your property.
6. Concrete Patios
Let’s leave these in the 1950’s… Consider some handsome pavers instead. Concrete will crack and water will puddle up. We install a variety of handsome landscape brick or pavers in a range of prices as smart small space outdoor living solutions.