Essential Landscaping to Increase Curb Appeal

From installing new carpet to finishing a basement, there are many ways to increase the value of your home. However, one of the most important investments you can make as a homeowner is in your house's landscaping. Beautiful landscaping can effectively add value to your home and make it stand out to potential buyers by greatly upping its curb appeal. In fact, good landscaping can raise the value of a house by 28%, and upgrading from good to excellent can reap rewards of 6-7%. Here are some of the most eye-catching components to amazing landscaping!

Trees

Trees offer a wide range of benefits when present on your property. Besides simply raising property value, trees also prevent storm water run-off, reduce local CO2, decrease heating costs though shade, and decrease heating cost by acting as a windbreak. All these factors and more can total to an impressive sum. The National Tree Benefit Calculator can show you a rough estimation of the amount of monetary benefit provided by a given tree in your area. For instance, in Princeton, New Jersey a black oak tree measuring 24 inches in diameter yields annual benefits of $207!

Native Plants

While it may seem obvious, homeowners should always keep in mind that planting native foliage on your property will require less upkeep to maintain than will non-native species. A Wisconsin-based ecological consultancy, Applied Ecological Services Inc., found that an acre of non-native grass produced costs of $20,000 over 20 years. On the other hand, an acre of native vegetation cost only $3,000 over the same period These native plants also provide shelter and food for native wildlife, a reward in and of itself.

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting represents one of the most-desired outdoor features, with 41% of home buyers rating it "essential" and 49% calling it "desirable". This feature is essential for exhibiting the other landscaping elements present around your house. Beyond just making your home more attractive to buyers, outdoor lighting also provides added safety by reducing falls and added security by making your home a more difficult target for burglary. 

Fencing

While backyard fencing doesn't provide curb appeal, it does have indisputable value for your home. Besides the obvious privacy and security benefits, any prospective buyer with pets will see the fence as a major positive. When installing a fence, be aware of the style typical for your area if you want to see maximum added value. For instance, cedar picket fences in the Oklahoma City area are estimated to increase home value by $1500-$2000.

Retaining Walls and Terracing

Although expensive, retaining walls and terracing can transform a heavily-sloped yard from a nuisance into a beautiful landscaping element. Furthermore, these improvements help control erosion and water run-off, a major concern in some areas.

Walkways

Walkways allow guests to keep their feet clean and have a pleasant stroll up to the front door when visiting your home. They also provide decoration, breaking up large patches of green lawn by adding color. These factors have immediate benefits to the first impression and curb appeal of your home. 

Hopefully, this post has provided you with a some good ideas about how you can improve the landscaping of your home and add value to it in the eyes of potential buyers!

Source: Gorgeous Landscaping for Your House Means More Than Just Looks

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