The Value of Landscaping
In today’s market, home buyers are looking for homes with great curb appeal. One of the top features that influence a potential buyer when they first view property is the landscaping.
Buyers want to see well-maintained and attractive landscaping in your front yard and backyard, not barren dirt or weed-infested ground.
Here are ten landscape features that may actually decrease the value of your home.
1.) Poorly Maintained Landscaping
Buyers expect a home with well-maintained landscaping and will likely pass on a property if they feel it lacks attention. Look around the neighborhood for examples of properties that have been recently mowed and trimmed, and try to keep up with the landscaping in your own yard or hire a local landscaper to keep it looking good.
You may not be a green thumb. However, a simply well-kept lawn is much more appealing than an overgrown and invasive lawn. Keep the landscaping clean and free of clutter such as old pool equipment, broken down cars, or abandoned children’s toys; all of these things tend to be eyesores for buyers.
Maintain your landscape by occasionally raking up leaves, getting rid of dead flowers, and generally keeping your yard looking well-groomed.
Here is an article on how to do smart landscaping
2.) Elaborate/High Maintenance landscaping
If your landscaping has more in it than you can take care of, for example, with tropical plants or ponds, be prepared to hire help to maintain the look.
Be wary when landscaping companies (especially wanna-be landscapers) might want to upsell you on adding extravagant features like waterfalls and rockscapes; while they may look nice initially, potential homebuyers may not want to take on the task of ongoing maintenance and expense.
3.) Rotting or crumbing decks and patios
Buyers will generally look at your outside deck and patio as an extension of the home. A deck in need of repair is a turnoff for most buyers. However, it can also pose a potential safety hazard for yourself and your family.
A rotting deck may lead to an unstable surface that is not only unsafe but also unattractive. Replacing or repairing old deck boards, cracked concrete, or uneven surfaces will make a big impact on the appeal of your property.
4.) Dirty windows/siding
If your windows and siding look like they haven’t been properly washed in years, it’s time to give them a good scrub down.
Buyers want to see that the exterior of your home is well taken care of, as many times it can be an indicator of the interior condition as well. A quick wash of windows and siding can have your home looking its best without costing you a lot of money.
5.) No lawn or weed infestation
If you have no lawn in your yard, consider reseeding to make sure you can show off at least a nice green swath of grass that has been recently cut.
Potential buyers love the look of well-manicured lawns and will be drawn to your house for it. If you are having trouble keeping up with your lawn or need help getting started, having a professional lawn maintenance service can be a big help.
Here is an article on how to choose grass seed for your lawn
6.) Dead plants
There is no quicker way to make a home look older than with dead plants. Frequent visits from your local nursery will keep your landscaping looking great and ready for showings.
If you have particularly difficult plants, consider replacing them with non-plant items that are less tricky to take care of, like rocks or statues. Be careful not to overdo the ornamental decorations as a busy and cluttered garden or yard can also be a turn-off to buyers.
7.) Broken or ineffective irrigation systems
Another potential showstopper is an irrigation system that isn’t working right or is in disrepair. Keep up with your sprinkler system, and don’t neglect it during the winter months.
If you have stopped using it, consider hiring a local landscaping company to turn it back on for you so people can get a good idea of how the yard receives water.
Here is an article on how to keep your irrigation system maintained.
8.) Lack of privacy
Buyers want outdoor living space, but most don’t want to feel like they are sharing their homes with the public.
A line of sight from your home’s outer windows to homes around you can be a major turnoff for buyers, so consider planting some trees or bushes. Having a high fence, large shrubs, or privacy walls allows people to enjoy their backyards without feeling like they are on display.
9.) Sloping lawn or poor grading
Grading and sloping lawns are a big no-no for buyers. Poorly graded properties or sloping lawns can cause many potential issues for new buyers, such as water leaks near windows.
You can even lose some square footage in your yard when the grade is altered. If you are dealing with grading issues, it may be worth the cost of having a professional landscaping company come in and regrade properly.
10.) Lack of drainage
Much like poorly graded lawns, lawns that lack adequate drainage are not good for buyers. If your yard is prone to flooding or standing water issues, you might be dealing with more than just aesthetic issues.
Water that is trapped along the house can, over time, cause foundational issues, especially if it is freezing and thawing consistently. Also, sitting water is known to attract pesky bugs and insects such as mosquitoes.
Landscape Home Value Summary
These 10 landscaping features may be decreasing your home’s value without you even realizing it! From poor drainage to overly done gardens, these issues can make a big difference in the value of your home.
The landscape features that you choose for your property can either help or hurt the value of a home. While you may not think it is a big issue, your property is the first thing potential buyers see and is a chance to make a great first impression.
Many of these issues don’t require much time, effort, or money to rectify, but can make a huge difference in the overall aesthetic appeal of your property.
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