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Landscaping is Crucial to Selling Your Home

According to the National Realtors Association, your landscaping makes a big difference in selling your home. First impressions are important, and that is the front of your house – including the landscaping! Some people will not even come inside if your lawn, trees and flowerbeds are overgrown, or worse yet – dead.

As reported in US News, Money: “All beds should have fresh mulch, which is one of the best ways to get bang for your buck in terms of sprucing up your yard,” says Bill Golden, an Atlanta-based Realtor who works for Re/Max. “Overgrown shrubs should be trimmed, especially if they block the windows. This will not only help curb appeal but increase light in the home.”

Curb appeal is important to 71% of homebuyers when choosing their abode, according to a 2013 National Association of Realtors survey. Landscaping is a large part of that curb appeal, says Frank J. Lucco, managing director of IRR-Residential Appraisers & Consultants in Houston.

“That first impression is important,” says Lucco. “If they don’t like the looks of the front of the house, which is mostly landscaping,” often they won’t even go inside.

A landscaping investment could potentially pay a 215% return in home value, says Margaret Woda, a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate in Crofton, Md. While you may only recoup 68% of kitchen renovation fees, Woda says landscaping is money well-spent.

Landscaping: Return on Investment

Landscaping projects can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a DIY upgrade to a mid-range $5,000 on up to over $100,000. When you are considering a project, remember to add landscaping to a new build is always easier and less expensive, and the cost can usually be included in the original mortgage. Overhauling existing landscaping can be more complicated, especially if you have to remove large trees or other established vegetation.

Investing in professional landscaping will greatly add to the value of your home. A general rule of thumb is to spend 10% of your home’s value on landscaping. So, if you have a $400,000 house then a landscaping budget of $40,000 is appropriate.

Factors that Impact Landscaping Costs:

  • The size of your yard
  • The features you desire (i.e. patio, outdoor kitchen, pool, etc.)
  • The materials and plants you select
  • Where materials are sourced from
  • Your location
  • Local labor costs

Working with a professional landscaping company will help you understand what is possible within your budget. For example, a designer can show you three fireplaces at different price points – an affordable prefabricated model, a mid-range customizable kit and a high-end original design. Being upfront about what you want to spend will help your designer suggest features and materials in your cost range. Weigh your options and make your decision based on budget and quality. The best way to determine the overall cost of your landscaping budget is to have a local professional come to your property and give you an estimate. Consider getting multiple estimates to ensure that you pay a fair amount.

How to Tell if Your Lawn needs More Water

Did you know that an easy way to judge if a lawn needs to be watered is if footprints stay in the grass for several minutes? Or, insert a screwdriver or other lawn tool into the surface. If you can easily insert the tool it means your yard has adequate moisture. If you face some resistance, then the ground needs additional watering.

Water is a vital natural resource in the Treasure Valley, and communities are growing increasingly concerned about conserving water. With simple gardening and lawn care habits, you can nurture healthy lawns and beautiful gardens that make the best use of your water.

One general rule of thumb is to make sure established lawns get at least 1 inch of water a week. If you water for longer, less frequent periods of time it will help the lawn absorb water deeper into the roots. Put out a shallow pan or a rain gauge the next time you water to determine how much water your lawn actually receives. Fix irrigation systems with broken or misdirected sprinkler heads to maximize water use. Grass also wilts when it’s thirsty, so watch it.  If your grass isn’t wilting, wait for rain to water your lawn.

Mowing and feeding your lawn can also help keep it healthy. Put the mower blade on a higher setting, because longer grass blades promote deeper roots to help retain moisture. When you fertilize, keep it on the lawn and out of the gutters to protect streams and other waterways. A healthy, dense lawn crowds out weeds that steal nutrients from the grass.

The best time to water is early morning, when the temperature keeps evaporation low and more water reaches your grass. Water the lawn every two to four days, but don’t over water – 10 to 15 minutes increments are good – and remember to move the sprinkler around to reach all areas.