Guest post by Steve Stewart of Landscape East & West
That old adage to avoid judging a book by a cover is rarely followed. People can’t help but make judgments according to external appearance. We are such a visual species that first impressions often have a huge influence over our thinking. Realtors can tell you that this is certainly true in home sales. Buyers are magnetized to homes with attractive exteriors. That gorgeous remodeled kitchen, bath, or master bedroom may never be seen if buyers can’t first make it past your front door. Indeed, the Real Estate Agent Community Trends survey has found that “82% of surveyed agents have had potential buyers decline to look at the interior of a house due to its exterior appearance.”
Landscape maintenance is a must-have for creating a beautiful façade for your home; and as landscaping contractors can tell you, sprucing up your home’s yard is one of the best ways to grow curb appeal. Let’s explore ways to improve curb appeal through landscaping.
How to Increase Curb Appeal through Thoughtful Landscape Design and Maintenance
1. Avoid Creating a Front Yard Jungle: Maintain Your Yard Regularly.
An overgrown yard will dissuade homebuyers from looking at your property. If you’re a bit behind on maintenance, it makes sense to hire a landscape contractor to quickly catch up on mowing, weeding, and pruning.
2. Highlight Low Energy Costs thanks to Well-Placed Landscaping.
Today’s buyers eagerly jump on energy-saving features. After all, heating and cooling a home can be quite expensive these days. Landscaping experts can help you plant sun-blocking species in the right places in your yard, so that your trees and bushes block the harsh summer sun. Then, you can list energy-efficient landscaping as one of your home’s selling points. Plus, buyers are drawn to homes with healthy, regularly pruned tress and shrubs.
3. Correct Any Landscaping Hazards.
Remove trees that are growing too close to the home. Also eliminate plants that may have deep roots growing underneath your home. Such roots can cause the foundation to shift in such a way that water may leak into lower levels.
4. Create Charming Outdoor Living Areas.
In an American Society of Landscape Architects survey, 95% said outdoor seating areas are somewhat or very popular. Fire pits achieved a 94% popularity rating in this same survey.
5. Favor Low-Maintenance Options.
An elaborate garden may actually turn off some buyers who are not eager to spend their entire weekends weeding. Look for easy-going plants that don’t require too much attention to thrive.
As far as landscape maintenance goes, it’s never too early to start. Homebuyers are drawn to properties with mature, healthy plants. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home now, it makes sense to spend time on creating a beautiful landscape, so that you can easily attract buyers down the road. One last tip from landscaping contractors: Look for species that will provide four seasons of visual interest. This is another universally appealing characteristic that will pull in buyers.
Steve Stewart is President of Landscape East & West, Portland, Oregon’s landscape contractors. Landscape East & West is an award-winning full-service landscaping company specializing in outdoor kitchen design, paver patios, sustainable landscape maintenance and more.
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