Curb appeal is a crucial component of a home, both from an esthetic standpoint and in terms of increasing property value. Proper landscaping can dramatically improve the look and feel of a home and is a key player in boosting curb appeal. In fact, homes that are well landscaped tend to sell over 11.3% higher compared to similar homes without good landscaping. That can translate into tens of thousands of dollars added to property value.
Of course, landscaping can be a real money-sucker, especially when dealing with a large property and high-end components. However, there are plenty of ways to boost the esthetics of your landscaping without breaking the bank, while increasing the value of your home at the same time.
Clean Up Your Landscaping
The first item on the agenda when it comes to boosting your property’s landscaping is to clean things up. Let the true beauty of your lawn be revealed by trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn, raking dead leaves, and pruning the hedges. Overgrown weeds and plants can deter from the natural esthetics of an exterior space, which is why showing your landscaping some TLC should be your first step before making any changes to it.
Plant Drought-Resistant Greenery
Water is a priceless commodity in drought-susceptible places like California. Your landscaping can be a lot more affordable by requiring less water to hydrate your greenery if you plant species that are resistant to drought. Not only that, you can effectively slash the time and effort required to upkeep your landscaping with these types of plants, such as cape blancos, coneflowers, and lantanas. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, they can also add some value to your property as homebuyers will appreciate a yard that requires little upkeep.
Add Native Plants
In addition to adding drought-resistant plants to your overall landscaping design, consider adding plants that are native to California. Plants that are required to survive outside of their native habitat will struggle to grow, despite the best of intentions. Instead, native plants can easily flourish with minimal time, effort and money. Some plants that are native to California include desert willows, California lilacs, and manzanitas.
According to research conducted by Wisconsin-based ecological firm Applied Ecological Services Inc., the average cost of maintaining an acre of land with native plants for 20 years is $3,000, compared to $20,000 needed to maintain the same space with non-native species. In addition, native plants can boost property value by anywhere between $500 to $5,000, depending on the size of the yard.
As if introducing native greenery to your yard to boost its appearance and save you a ton of money over the long run wasn’t enough, it can also be a haven for wildlife. Birds, butterflies, and other local wildlife thrive in natural environments that feature native plants, so you’ll be doing the environment a favor too.
Plant More Trees
Mature trees can add a ton of value to a home, not to mention boost its esthetics. They’re not only lovely to look at, they also provide shade and save energy. In fact, just a few trees planted in strategic spots can save you hundreds of dollars every year in energy expenses.
If you have no intention of selling anytime soon, planting very young trees is obviously the more cost-effective way to go. But if you plan to sell within the next three to five years, you might want to invest a little bit more in slightly larger trees that already have a head start in growth. Every mature tree on a property in Southern California can increase the value of the average home by about $200, so they’re well worth the investment.
Adding a layer of fresh mulch at the base of trees or in flowerbeds can instantly make a yard look more visually appealing. Not only that, it can help absorb more water and prevent evaporation, keeping plants hydrated for longer to help cut down on how frequently you have to water your greenery. Mulch is also effective at controlling weeds and pests that can invade your plants.
Garden beds just look much tidier when they’re accompanied by mulch on top, which doesn’t have to be expensive to obtain. In fact, certain types can be easily obtained from local tree removal companies for a minimal cost and sometimes even for free.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Lighting
Lighting can add another dimension to your landscaping design and exponentially improve its esthetics. It can help highlight specific aspects of your yard, such as a decorative water feature or a dining area. It also makes an outdoor space feels cozier and more inviting, and makes a great first impression on prospective buyers. Well-placed lighting is also functional in that it provides the necessary light needed to help people see where they’re going, and even helps to deter intruders.
While high-wattage lighting may be expensive to keep lit for long periods of time, you can always opt for solar lighting that’s both easy on the wallet and simple to install. These specialized light fixtures soak up the sun’s rays during the day and accumulate the energy needed to power them in the evening to showcase your garden.
Install a Walkway
Walkways offer another decorative way to spruce up your landscaping and provide easy access to exterior doors. They might sound expensive, but they don’t have to be. While you can always opt for interlocking or stamped concrete, you can go the cheaper route and use pea gravel, decomposed granite, or stepping stones with grass in between which will look just as nice at a fraction of the cost.
The Bottom Line
When done right, landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to your home’s value. In fact, it is one of the best aspects of your home that can bring a high ROI. Luckily, there are ways to go about sprucing up your landscaping that are both effective and cost-efficient, allowing you to recoup every dollar – if not more – when it comes time to sell.