Whether you are planning to sell your home or live in it for years to come, there is nothing more impressive than a yard that is gorgeously landscaped. As the first thing people see, your landscaping provides everything they need to not only form their first impression about you, as well as the entire neighborhood. This is why many Omaha home owners associations (HOA) often have exact rules in place regarding what you can and cannot do to improve your curb appeal.
According to study of homes in Greenville, S.C completed by Clemson University, taking your landscaping from “okay” to “outstanding” can add 6 to 7 percent to its overall value, while John Harris, a landscape economist, reports that great landscaping can add as much as 28% to your home’s overall value. However, don’t landscape simply to increase your home’s worth. Landscape for your personal enjoyment, while also knowing you are making a great investment.
Here are a few tips to ensure you have a beautifully landscaped yard:
- Native PlantsIf you decide to plant tree, shrubs, or anything else, opt for something native. With minimal time and effort on your part, they will thrive. For example, a study by a Wisconsin ecological consultancy, Applied Ecological Services Inc., found that maintaining one acre of native plants for 20 years cost around $3,000, while the cost of maintaining one acre of non-native turf grass is an astounding $20,000.In addition, native plants benefit wildlife. A special certification is awarded to homeowners that have created natural backyard habitats for butterflies, birds, and other animals in need of a place to feed or roost by the National Wildlife Federation.
- TreesNot only do beautifully maintained trees enhance your landscaping, but they also have a number of additional benefits. The National Tree Benefit Calculator is an interesting tool that can tell you how certain trees affect everything from your property value to potential energy savings.For an example let’s use a red maple (the most popular tree in the country) with a diameter of 24 inches. According to the calculator, one 24” red maple provides overall benefits of $216 a year. If you have more than 1 tree, simply multiply $216 to watch your benefits climb.
- Neighboring TreesNot only does a tree add value to your own yard, but it can also add value to your neighbors and vice versa, as long as the trees are native to the area, healthy, mature but not elderly, and look appropriate in the neighborhood. For example, a study in Portland, Oregon found that trees with a large canopy located within 100 feet of other houses add about $9,000 to the sale price and decreases the time the home spent on the market by 2 days.
- Outdoor LightingWhen asked 41% of potential homebuyers reported that outdoor lighting was essential when searching for a new home, while 49% said it was desirable, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Of course, it is also crucial to landscaping for other reasons including:
- It decreases the chances of slips and falls.
- It deters intruders.
- It tastefully highlights your home at night and directs guests to the front door.
- Soft lighting makes your home appear homier.
While these 4 things are very important in your landscaping plan, there are a few other things that can also benefit you. They include:
- Nice fencing (This does not include chain link fencing).
- Walkways: Not only does an attractive path make it easier to get to the front door, but it also adds to your home’s curb appeal.
- Terracing or retaining walls: They can be a tad pricy, but they also enhance your home’s overall appearance.