Homes with the perfect amount of landscaping make it onto the covers of home magazines and can be the talk of the block. Landscaping has an impact on home values and the ability to sell homes. When you landscape your home, be sure not to over-landscape or under-landscape.
Too Much Landscaping
Ever seen homes with their entire backyards turned into gardens with perennials, annuals, trees, bushes, flowerpots, walking paths and koi ponds? Yards like this could be one person's landscaping paradise but most people's landscaping nightmare. Over-landscaped homes may take too much time and money to maintain. This may turn homebuyers off. If you have too many landscaping beds that need to be defined and mulched each year, it can be hard work and costly. So can trimming too many trees and bushes. Thinning out perennials each year and adding annuals to fill your beds takes a lot of hard work and time as well. If you have a water feature or sprinkler system in your landscaping that needs to be winterized and turned on again and maintained each year, that adds up too. You will spend a lot of time weeding instead of enjoying other fun activities if you have an over-landscaped home.
Too Little Landscaping
While over-landscaped homes may turn off home buyers, under-landscaped homes may leave money on the table when trying to sell your home. Landscaping has value. This is why the larger bushes, trees, perennials and the like are more expensive at landscaping centers. A few nice-sized trees, bushes and perennials in front of your house will add to its curb appeal. Mature trees attract many buyers. Adding some color in your landscaping beds adds beauty to your home's exterior. Adding a couple more mature shade trees around your patio or deck may attract buyers as well.
The Happy Medium
The right amount of landscaping adds significant value to your home. In an article written by Valerie Kalfrin on homelight.com, Adding Value Through Landscaping: The Homeowner's Green Thumb Guide, "The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends investing 10% of your home's value in landscaping." This means if your home is worth $300,000, you should have approximately $30,000 worth of landscaping in your front, back and side yard. This doesn't need to be done all at once and can be done over time. It may take a few years to get your landscaping just right. This amount includes your lawn, landscaping beds, trees, bushes, perennials, ground cover such as mulch or stones, and so on.
Builders often include a certain amount of landscaping in your home's cost. They will seed or sod your lawn, carve out a few landscaping beds and start you out with a few trees, bushes and perennials. Just this start-up amount of landscaping has a tremendous amount of value right off the bat. Each year that you apply mulch or other ground cover is included in this amount. Each time you fertilize and apply a weed control on your lawn counts as well. Every time you add a few perennials for some extra color adds up too.
Buyers want the perfect amount of landscaping that is established and well-maintained. They don't want to purchase a home that needs a lot of attention to the landscaping up front. The last task buyers want to have to do in a new home is clean up and weed the landscaping beds and lawn or invest in new trees and bushes. Many buyers want to spend any extra money they have after closing to make the interior of their new home their own. Sellers who create beautiful curb appeal with their landscaping will reap the rewards of higher home values.