Many people who opt-in for mortgage insurance often make it a focus to increase their home’s value. And it makes sense because the majority of their life insurance payout will focus on paying the mortgage debt. However, homes are notorious for being finicky when it comes to upgrades. Some upgrades give a massive return while others do not.
A 2016 Remodeling Impact Report on Outdoor Features carried out by the National Association of Landscape Professionals in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors found that the recovery cost for outdoor features went as high as 417% of the investment.
It also found that outdoor features factored in highly in the reasons why people made a buy decision for a home. Out of the 4079 respondents surveyed, most ranked the following landscaping projects in the top 50% of the Joy Score, a metric that combined those who were happy and satisfied with the outdoor features.
In this article, we will quickly go over some of these investments that are likely to yield a positive return while making your home look stunning.
11 Landscaping Projects
Walkways are an important part of overall landscaping as they provide both aesthetic and practical utility. As they are constantly in use by the occupants of the home, they also need to be durable as well as beautiful. Install a pea gravel walkway to get that satisfying crunch every time you walk on it.
Combine this with solid edging and a landscape cloth beneath to keep the stones from escaping the path and weeds from growing under the stones. Flagstones can also be used to create a beautiful walkway.
Find flagstones made from quarried stone to get those deep earth colors and radiant designs. Other walkway ideas you can explore include the classic brick look, hardwood planking, concrete pavers, and a mix and match of any of these.
Trees are another landscaping project that can boost your home’s value. Now with trees, having trees and not having any can increase your curb appeal, but getting the balance right is the best way to go. If the property has too many trees or the trees are large, trim them down. Debranching and pruning will help create open spaces for sunlight to hit the house and other parts of the garden.
If there are no trees, consider planting some. Trees to consider include the sugar maple, European smoke tree, saucer magnolia, blue spruce, among others. Trees to avoid include the silver maple, ash, quaking aspen, Lombardy poplar and the willow. These will decimate your yard with time.
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When people view a house, fencing is one of the things they look at to determine their final offer for the home. This is because fencing provides both aesthetic and practical appeal. If the person looking at the property is concerned with privacy or is keen on where the property boundary lines, putting up a good fence will make a substantial difference.
Some of the things to consider when putting up fencing include zoning and property limits, neighbors, type of fence you want to put up, and the materials you will use. Keep in mind that while buyers will be interested in privacy and security, they may not want a massive fence that intimidates neighbors and passersby.
4. Deck or Patio
Most buyers today demand that a house have a patio as a must-have outdoor feature. In fact, according to the report cited earlier, patios came in third in the most requested feature by home buyers. If your home already has a patio or deck, you are well on your way to boosting your home value. What you will need to do is invest in upgrading it.
This could mean putting on a new coat of varnish or paint, adding lighting, or fixing the patio awning. If your patio is made of stone, consider having the stones sanded and refinished to give them a smooth finish. If you do not have a patio, your options increase.
Some patio types to consider are stone finish patios, flagstone patios, wood patios, or metal patios. You will need to evaluate your yard first as not all yards are suitable for a patio addition.
How can you build a low maintenance garden?
Nothing exudes prestige and quality like a well-maintained lawn. Buyers want it, neighbors covet it. If you are planning to put your house on the market, it pays to invest heavily in upgrading the lawn. This means going the whole nine yards: automatic sprinklers, fertilizer, seeding, pesticides, etc.
How the lawn turns out, however, may depend on which side of the country you are. If you are in Nevada or some other dry area, this may be a herculean task. If you are in a more temperate area, the weather may support your efforts. If the weather allows, make grassing your yard a top priority to enhance the curb appeal of your property.
Outdoor lighting may not play a significant role during the day but can increase yard appeal at night. Done in the right way, lighting can enhance the features of your landscaping. If you have trees in your yard, consider hanging up some electric lanterns. If you have grass only, you can install some stepping stone lights to make your yard glow at night.
Combining a patio with beautiful lighting is another landscaping idea you can implement. Add suspended lights in the patio area or add embedded lights along the footpath. You can also experiment with solar-powered LED lights that can be easily suspended from various landscaping structures. In general, lighting has a way of working with whatever landscaping you have, whether hardscape or softscaping.
7. Fire Pit
Nothing invokes good memories like sitting around a fire spinning yarns and having a good time. For someone interested in your property, having a fire pit gives them the possibility of making such memories. Fire pits also rank highly on the list of landscaping features that homeowners derive the greatest pleasure from.
To install a fire pit, you can either go the professional way or the DIY way. Considering you want to increase the value of your home, getting a professional to do it makes more sense. When thinking about the design, think about those that complement the home and adjacent landscaping. Also, go for something durable that can withstand the vagaries of nature.
8. Planting Beds
Planting beds are areas of your outdoor area that have open earth and that allow the planting of seasonal plants. One way you can use this to maximize the value of your home is to plant flowers that bloom in certain seasons. If you are trying to sell the home over summer, plant flowers that bloom in summer. Do that for the other seasons as well.
Planting beds will also act as an incentive for the prospective buyer to make the yard their own by planting their own variety of flowers and other herbage. To achieve productive planting beds, you will need to invest in fertile soil, manure, and perhaps even a sprinkler system.
Bushes and other woody plants make another excellent landscaping option. If you feel like trees are too much of stretch and your lawn looks plain, consider planting some shrubs along the periphery of your yard to add depth to the area.
Shrubs also happen to be low-maintenance and hardy, which means you or the new owner will not have to struggle to keep them alive and looking vibrant. Some shrubs that combine beautiful looks with a hardy personality are rose bushes, common lilacs, pink flowering almond, among others.
10. House Identification
While some may not consider this as a landscaping project, it does add to the curb appeal of your home. When someone drives by your home and sees it beautifully identified, this adds to the image of a well-kept home. If you think about it, that is why owners of large homes in exclusive neighborhoods go to great lengths to name their homes in an elaborate and elegant manner.
If your home is smaller consider putting up a beautiful mailbox. You can also simply put the house number on a beautiful plaque at the entrance to your home. This will make your home stand out from the rest and make it easy for people to find the house when they come visiting.
11. Potted Plants
Potted plants can be used in one of two ways. The first is as an accent piece for your garden. These are strategically placed potted plants that enhance the other aspects of your landscaping. The second way is as a potted garden. This is where you replace your garden with multiple potted plants. This works well when you have limited space or when you want the flexibility of moving the pots around.
Potted plants have the added advantage of giving you the option to have beautiful pots to complement the flowers in the pot. Put them on the ground or hang them up on the wall, potted plants are a great way of beautifying your yard on a budget.
These projects, when implemented well can nudge up the value of your home by a few percentage points. Before embarking on anyone, however, first, consider whether you will be able to recoup your investment by looking at the current value of comparable homes in your area.