I have about $5,000 saved up to do some landscaping around my house this spring/summer. I'm trying to decide what my focus should be for my yard/house. I am only planning on staying in this house a couple more years, so I want to make improvements that add the most value. I would really appreciate your advice on the most important landscaping elements in a yard - front and back. They both need work - I just don’t know where to start or where to focus with my funds.
Bobby - Fruita, CO
The yard is one of the most overlooked elements of any home, when it comes to potential buyer appeal, so you are wise to pay it some attention and focus some of your resources on your yard. A study done by the University of Michigan showed that buyers valued a well landscaped home by 11.3% more than a home with poor landscaping. Another study done at Virginia Tech determined the value may increase by as much as 12.7% for a home with good landscaping vs. one with minimal or poorly designed landscaping. Here is one more number to ponder…you can expect a 150% return on your landscaping investment. That is what I would call good ROI (return on investment)! Regardless of what number is right and how much of your investment you can expect to get back one thing is very clear, all this data clearly points to the fact that your landscaping is VERY IMPORTANT!
Let’s be honest, $5,000 is not an exorbitant sum of money to invest in your landscaping, but if done wisely can make a big impact on your home’s value and overall appeal and easily provide you with a great ROI! The old adage of, “go big or go home” needs to be in your rear view window, as we are going to be swinging for singles and doubles. Most of these things are not expensive, but will make a significant impact when done in conjunction with one another.
For your front and back yard we are going to mostly keep it simple. Step one is to make sure your yard and beds are weed free and create cleanly defined lines between your grass and beds. Cleanly defined lines make keeping your yard maintained much easier and are pleasing to the eye. With your budget let’s go with the metal edging to help create those boundaries and keep your costs down, but make sure when you do it to edge nicely along the grass for a clean line. Also remember to create a clean edge around your walk ways and sidewalks. Next, make sure to put down good weed barrier and add new rock to your beds to freshen it up. You may have to remove what is there to lay down new weed barrier, but it is likely you can recycle the medium you remove and just add new to it. Again, let’s go for the clean look, but go cost effective by using a small (1/2 – 3/4 inch) river rock or some type of mulch. This will look great and keep your costs down. Next, add some pops of color to your flower beds or by using potted planters around your front door and walk ways. Most homes lack good color in the yard and that is a mistake. Color is what makes the world go round and using it wisely can really help make your yard stand out.
If you don’t have many/any trees, don’t be afraid to do a little budget splurging on slightly larger trees. I believe spending a bit more on a larger tree (15 gallon size) can help give your yard some dimension and you don’t have to wait as long to see some results. Trees can also be great to help hide or obscure something that you don’t want to see. They can be very good screens to create privacy.
Lastly, try to keep aside $2,000 (of your allotted $5k) to create something special. Creating an outdoor living or entertaining area is the “wow” factor you need to really take it to the next level. It DOES NOT have to be expensive. It can be a small flagstone or paver patio with fire pit or small water feature. You could build a small raised party deck with some nice lighting that extends your patio and creates some back yard magic! Don’t be afraid to get creative and use resources like Pintrest or Houzz.com to find cool outdoor patio or entertaining area ideas.
Have a blast with it and send me a picture of before and after! Hope this helps and it turns out great.
The Kimbrough Team