01: Impressions — published on March 20, 2009

Landscaping for Curb Appeal

Maintaining and improving property values is essential for every homeowner. Knowing tips and secrets about landscaping to improve values can make a big difference.

Economic turmoil and the declining value of houses has a lot of people worrying about their personal property values. We continue to experience uncertainty as we look at the current status of our country’s economic health. Instead of worrying and obsessing over what’s happening to property values, it’s time to take active steps towards improving value today and for the future.

Adding attractive landscapes and improving the curb appeal of property can enhance the property’s value overnight. It may not fetch the optimal asking price right now, but landscaping can be a valuable asset today and tomorrow. The great thing about landscaping is that a large space is not necessary to enhance property value. A small garden area or several small areas are just as good as one big open area.

How to Maximize Curb Appeal of Your Home

Curb appeal is what attracts visitors and potential buyers to your home. They are interested in what they see and the landscape makes a big difference in their opinions. When a home has attractive curb appeal, it draws visitors and potential buyers inside if a home is on the market. If the home is not for sale, the curb appeal still adds tremendous value to the home and creates a welcome message for visitors and family members. Either way, it’s a great way to enhance property values.

Some ways to optimize curb appeal for personal property include:

  1. Aerate soil at least annually to allow fresh water and nutrients to reach deep down into the roots of your grass. You’ll have healthier, green grass.
    De-thatch the lawn to remove those dead grass clippings and other debris that create a barrier between thirsty roots and fresh water and oxygen from the air and sky above.
  2. Don’t water too frequently. Instead, consider watering less frequently but allow the water to flow slowly for a longer period of time. This allows the roots to absorb the water better and leads to healthier growth.
  3. Make sure to fertilize twice each year – in the spring and again in the fall. Depending on the geographic location and type of soil, there are different types of fertilizer from which to choose. Check with a local nursery, home and garden stores, home improvement store, or other experts to help determine the best type to use.
  4. Assess the lawn and determine a plan for spots where grass refuses to thrive such as shady areas or places with lots of tree roots. Constantly replanting and working an area only to find the grass dead again is no fun. Instead of grass, consider other decorative types of plants, pots, or garden elements and avoid the hassles of stubborn spots.
  5. Compost is a good product to help improve the nutrient levels in the soil and will help grass grow healthier and greener.

Once a plan is in place to prepare soil and the lawn for better curb appeal, it’s time to think about getting started with some plants and other things as points of interest.Consider the following tips for added curb appeal that also increases property value:

  1. Plant trees where it makes sense – but not too close to the house. Over time, a tree can add tens of thousands of value to property! Although it may not seem very worthwhile today, young trees planted today will be extremely valuable in years to come.
  2. Create focal points of interest that fit the size of the lawn. Don’t overdo it with over-bearing plants, hanging vines, and shrubbery. The focal points should always be appropriate for the space.
  3. Use potted plants for variety and to spice up smaller areas of the lawn, or use them on porches, decks, steps, and other places throughout the yard. Plants nestled in mulch, wooded areas, or around steps and patios can be very attractive.
  4. Consider plants that come back each year so you don’t have to replant. Then use them as the backdrop for annual plants and potted plants added to the area.
  5. Don’t forget about the value of rocks, stones, pebbles, bricks, arbors, and other elements that add interest and can be used as a focal point in a small or large area. Stepping stones add a quaint, welcoming feel to most any yard.
  6. Paths throughout a wooded area or around a yard can be quite inviting. They are alluring and add a sense of mystique and calm to an outdoor space.
  7. Unique elements such as bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, wind chimes, ornamental garden statues, benches, and other things can heighten the welcoming effect of a home.

Bring the outdoors inside too – when it comes to curb appeal, make sure to take advantage of indoor spaces where gardens and lawns can be viewed. Create conversation spaces indoors around windows and areas that expose the outdoors and draw it inward.
Before deciding nothing can be done to improve curb appeal, increase property values, and enhance a home’s existence, take a look around at the landscape. Consider how small areas can be enhanced and create focal points that create a welcoming feeling to visitors. And don’t forget how valuable landscaping can be when it comes to helping reduce air pollution – contributing to the health of the environment.

Property values are an important part of owning a home – but enjoying a home today while living in it is just as important. Leverage curb appeal today for more home equity and increased property value tomorrow.

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