Consumer Advice

8 Things You can do to Spruce Up Your Yard

1.    Trim trees and bushes

Stand in front of your home and take a good look.  Are there any dead tree branches?  Dead or scrawny-looking bushes? Can you see your home or it is hidden from view because of the over growth.  Now go to your back yard and do the same thing.

2.    Get rid of stuff

Is there a ladder next to your home?  Paint cans?  Tools?  Toys everywhere?  Sometimes, it’s been there so long you don’t notice it anymore.  Just put everything in its proper place.

3.    Add some color

Plant flowers that are suited for our climate.  Invest in colorful flower pots and place them on your porch, patio or deck.

4.    Remove dead plants

Not all flowers or plants that you plant will live.  Remove those immediately.  Also remove them at the end of the growing season.

5.    Add mulch

Mulch is like icing on a cake.  Distribute it around trees, bushes and flowers.  It’s on the least expensive ways the spruce up your yard and make it look spectacular.

6.    Outdoor furniture

If you already have outdoor furniture, does it need a facelift?  Replacing cushions or spray painting furniture will bring them back to life.  Should you add a few pieces of furniture?  Maybe a small bench by the front door.  A small table and chairs for the back yard.  Maybe some lawn are.  Or a bench under a tree.

7.    Outdoor lighting

Are light bulbs burned out?  Is the glass dirty or have cobwebs?  Are they rusted and need to be replaced?  Outdoor light fixtures are relatively inexpensive and also can make a huge impact.

8.    Pressure washing

The equipment can be rented.  Pressure wash patios, sidewalks, the siding on your home.  This will turn the dull look into a fresh look.

By keeping your yard looking great, there won’t be much you need to do when you are ready to list your home for sale.

Consumer Advice, Realtor Advice

Why Landscaping Adds Value to Your Home

landscapingI recently read an article by an appraiser — with the bottom line being “a good landscape can add value to your home, and if you are planning on selling it can reduce the number of days the home is on the market.”

It’s called “curb appeal” and it’s the way your home makes a “first impression.” While landscaping usually refers to trees, shrubs and flowers, it also includes yard decorations, fire pits, patios, decks, ponds, swimming pools and outdoor lighting.

An Appraiser usually takes the following into consideration when determining the overall value of the home:

  1. The landscaping at the front of the home is attractive enough to make people want to walk in the front door.
  2. The landscaping is easy to take care of. Requires little maintenance or a minimal amount of water.
  3. The landscaping is energy-efficient—meaning it provides shade to block the sun from windows that may take in a lot of sun.
  4. The trees are planted a safe distance from the home. They are healthy and well-maintained.
  5. The use of mulch makes the landscaping look attractive and keeps weeds in check
  6. Concrete sidewalks, patios or fire pits are in good repair
  7. Yard ornaments placed throughout the yard are appropriate and not overwhelming

If you’d like to spruce up your landscaping, consider hiring a professional.

They will let you know which plants to replace, which ones to trim or the best ones to add. It’s a small price to pay to increase the value of your home.