Having defined "home landscaping" on Page 1, we now turn to using it to increase property value.
A spiffy home landscaping design increases real estate value. By how much? Well, the average figure yielded by studies over the years is a range of from 7% to 15%. Let's just use the 15% number as an example, even though that figure is on the high end. Putting that percentage increase into perspective: for real estate valued in the $200,000 - $225,000 range (before considering its home landscaping), an effective home landscaping design could add $30,000 to its value. How often do you get to make a $30,000 decision? Get the idea? The home landscaping issue amounts to a major decision in your life.
It's important that such decisions not be based on arbitrary ideas, or criteria overly personalized. This is not the time to get in touch with your inner self. In making a $30,000 decision about a stock investment, you'd want hard, objective facts to guide you, right? At the very least, you'd like to explore the ideas of others, wouldn't you? Well, you need to seek the same kinds of guides in the matter of home landscaping design.
But what might those guides be? And how do you ascertain what kinds of home landscaping represent the current trends for the real estate market? Fortunately, the resources for home landscaping design ideas are so numerous that your challenge will be not in finding the ideas, but in sifting through all of them and prioritizing. In addition to the selling trends, you'll always want to provide your home landscaping with as much potential as possible for fall color and beautiful winter scenes -- because this never goes out of style. Below are just a few tips for mining home landscaping ideas:
- Observe what other people are doing with their home landscaping designs. When possible, discuss with them the reasons behind their choice of home landscaping elements and the intentions behind them.
- Magazines, books, television and the Web all provide an abundance of information on what kinds of home landscaping designs are currently "selling."
- Consult with a professional in the landscape design field.
- If you don't want to pay for a landscape designer's advice, at least try to mine some ideas from your local nursery.
- Real estate agents see the reactions of potential buyers to home landscaping day in and day out; consult with them on trends.
Remember, potential buyers may not share your personal tastes -- that's what necessitates all this research on your part, as the seller. For instance, you may not mind spending time puttering around outside, may have no desire for water features on your landscape, and may not care about winter color. But the trend has been for homebuyers to seek:
- Low maintenance home landscapes. For instance, if there's a choice between a dwarf version of a tree and a larger version, choose the dwarf tree-- it won't need to be pruned as much.
- Artificial ponds, fountains and waterfalls. The most striking landscape designs have a focal point, or accent. A well-executed water feature is a focal point that can set your property apart from the rest.
- Year-round visual interest. Evergreens and many berry-producing shrubs are excellent antidotes to winter bleakness.
On Page 3 I expand on the suggestion of incorporating elements in your home landscaping design that promote year-round interest....