How Gardening Can Increase Your Home Value

Do you hear that? Maybe you can hear birds chirping, lawnmowers buzzing, or kids splashing in a nearby pool; whatever you’re hearing must be better than snowplows!

That’s right, Spring is in the air! Summer will be here before you know it, and that means this is a perfect time to start planning out and preparing your yard. When considering buying or selling a home it is undeniable that first impressions are hard to take back. The first impression a buyer sees is the exterior of the home – especially the yard. Some landscaping investments can increase your home’s value, while some may not be worth the hassle. Below we will dive into how to prepare yourself for the outdoor season. We’ll talk about what projects to invest your time and money into, and how to maintain all your hard work.

How Landscaping Can Help Increase the Value of Your Home

Recently a Virginia Cooperative Extension conducted a survey about how much you should spend money on landscaping – especially large projects. Some improvements can significantly increase the value of your home, potentially leading to a higher selling price than those without. According to the National Association of Realtors:

  • Lawn care services return 267% of the investment and yield the most money back on the investment.
  • Landscape maintenance and tree care are a break-even proposition, meaning they usually return 100% of the investment.

Keeping your lawn free from crabgrass and weeds and clean edging will show potential homebuyers that you take care of your property. Mature trees on your land enhance your property value – if they are well-maintained. Be sure to regularly get your trees professionally trimmed and tested for diseases to ensure they stay safe and healthy.

On the flip side, installing artificial grass may seem like an attractive feature due to the low maintenance, but it may turn away buyers with children or pets. One estimate even found that installing an astroturf could decrease your property value by 5%.

The American Society of Landscape Artists recommends spending in the range of 10% – 20% of your home’s current value on outdoor improvements. Remember that trends may change over time, so stick to attractive improvements over something personalized to your taste.

Early Spring: Tasks to Tackle First

Certain parts of your yard improvements depend on seasonal weather changes like buds sprouting and planting in the ground. However, there are always projects you can start early to get a jump-start.

  • Tidy up your flower beds and edges. Remove leaves and other debris that may have been collecting in your gardens over the fall and winter. Cut back old, dead growth on your plants, and clean the borders and beds back to fresh soil.
  • Clean up the yard. Walk around your lawn and pick up any sticks or branches that may have fallen in the off-season. This is a good step to take before treating your lawn, helpful for that first mow, and useful for your firepit!
  • Stay on top of weed growth. One of the first plants you’ll see popping up when the snow melts is weeds. They are easier to tackle as they come instead of waiting until they take over and claim their territory. Remove them when they’re small and toss them in the yard waste container.
  • Give your fences a once-over. This is a great time of the year to inspect your fences for any rotting panels, weather damage, or general decay – and fix anything broken now. Take a power washer out to remove dirt, moss, and mildew, and let it completely dry before applying stain or a wood preservative.
  • Plant your cool-season vegetables. While summer is more commonly considered a harvest season, there are many vegetables that not only thrive but can even taste better when they’re planted early and given time to germinate in the cool soil. Consider taking this time to plant vegetables like artichokes, beets, carrots, leeks, radishes, and turnips.

Mid-Spring: Getting Your Hands Dirty Gardening

Gardening is not only a calming experience and a great excuse to be outdoors but can also be a great family activity. Take this opportunity to teach little ones about homesteading and taking care of living things. Flowers add a beautiful burst of color in the yard and growing food can be a very rewarding experience. Consider recipes like these for some fun and approachable garden-to-table ideas.

There are many ways to get started like choosing between growing from seed or starter plants. Decide if you’d like to plant in the ground or a raised bed, and what you would eat. When choosing vegetables, consider what you would eat regularly, or what may be hard to find in your area.

Some popular choices of vegetables to plant in mid-spring are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Herbs
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • Peas

Late Spring: Managing and Maintaining Your Garden

Thanks to all that preparation you did in early spring you can sit back and enjoy the sunny days with a beautiful and thriving yard. Watching your garden come to life is a wonderful process with many delicious and fragrant rewards. Nature does most of the work for you by providing sunlight and ample nutrients through the soil, but you still have a job to do too!

  • Keep an eye on your bedding. Consider covering your beds with organic matter such as mulch to suppress weeds and help maintain moisture. Also, watering later in the day may be smart as it minimizes evaporation.
  • Think of our friendly pollinators. Insects and hummingbirds are not only an essential part of our ecosystem but are important for your garden too! Try including a selection of native plants that will bloom all summer to attract a diversity of wildlife. Be sure to talk to a local nursery to find out what is safe to plant where you live, but sunflowers and zinnias are popular, quick-growing options.
  • Keep an eye on overgrowth. Watch for those overpowering hostas that may need to be divided for each one to thrive. If you notice one that is struggling it’s generally safe to rehome during the summer.
  • Now is the time to think big. Take advantage of the good weather and tackle those bigger landscaping projects now. If you plan to install or replace a fence or address drainage issues, this could be the time to move forward. Do your research to be sure that you are abiding by any potential HOA rules, and that your updates are worth the time and money you’re investing.

Pools and beaches, going for a bike ride, or sitting on the patio at your favorite local pub are wonderful. Remind yourself that there is just as much enjoyment to be found in your own backyard. Eating food you’ve grown and seeing your flowers bloom makes all the work feel worthwhile.

If you are considering selling your home and making a move, be sure to work with a local lender. They know the market and the area and can advise on smart investments in your home. They will work with you to find a loan program that fits your situation. First impressions of a home also apply to working with a loan officer who cares about you. GoPrime Mortgage prides itself on going the extra step to connect with our clients and understand their goals. Helping to get you into the house is just the first step – then you can start on the yard!

When you’re ready, reach out to get started with a pre-approval and moving on your road home!