As the age-old adage goes, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” According to a new study, that saying doesn’t hold water when it comes to real estate. In fact, what’s on the outside matters a lot — and can actually increase your property value.
On average, homes with greater curb appeal sell for 7% higher than comparable homes with meager curb appeal.
Tidy landscaping is a major part of what brings buyers to the door — and also what helps sellers close at a higher price.
(Have you mowed your lawn lately?)
You don’t need a landscape design to make a big impact. Here are some of the best ways to improve your curb appeal with landscaping.
Choose colorful plants that attract attention
When people hear “plants,” they automatically think “green.” However, there are a variety of bright botanicals that add color and can draw the attention of people driving by (in a good way).
Some colorful plants to consider:
- Pink Muhly Grass
- Red Emu Bush
- Butterfly Weed
The color of your house should be factored into the colors you choose for your landscaping. For instance, if you have a blue house, consider using accents of purple, pink, yellow, and white plants or flowers, according to Better Homes & Gardens.
Consider using native wildflowers, plants & trees
Native plants have already adapted to the local climate and soil. That means they require less upkeep.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, other benefits of native gardening include:
- No fertilizer necessary
- Less pesticides required
- Reduce air pollution
- Provide food and shelter to native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals in the ecosystem
For instance, native oak trees support more than 500 species of caterpillars compared to ginkgos (a common tree in Asia), which supports only five species of caterpillars, according to a study by entomologist Doug Tallamy.
Native landscaping allows you to save money and help the ecosystem — and both of those benefits get passed to the next owner.
Use the National Wildlife Federation’s native plant finder to choose plants and flowers native to your location.
Use planters for a welcoming entryway
Your front door and porch make a lasting first impression on guests and prospective homeowners. If you have a step or several steps leading up to your door, consider adding eye-catching planters to each one. No steps? Planters could also be added to the left and right of your front door — or put a few groups on one side.
For pots in direct sunlight, choose flowers and plants that can withstand the heat (especially in states that are sunny year-round, like Florida).
Some full-sun flowers that are perfect for pots include:
- Mandevilla vines
Container gardens (growing plants in pots instead of the ground) are another great solution for the sweltering summer. Depending on their needs, you can also grow more than one plant, flower or herb in the same pot. You might consider creating an herb container garden, which would be a unique bonus for a homebuyer who likes to cook.
Who wouldn’t want the ability to get the ingredients they need for a dinner recipe from their front yard?
Replace your hardware
Landscaping is more than just greenery. You want the entire appearance of your front yard to look picturesque. That means making sure your hardware looks clean and current, too.
Some hardware updates to consider:
Light fixtures can rust or wear down over time. Consider swapping out your current exterior light fixtures for newer, more modern ones. To make the swap easier, choose new light fixtures with the same mounting system as your old ones. Sometimes just a fresh coat of weather resistant paint may do the trick.
Also, double check your door hardware throughout the home and replace any rusted or broken locks.
Haven’t changed up your house number since you bought the home? Get creative.
Some homeowners have put their house numbers on faux grass turf signs, pillows, mountable flower bed (featuring succulents and shrubs), and even cutting boards.
It’s a fun way to show off your creativity, especially since you know prospective buyers will have to look for it to find your house for a showing.
Pathway landscape lights
Is your house on a main street? Prospective homebuyers are likely driving by both day and night. Pathway lights are a great way to make your place look inviting — no matter what time of day people pass by. Additionally, some buyers conduct due diligence on a prospective house they want to buy by visiting at night. They want to see if the streets are well lit and the surroundings look safe when the sun goes down. To help make your place look more inviting at night, consider setting your pathway lights on a timer so they automatically turn on at dusk. You could also install motion detector lights as an added safety feature.
Pressure wash & repaint your driveway
Your driveway gets a lot of traffic. From tire marks to oil stains, a worn-down driveway can hinder your curb appeal. Consider getting it professionally pressure-washed — and then putting a fresh coat of paint on it.
Are there cracks in your driveway? Fix those first.
Based on the size and position of the cracks, you can determine whether it’s a DIY project or if you’ll need to hire a contractor.
Dress up your door
One of the cheapest ways for greater curb appeal? Replace your front door wreath and doormat.
Wreaths made with bay leaf, eucalyptus and rosemary will keep your house looking fresh year-round. Olive leaves and myrtle are also a pretty combination.
For doormats, consider using a layered look, with a buffalo plaid black-and-white rug beneath a coco coir mat. Avoid anything too gaudy, like sayings (“We like dogs more than people”). Skip anything overly personalized, too, like a monogrammed mat.
The reason is that homes have increased curb appeal when people can imagine themselves living there.
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