Beautifying the exterior of your home is the first step to preparing it for sale, and one of the most effective ways to do this is by investing in and caring for a garden. This is an investment you should make as soon as you buy the house.
A Garden Increases Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is that first impression people have when they see your house, before they come up to the door or walk inside. This is even more important than the “money rooms” — the kitchen and bath. You want prospective buyers to drive up to your place and be instantly captivated by its charm. With the right attention to your garden and landscaping, your house can look like the home of their dreams. Keep the front door clean and freshly painted, curtains in the windows clean and fresh, the sidewalk swept.
A Garden Increases Your Home’s Value
Some experts claim a garden can increase the value of your home by anywhere from 5% to 11%, possibly much more depending on how carefully you’ve invested your garden budget. The key is to look at the house, notice its size and style, and plan the yard and garden accordingly. For example, a garden for a small one-story house in a working class neighborhood with a lot of families should look cosy and comfortable rather than like something out of House Beautiful. A large Victorian house can support a garden with a bit more planning and pattern.
Find a landscaping expert who can tell you about your home’s style and what kind of garden would fit best with it. Even for a larger home, a set of low-maintenance flower beds and bushes can be more attractive than a lavish pavilion. In any case, what you want is a friendly bit of nature, more like what used to be called a cottage garden, rather than a formal one. People looking to buy a home will want to imagine themselves relaxing among the flowers.
A Garden Makes Your House a Home
Never neglect an existing garden, but take time to care for and improve it. If there is no garden, by all means start one. Begin by installing attractive containers, or bushes and bedding plants with colorful flowers. Add a few decorative touches such as a bird bath, bird house, sundial or wind spinners.
Realtors advise that keeping the grass neatly trimmed and weed-free is a plus. This is where a weed whacker can come in extremely handy. Other than this, the garden should not look perfectly manicured. A slightly “wild” yard looks more lived-in and welcoming. Sustainable ground cover instead of grass eliminates the need for mowing aside from a little sidewalk edging.
Choose plants that bloom at different times of the year. Prospective buyers will see beautiful flowers no matter when they view your home. Take great care of any trees on the property, or plant new native ones if there are none. There’s nothing like a few beautiful trees to make a home look warm and inviting.
A Garden of Native Plants
Plants that are native to the area make your garden much easier and cheaper to maintain. People are increasingly aware of the value of native plants. They stop erosion, maintain the ecology and help to stop climate change.
Your local landscaping and gardening expert can advise you on a selection of sustainable plants that will boost your home’s value significantly. Native plants attract birds, butterflies, honey bees and other interesting creatures. Many homeowners now seek to transform their yards and gardens into full-on wildlife habitats. This can make a home extremely desirable, further increasing the value.
A Garden of Privacy
Trees and bushes not only beautify your property, they afford privacy. In today’s world that’s an increasingly valuable commodity. Besides controversial issues of security cameras and constant satellite surveillance, there’s the simple fact that homes are built much closer together nowadays than in the past. Use trees and tall bushes. Consider bamboo screens or trellises with climbing vines. Your prospective buyers will like being able to sit outside without being on public display.
A Garden of Beauty
Scientific studies prove that humans need to experience nature and spend a certain amount of time outdoors for maximum physical and emotional health. A beautiful garden will relax visitors immediately. Whether they want to meditate or just take it easy on a drowsy Sunday afternoon, they’ll look forward to spending time in the natural space you’ve created.
A Garden of Health
Consider planting lavender, rosemary, peppermint, dill or other herbs sustainable for your area. They make great borders and will spark fantasies in your buyers. They’ll dream of gathering fresh herbs both for cooking and for natural healing.
Don’t overlook the idea of growing vegetables in the garden. This age-old practice is making a comeback in modern neighborhoods. It’s becoming accepted as a way of putting more high-quality food on the family table for less money. This way, your garden becomes not only a refuge but a sanctuary of healthy living.