Landscaping: Striking the Right Balance for Resale Value

If you have a green thumb, you want to let it show. After all, it’s not only your personal passion, but it’s also a skill most people envy because so few of us have one! Having a beautiful yard full of landscaping and color is a good thing, right? It improves the value of your home as well as the beauty of the neighborhood, right?

Perhaps, but not always. Home improvements, including landscaping projects, are generally a good idea, but only if the next buyer views them as an added benefit. A yard that requires hours and hours every week to maintain—pruning, weeding, mulching, and keeping up with other chores—may actually be a turn-off to potential buyers.

Here are six ways to enjoy your yard—and your gardening hobby—while also keeping your landscaping efforts focused on resale value:

1. Create color with shrubs – Think beyond green. Many shrubs have foliage that adds visual interest by pulling in shades of yellow, white, red, or purple throughout summer, plus pops of autumn color. You can also add seasonal color by selecting a few flowering shrubs. Certain varieties of evergreens offer year-round shades of green-leaning toward yellow and blue.

2. Supplement with annuals – Adding annuals to existing beds of shrubs and trees inserts a temporary pop of color without creating a year-after-year commitment. Just be sure the beds will look neat if the spaces for annuals are later filled in with mulch or rocks.

3. Container gardening – A beautiful large pot on either side of your entry, overflowing with color and textures, is an easy way to show off your green thumb, while also adding drama and curb appeal. Container plantings can also be strategically placed in other parts of the yard.

4. Make yourself a backyard vegetable and/or herb garden – This will provide a bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for your cooking and can be easily re-seeded with grass should you decide you want to sell your home (or easily re-seeded later by the next owner).

5. Create outdoor rooms – In terms of big-ticket landscaping items, decks and patios that accommodate cooking, eating, or gathering around a fire pit are almost always a worthwhile investment. Include a few planter boxes too! Enjoy these spaces now, with the knowledge that future buyers will also welcome them.

6. Add fencing – If you live on a busy street and/or in a neighborhood that attracts young families, a fence can be a welcome yard feature that may integrate well with other landscaping projects. It can also be a great way to create privacy. Dog owners will light up too, knowing a fenced-in yard will give their “best friend” outdoor exercise and take a little pressure off dog-walking obligations.

Remember, the idea of preparing your home to sell is to make it as attractive as possible to the greatest number of buyers. Your potential buyers need to be able to imagine THEIR life in YOUR house.