Spring Landscaping: How to Get the Best Bang for your Buck

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 at 9:15am.

Are you looking to sell your home this spring?

Then you need some quick and easy ways to boost your home's value.

Well...put on some gloves and grab a shovel - we're going to get your garden into shape!

A home with a beautiful yard looks inviting, and sends a strong signal to potential buyers that they've found somewhere that they'd want to live.

It also says something about the property as a whole. A well-kept yard implies a well-kept and cared-for home, and who wouldn't be enticed by that?

So, if you are looking for some cheap and easy ways to get your property looking "buyer ready", then read on for some useful gardening tips.

Let's get started...

Ground Rules

Before you get your hands dirty, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind when landscaping - especially if you want enhance the value of your property.

  • Have a plan - Take a walk around your whole garden, assess its strengths and weaknesses, think carefully about how each element works with the others.
  • Be consistent - Go with one gardening style, try to keep it consistent with the style of the house and the general style of your street and neighborhood.
  • Keep it simple - No one wants to buy into a property that says " high maintenance", so try to make changes to your yard that imply as little work and upkeep as possible.
  • Check the windows - Your yard shouldn't just look good from the street, it should look good from the house too. Assess your yard as it looks from your home's windows.

Just Add Mulch

Mulch is a great way to add contrast, color, and great texture to garden beds.

Mulch also keeps out weeds and improves water retention.

And best of all? It's relatively cheap and simple.

Just crack open a bag and spread it around.

Not mulch more to say on this one.

Clean It Up

Chances are you already have a half-decent yard - or even a great one! It just needs some TLC.

To improve your yard, you can always do some basic clean-up jobs:

  • Remove weeds (without chemicals preferably)
  • Trim edges
  • Prune bushes and shrubs
  • Rake up any old leaves or branches

If any of that feels like too much work - just hire someone to do it. These jobs aren't too expensive and you'll probably make that money back anyway.

The one exception is if you have a tree that's looking in bad shape. In that case, call a professional arborist.

Plant A Tree

On the subject of trees: If there's one simple addition that can add value to your home, it's a tree.

One single tree, well placed, and in your front yard - that's all you need.

You know what they say: The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago, the second best time is right now.

So plant that tree!

If you already have a well-established tree in your front yard, then try to get it some deserved attention: A swing, a flowerbed, trimmed branches.

Plant Some Plants

There are many different options when selecting and installing plants for your garden, but the basic idea is to go for variety.

A blend of perennials and annuals, flowering and non-flowering, tall, short, creeping, crawling ... you get the idea.

Here are some more specific tips:

  • Favor native plants
  • Buy plants in odd numbers and plant them together
  • Add color
  • Vary the height and arrange accordingly
  • Get a few containers
  • Beds next to the house should be longer than you think

A more specific direction, and one that's quite appropriate and fashionable for Santa Cruz, is xeriscaping.

The city of Santa Cruz already encourages this form of landscaping, and provides some useful resources.

Hard Gardening

Don't forget the structural stuff.

A well-kept fence, a spacious shed, a clear pathway, an inviting patio, or neat steps are some of the most impactful additions to a yard to add value.

These may be a little more complicated and expensive to implement, but there are a few cheap and easy fixes you can try here as well...

  • Add some LED/solar lights along your pathways
  • Sweep and scrub any hard paving stones, walkways, or steps
  • Replace any old fence boards or gates

If you have the money to spare, hire someone to come do the bigger jobs. Again, these are likely to give you a great return-on-investment.

Go Garden

Gardening is a lot more fun than many other home renovation projects, and first impressions matter a lot!

So, getting to work on your garden might be the best and easiest trick for boosting your home value.

There aren't any clear numbers out there on this - but almost all sources agree that money spent on your garden is never wasted when it comes time to sell.

What are you waiting for?

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