Many people think that the best way to increase the value of their home is to focus on the interior of the home. While repainting the walls, installing new appliances, and making the home more energy efficient are all good ways to make your home more valuable, investing some time and money into your landscaping can be an easy way to increase your home's worth.
According to the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, for every $1 you spend on landscaping, you receive a return of $1.35. Well-maintained landscaping adds to your "curb appeal" and doesn't lose value over time. Depending on your needs, it can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Here are seven ways to improve your landscaping and increase the value of your home:
- Pave (or repave) your driveway or your walkway. A lower cost alternative is a clean sweep, followed by a pressure wash and a quality patch up that matches.
- Install lighting, such as solar lights along your driveway or your walkway to showcase elaborate landscaping and brighten the view for people who visit after sunset.
- Plant trees. Mature trees can make up as much as 10 percent of a $100,000 property's overall value. A properly placed shade tree can also reduce your energy bills. Expect to pay $50 to $100 for a young, leafy 6- to 7-foot tree.
Visit the National Tree Benefit Calculator to assess the value of trees. For example, according to the calculator, a mature maple tree in the front yard of a Maine home would add $43 to the property value this year.
- Plant flowers. Flowers add color to your landscaping and stylish edging to your walkway and your driveway. Avoid scented varieties that can bother people sensitive to odors. Perennials such as purslane and portulaca lack fragrance and need little care. Any flowers you plant should match the color and style of your home (modern vs. traditional). For more advice, contact a nursery or a garden center.
- Spruce up your lawn. Replace dead grass with new sod, and remove weeds and leaves. Fertilize your lawn to keep it lush and green. Low-maintenance turf grasses, which are durable and drought-resistant, are an alternative. Expect to pay $18 to $30 for enough turf grass seed to cover a 1,000 square-foot lawn.
- Repaint, replace, or add furniture or decor, such as stones or stonework. Wash or replace worn patio umbrellas or seat cushions.
- Install or replace fencing, for privacy or to hide neighborhood flaws. If time is on your side, low-maintenance shrubbery, such as bushes, is a natural option.