SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Part III – Landscaping
Some simple yet effective ways to increase the value of your home
In our last issue, we gave you a few quick tips on how high-efficiency windows and doors can help you increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Now we’re going to take a little walk outside and talk about a purely aesthetic yet just as important feature of your home: landscaping.
Imagine you’re a potential homebuyer driving around looking at homes. You see a house at the end of the block. It’s just what you’ve been looking for! You pull up to the curb in front to get a closer look…and your enthusiasm is quickly diminished. Sure, the house itself looks nice, but look at the yard: the hedges are overgrown, the lawn is dry and patchy, there are no colorful flowers, and there are no trees to provide shade. It’s just too much to take on. So, you drive away and continue your search.
Meanwhile, for the homeowners, another potential buyer just slipped through their fingers. Don’t underestimate the value of quality, well-designed landscaping. Of course, homebuyers want an attractive, well-built and well-maintained house. But just as a great book cover can catch your eye and get you to pick up a book, a well-designed yard can also grab the attention of a potential buyer and get them to take the next step in possibly buying your home.
And, oh yeah, good landscaping can actually increase your home’s value. Need we say more?
But don’t take our word for it. Consult any licensed Realtor or home inspector and they’ll tell you how important landscaping can be. And we’re not just talking about plants and trees and grass. Good landscaping incorporates attractive walkways and stone walls; it involves adding a garden statue here or a quiet little nook over there. Landscaping is an art form, and that’s why you need to make sure you consult a professional.
Just ask Angela Yelich, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Select. “First impressions are everything,” says Yelich. “Potential buyers start developing opinions the second they see a home. Anything to make that first impression a good one will increase a seller’s chance for an offer. The key is to get them in the door. If the front yard is well-manicured, it will create an inviting atmosphere.”
When you’re looking to improve your home’s curb appeal, you don’t have to undertake a huge project, either. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest impact. Something as simple as installing accent lighting in your gardens can make a big difference. Lighting is a great way to highlight the beauty of your plants and trees, and it serves as added security as well, which is always a plus.
Another thing to remember is that less is more. Today people are busier than ever, and they don’t have a lot of time for upkeep. Doing things like mulching and planting a good ground cover can not only provide some additional color to your yard, it can also cut down on maintenance time, which will be an attractive feature to many homebuyers.
One of the more involved but value-added landscaping projects you can invest in are water features. Things like fountains and ponds are very popular in our region, and they can add a touch of tranquility to any yard. People love the look and sound of water, and a beautiful pond or fountain can help you create a relaxing, peaceful getaway that will catch the eye of potential buyers. Of course, no one knows more about the value of quality landscaping than a professional landscaper.
Eisler Landscapes (eislerlandscapes.com), based in Prospect, is one of the region’s most respected and talented landscape design companies. They’ve been working in the Pittsburgh region for years, and this experience has taught them what plants and trees grow well in our region, based on our unique soils and climate. Eisler’s talented employees are highly skilled in everything from conceptual design and planning to planting, installation, maintenance and more.
“Great landscaping isn’t just about laying new sod or planting colorful plants and trees,” says Eric French, president of Eisler Landscapes. “It’s about designing something that fits the homeowner’s unique personality, while at the same time complementing and improving the overall look of the home. And to do that, you need someone who knows what works in this area and what doesn’t. We have that type of experience.”
French notes that trees, shrubs, and well-kept flower gardens can add instant curb appeal to your home, making for a shorter time on the market. He also touches on one of the more popular trends in landscaping today— the “outdoor room.”
“Outdoor living spaces are becoming and expected amenity by most luxury home buyers,” says French. “The idea is that your yard is actually an extension of your home’s interior.”
Now, if you’re in southern California, where the weather is beautiful and sunny year-round, designing your outdoor room is a piece of cake. But around here, where the weather changes “every five minutes,” as people like to say, it takes a little more thought and ingenuity. That’s where a professional can help. French says that outdoor kitchens are big right now. “Cooking and cooking shows are so popular nowadays, and now, more than ever, outdoor kitchens are on the top of our customers’ wish lists,” he says. “We love working on these projects because they not only create another exciting living space for your family, they also increase your home’s overall value.”
Eisler can work closely with you to design the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. “Whether you’re looking to build a wood-fired oven or maybe install a barbeque island, we can help you make your vision a reality,” says French. “Best of all, when you build an outdoor kitchen with Eisler, you can be sure that you’ll get a high return on your investment.”
Another surefire way to increase your home’s value is by adding a swimming pool. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I thought pools actually decreased the value? Well, according to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a well-designed and built in-ground pool can actually increase your home’s value anywhere from 8 to 15 percent. The study, which took place in 21 counties in four states – Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland – was based on data from nearly 30,000 homes sold in those regions.
Of course, this wasn’t a big surprise to Randall Kolson, vice president of Aqua Pool, Inc. (aquapoolinc.com).
“It’s been a common misconception that swimming pools, in general, lower your home’s value,” says Kolson. “However, as we’ve always known at Aqua Pool, a well-designed and constructed pool will always add value to your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.”
Aqua Pool Inc. has been serving the needs of residential and commercial clients across the Mid Atlantic region since 1956. Their crew of seasoned construction personnel has years of experience and the ability to make a reality of the creations generated from our design and engineering department.
“Each project is custom-designed for your specific application,” says Kolson. “We listen carefully to our customers and do our best to make their vision come to life. Basically, if you can imagine it, we can design it. And we guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the results.”
Installing a quality outdoor kitchen or pool are both great ways to enhance your yard’s landscaping. Some of other things you may want to consider include:
As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can improve your home’s value through quality landscaping. The key is to find a professional, experience landscape company to work with you closely from conceptualization to installation. When you do this, you’ll improve your home’s curb appeal and help it make the best possible first impression on potential buyers.
Next up, Bathroom Remodeling. Stay tuned…