10 Landscaping Tips to Increase Home Value in 2021

Landscaping: it’s an art form, one that can be hard to wrap your head around. That’s because, like all art forms, landscaping adds value to which it’s hard to assign a strict dollar amount. We’re talking about atmosphere, comfort, and that ineffable something that makes a space feel welcoming.

But, also like all art forms, we can discuss its value because history shows that people will pay for that ineffable something! In 2020, the National Association of Realtors reported that homes with high curb appeal sold on average for 7% more than comparable homes with low curb appeal. Effective landscaping frames the home and gives the impression of a well-kept property. So just like choosing the right paint color or staging a home, investing in landscaping ramps up buyer interest and gets you a better chance at a favorable appraisal.

So today, let’s look at ten ways to up your outdoor game. We’ll start with some quick fixes for those of you who are looking to list your house soon. Not ready to sell yet? Not to worry – we’ve got five great tips to increase your home’s value in the long run as well.

Landscaping Checklist for Sellers: What to Do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

If you’re anxious to put up that for sale sign, you’ve likely already considered what to do with your home’s interior. What needs cleaning or repainting? To stage or not to stage (or, to virtually stage)? But before you make moves, consider these recommendations for you yard as well. If you take the time to complete these simple steps, you can sell your home faster and for more money.

#1 – Refresh Your Mulch

You know that rich, fresh look of new mulch neatly lining your shrubs and flowerbeds? It’s as satisfying to prospective buyers as it is to you. Something as simple as replenishing the mulch around your plants does wonders for making a home look cared for and healthy. It’s affordable, quick, and easy – you can do it yourself in no time. And the photos of your home will thank you.

#2 – Add Some Quick Color

While you’re shopping for mulch, take a tour of the annuals section of your favorite nursery. A few well-placed flowers can make your home look much more dynamic and inviting. Fortunately for you, many annuals are inexpensive and relatively easy to grow, so adding some color doesn’t need to be an enormous project. Feel free to ask the sales representatives for suggestions on what and how many plants to buy; any quality nursery will employ folks with a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

#3 – Trim and Prune Your Shrubs

While you’re talking to that salesperson, you can always take a moment to ask about pruning if you’re unfamiliar. Keeping hedges, bushes, and shrubs neat and orderly is a quick way to increase curb appeal. All in just a quick afternoon’s work!

#4 – Maintain Your Lawn – The Right Way

Now is the time to fertilize your grass in Portland, before the highest temperatures of the year hit in July and August. And you have an arsenal of choices at hand. For example, the right fertilizer for you doesn’t have to contain synthetic chemicals.

While we’re on the subject of lawns, let’s talk mowing. When you’re aiming to keep your lawn as neat as a pin, it may be tempting to set your lawnmower to the lowest setting. But keep in mind that cutting too low can cause grass to retain less water and turn brown. We recommend setting your mower at the 3 inch mark.

#5 – Fill in Blank Spaces Tastefully

Do you have a neglected corner of your yard? Or maybe you planted something that didn’t take, and now you don’t know what to do with the space. One quick solution is to fill in the space with decorative planters or pots. Choose items that fit with your home’s – and your – style. You can easily fill a planter with colorful flowers, and take them with you when you go!

Long Term Landscaping Tips to Boost Property Value

So you aren’t looking to sell right now. Why worry about landscaping, then? For one thing, it can enhance your personal experience of you home. But investing in landscaping can really pay off in the long run. Check out these five ways to increase your Portland home’s value over time.

#1 – Plant Trees

It’s really as simple as it sounds. According to the U.S. Forest Service, mature and healthy trees increase property value by an average of 10%. That statistic sound too vague for you? Let’s zoom in on Portland. A 2008 study found that street trees added an average of $8,870 to the sales price – and that’s over a decade ago!

#2 – Choose Native Plants

Portlanders like to keep it local, and plant life is no exception. Consider constructing a rain garden to make the most of Portland’s wet weather. Or, join the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, a joint venture of Portland Audubon and Columbia Land Trust. This free program can help you to transform your yard into a sustainable environment for native wildlife.

#3 – Foster Privacy

Whether you put up “privacy hedges” or carve out a nook in an otherwise open yard, a bit of private paradise is never a bad thing. Select at least one part of your property that can be landscaped more intimately. Buyers will be ready to fill that private space with their own dreams.

#4 – Creative an Extra Living Space – Outdoors

If we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s the importance of both space and community. Now more than ever, people value outdoor spaces that are both functional and beautiful. As recently as August of 2020, Realtor Magazine found that consumers rated a porch or patio as the third most important exterior feature, following only number and size of windows (which are both arguably simultaneously interior features). Consider adding a deck, patio, fire pit, or any space where buyers might see themselves sharing a meal with friends.

#5 – Try Your Hand at Xeriscaping

From the Greek prefix “xeros,” which means “dry,” xeriscaping is a growing trend in landscaping that favors design elements that don’t need to be watered over grass and other plants. Think stones, gravel, and low-water plants. Portland gets plenty of rain, but the summers get quite dry – now is a good time to think about adding a “dry scene” to your outdoor space. That doesn’t mean you need to totally get rid of your lawn; consider instead carving out a space for a rock garden. Xeriscaping saves on water while adding texture and variety to your yard.

The Cardinal Rule of Landscaping

Whatever steps you choose to take, remember that your yard is a reflection of your house. A well-landscaped yard should match the style of the home, and put the house itself on display. Be intentional with your landscaping choices: define the space, create flowing lines, and show off all your home has to offer!

Ready to put your home on the market? Our top 1% seller’s agents are ready to back you up! Our experience and know-how are just what you need to make your listing sing.

May 17, 2021

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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