Landscaping Costs: 7 Smart Investments for Curb Appeal and Property Value

Original Source: Yahoo

Investing in landscaping is smart if you’re looking to boost your home’s curb appeal and property value. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 92% of realtors recommend improving curb appeal before listing a home for sale. The report shows that outdoor projects, particularly landscaping, are among the top features homeowners should focus on to attract buyers.

Specifically, the report found that landscaping features such as standard lawn care, landscape maintenance and overall landscape upgrades offer high-cost recovery rates of 100% or more. For example, standard lawn care service provides a whopping 217% return on investment.

Mowing and edging your lawn definitely helps curb appeal, but here are some other landscaping investments to consider to help improve your home’s outdoor aesthetic and property value.

Plant Native Trees and Shrubs

Native trees and shrubs are a great choice when landscaping due to their compatibility with your location.

“These plants are adapted to your local climate and soil, making them low-maintenance and drought-resistant,” said Lindsey Hyland, a gardening and landscaping expert and the creator of Urban Organic Yield.

Hyland explained that planting native species can cost between $50 to $100 per plant, depending on their size and type. However, their benefits go far beyond curb appeal. “They provide shade, improve air quality and create a natural habitat for local wildlife,” she said.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Trimming and pruning trees and shrubs can add to the beauty and aesthetics of your property, and doing so is a smart investment too. Trimming and pruning trees can result in a cost recovery of 87% and pruning shrubs can result in a return on investment of 104%, according to the NARS and NALP report.

Install a Drip Irrigation System

Hyland said that a drip irrigation system is an eco-friendly investment that ensures your plants receive adequate water without wastage.

“A drip irrigation system typically costs between $300 to $1,200, depending on the size of your garden,” she said. “It can save water and reduce your water bills in the long run.”

Mulch Garden Beds

Adding mulch to your garden beds has several benefits, according to Hyland, including preventing weed growth, retaining soil moisture and improving the overall health of your plants.

“Organic mulch options like wood chips or bark cost around $3 to $7 per bag, making this a very affordable and effective enhancement,” she said.

Additionally, according to the NAR and the NALP report, annual mulching can result in a cost recovery of 104%.

Plant Perennials

Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, suggested planting perennials for long-term benefits.

“Unlike annuals that you have to replant every year,” he explained, “perennials like daylilies and knockout roses come back stronger each season. They cost between $300 and $800 but grow larger and more vibrant each year, really beefing up your garden’s impact without ongoing costs.”

Also, like mulching, planting perennials can result in a cost recovery of 104%, according to the report.

Add a Pathway

While considered hardscaping instead of landscaping, pathways can add aesthetic value and functionality to your property.

“A well-designed pathway can transform a garden by providing structure and guiding visitors through the space,” Hyland said. “Using materials like gravel, mulch or pavers, you can create a beautiful pathway for about $5 to $20 per square foot.”

Install Outdoor Lighting

Another improvement you may want to consider is adding outdoor lighting, which can be functional and add to the ambiance of your outdoor area. It also can provide a cost recovery of 59%.

“Strategically placed lighting can highlight key features of your landscape and extend the usability of your outdoor space into the evening,” Hyland said. “Solar-powered lights are a cost-effective option, with prices ranging from $20 to $100 per light.”