During the pandemic, people have discovered the benefits of being outdoors and are taking greater advantage of the outdoor spaces around their own homes. There has been a huge uptick in interest in gardening, landscaping and outdoor living. The big surprise is that tending to your yard and outdoor living spaces can add real value when the time comes to sell! Even small improvements not only add to your enjoyment and overall satisfaction with your living experience today, they can make your home the envy of your neighborhood. And they can add as much as 28% in real value to your home! Whether you’re thinking of selling your home or not, enhancing your outdoor spaces will add real quality to your family’s living experience. Here’s how you can increase your enjoyment and add up to 28% to your home’s value with these 5 tips.
1. Enhance your landscaping. Whether you hire a professional landscaper or do it yourself, just a few improvements can make a world of difference in the enjoyment of your property.
You can spruce up your front yard by trimming existing shrubs and adding color and interest with new, colorful plants, landscape rocks, flagstone, etc. The path to your front gate or door should be distinct, inviting. and free of obstructions. If you have overgrown shrubs or trees, trim them back and let the energy flow to your door! You may consider placing a border along your driveway or make a walkway of brick, stone, pavers or another hardscape element to add visual interest and highlight the front of your home.
Thoughtful landscaping will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, creating great curb appeal. And, well-landscaped homes may sell for between 5.5% and 12.7% more than other similar homes.
2. Maintain your green space. If you have grass, a well-maintained, green lawn is great for family activities, children’s play time, and pets. It is also great for games that can be played outdoors.
Keep in mind, though, that for our area, water conservation is increasingly important. Artificial turf is becoming a very popular substitute for grass, providing a low-maintenance, low-water usage alternative to keep that inviting green look.
Also, xeriscaped landscapes are another alternative, incorporating drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives in our climate, such as lavender, sage, wisteria and agave, with water-saving drip irrigation and mulch. Xeriscaping has a cost savings of 36 cents per square foot annually through reduced irrigation and maintenance costs. Additionally, these landscapes are virtually maintenance-free, which makes it an attractive option for busy homeowners – and for home buyers too!
3. Include trees and shrubs to create texture and add interest to your landscape and provide shade. Planting a few types of native, water-saving trees and shrubs of varying heights, widths, and flowering times boosts your home’s curb appeal year-round. Well placed shrubs and trees can help cool your home and provide shade for outdoor activities.
4. Spiff up your outdoor living spaces. Attractive and usable outdoor living space is like having one or more whole new rooms added to your your house and can be perfect for family gatherings and entertaining. Add comfy seating for lounging and/or outdoor dining, and you have a space that can be enjoyed almost year round! And, well designed and maintained outdoor living spaces can add significant value to your home when it comes time to sell.
Make porches, patios or courtyards more appealing with flower boxes, nice planters or containers. Incorporate small decorative touches, such as a festive wreath or potted plants to add color and interest. Add potted plants and hanging baskets, or plant flowers in beds around your outdoor living space. Choose flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year for year-round appeal. For example, bulbs not only bloom all spring, they also multiply and come p every year. Perennials often flower for most of the year and will prevent you from having to replant them every year.
If your outdoor living space is limited, consider expanding it with pavers or flagstone, possibly adding canopies, gazebos or pergolas for shade. Position tables and chairs to make it as inviting as possible. Even an outdoor table with an umbrella can send the message that this is a fun place to be. Add comfy lounge chairs or outdoor sofa to make a perfect place for a few meeting friends while indoor entertaining is discouraged because of the pandemic. Add outdoor rugs or other decorative items to encourage people to want to hang out and enjoy themselves.
5. Make your home look and feel like new. Exterior paint is one of the best ways to make your home appear newer, and a fresh coat or two will help protect your home from damage from sun and rain. Most homes in our area have stucco siding, which is considered ideal for the desert Southwest. With time, stucco paint will fade, and fine lines and cracks may appear. Making minor repairs and painting with a quality paint can make it look new again and will help protect your home from the elements. This improvement can give you between 60 to 100 percent return on investment.
Paint the front door and trim; install new door fixtures. This inexpensive improvement adds brightness to a home, and will make coming home feel special! It can give the front of your home a whole new personality. The small details tie your home’s exterior together and help it stand out from others in the neighborhood.
Garage doors. Even if your garage doors are in good condition, you might consider giving them a new coat of paint to make your home look newer. If they’re beginning to show their age, consider replacing them. New garage doors more energy efficient and better insulated than older models, so they will keep your garage cooler in the summer and may reduce your cooling bills. Your garage can be a great extra space for exercising or hobbies, so keeping it at a more comfortable temperature will make it way more useable. And, adding new garage doors can give you over a 90 percent return on investment when it comes time to sell.
Remember, BEFORE you start any home project, keep these four things in mind:
1. Why are you taking on this project? If your intention is to update your home for your own enjoyment, it makes sense to do major projects or upgrades to suit your needs. If you are simply getting it ready to sell with the greatest return on your investment, then a few simple improvements can achieve the goal.
2. Keep it consistent with the neighborhood. If you are thinking about an upgrade that will affect the look of your home, make sure the project fits with the style of the neighborhood and rules of the homeowner association.
3. Get required permits. Some exterior projects require a permit from the City or County if your will be having cement poured or making changes to rock walls or building structures.
4. Make a budget. A budget keeps your project’s costs and scope in check. Make a list of the improvements you’d like to make, set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you’d like advice on improvements you can make that will increase your home’s value, give us a call at 575-496-7727.
Now’s the time to take advantage of our glorious Las Cruces fall weather and step the enjoyment of the outdoor spaces around your home! Let us know how you are enjoying the outdoors at your home!