As you look at your outdoor living spaces with an eye for upgrades, where will your time and money be best spent? Fresh landscaping? Sprinklers? A new fence? A firepit?
Fortunately, 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features, co-produced by the National Association of REALTORS® and National Association of Landscape Professionals, offers some ideas. First, there are two ways to look at your improvements:
- Curb appeal to make your home more attractive to buyers when you’re ready to sell.
- Personal enjoyment while you live in the home.
If you’re thinking strictly of return on investment, regular lawn care, landscape maintenance and tree care and trimming each restore 100 percent or more of the costs, says the survey. Regular attention to watering and drainage will prevent unsightly dead spots in your yard. Removing dead tree branches or limbs growing too close to the house prevents storm damage. Keeping bushes trimmed prevents overgrowth that obscures your home’s features.
But money isn’t everything. What about personal enjoyment, convenience and satisfaction? Tied for first place on the “Joy” Score with a perfect 10 are an irrigation system and a fire feature. The next most appealing projects were a new wood deck (Joy Score – 9.8), a water feature (9.8), statement landscaping (9.7), and an overall landscape upgrade (9.6).
The report validates what real estate professionals have been saying all along – curb appeal matters, and landscape improvement is money well spent. You’re adding beauty and convenience to your home, which future homebuyers will appreciate.