By: Anne Arntson
The yard of your dreams just might be more achievable than you thought.
You’ve been spending so much time on projects inside your home (like that new shower you have to drag yourself out of), that your front yard is starting to scream for a bit of attention.
Poor neglected, thing.
You know your yard has some super curb appeal potential, but where to begin?
Check out the Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features from the National Association of REALTORS®. It’s got some interesting data on how landscaping affects home value, especially those with tons of curb appeal. They beat out most indoor projects when it comes to adding value to your home!
Below are four projects with so much curb-appeal juice, any money you invest in them is likely to pay you back much more.
#1 Add or Replace a Few Landscaping Basics:
Every few years, you overhaul your closet, replacing your worn-out basics with a few new pieces to ramp up your wardrobe. Why not do the same with your yard? Give it a basic makeover so it has some good, classic, value-boosting “bones” to build upon.
Landscape design basics like:
- A winding flagstone walkway
- A couple of stone planters (6 feet by 2 feet)
- A few flowering shrubs
- A deciduous tree about 15 feet tall
- Quality mulch
Why you can’t go wrong: The median cost for this makeover is $5,000. But the recoup (how much more your house would sell for after doing this project) is $4,000! Pretty sweet, right?
#2 Take Care of Your Trees:
Dead or dying trees definitely hurt resale value. And if you remove dead trees and take care of your healthy trees, you won’t be throwing money away.
REALTORS® who advised their clients to do some tree triage before putting their home on the market say their clients almost always get their money back.
The typical cost to pay a pro to remove a dead tree and take care of the healthy ones with fertilizing, pruning and trimming is $2,000. And if you sell, you can expect 100% return on your investment in most cases, according to the RIR report.
Why you can’t go wrong: Just three trees in the right location can save up to $250 a year in heating and cooling costs, says the source for energy-saving stats: the U.S. Department of Energy.
#3 Build a Deck If You Don’t Have One:
If you’re spending sunny days admiring the great outdoors from indoors, it’s time for a change to get you outside… like finally building that deck you’ve been dreaming of.
Why you can’t go wrong: A new deck costs about $10,000 and recoups 80% at resale. Plus, how can you put a price on all those evening cookouts and Sunday brunches al fresco?
#4 Heap Loads of Love on Your Lawn:
Yep, you read that right. Especially if you know you’re going to sell in the next year or so.
It’s the easiest project to do — and it has a whopping ROI of 267%!
Lawn maintenance is simple:
Why you can’t go wrong: It’s the cheapest project to do with an annual cost of only $375. Every year, you’ll reap the benefits of a lush, barefoot-friendly lawn.
(But note that unlike the other landscaping features listed in this article — deck, patio, hardscaping, trees, etc. — you’ll only get that fabulous 267% ROI on your maintenance costs for the year right before you sell. That’s because lawn maintenance has to be repeated annually, unlike the other projects).