Do Your Own Landscaping

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Real Estate


Some New Home Builder's in the Phoenix Valley like to offer front yard landscaping as part of their incentive package when purchasing a home from them. Many builders don't charge extra for this, but include it in the price of the home in several of their subdivisions across the valley. Great Right? There is so much to do when moving into a home, so many things to purchase (window coverings, appliances, shelving/storage for the garage, back yard landscaping, etc...) One less thing to less thing to pay less hassle...except that everyone’s house looks the same. Is that such a bad thing? YES< YES< YES!

When a builder puts in everyone's landscaping they normally will have a few different variations of landscape plans to choose from, picking out your landscaping is much like picking out the elevation on your home... do you want A, B or C? Now they normally will allow you to 'upgrade' or customize your landscaping a bit for a fee...and lets face it, by the time you get to landscaping haven't you already spent more upgrading the home than you wanted to? Landscaping you can always change later, but that bay window has to be upgraded now. Some builders will even let you specify for no additional charge which trees and bushes you would like out of their approved list...ooh boy! Now your neighborhood is going to be limited to the same plants, same color granite (landscape rock), same general layouts repeated over and over and over.... There is no creativity, no different color granite, no elevation changes - everything is flat, and looks the same - YUK! It won't be as noticeable when the neighborhood is new, but as it matures, it will make a difference in how your neighborhood feels to potential buyers. Even though you are going to be living in the home for several years, there is a 98% chance that you will be selling this home someday and you need to consider resale and marketability of the home and neighborhood you have purchased. Let's take this a step further.... it's human nature that when we create something ourselves there is a sense of pride in that creation. (Have you met many new parents that aren't proud of their new bundle of joy?) We will protect and nurture something that we created more so than something that we have no personal investment in. When folks design their own visions of what a front yard landscape should look like they are more likely to want to maintain that vision for years to come. I am telling you from experience that when I am driving through multiple sub-divisions with buyer's they notice how the neighborhood 'feels' before they ever consider the floorplan. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a buyer say, " I don't know what it is, but I just don't like the way this neighborhood feels." My husband and I purchased our first home in Gilbert. It was all of 1298 square feet and definitely considered an entry-level home. Our builder, Dave Brown, wanted to offer help with the landscaping but instead of putting it in for us, they offered a $1500 rebate once we completed our landscaping. It was great! We had a unique varied neighborhood, and got assistance with the cost of our landscaping. We had to meet standards and have the landscaping inspected before we received the re-imbursement from the builder which insured a minimal quality throughout the neighborhood was met. That sub-division, which is now nearly 15 years old, is still a neighborhood that I would be proud to buy, sell or live in. The neighborhood still ‘feels good'. Make sure your builder is creating a neighborhood that will 'feel' good for years to come by letting you do some creating yourself. Consider it...Thanks for reading.

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