Over the past 12 months, my wife and I have pondered countless projects to improve our home, whether to add to our enjoyment or improve its value.
While home improvement projects usually focus on interior design or structural elements, your landscaping is often overlooked. Updating and upgrading the interior is important to maximize value, but among all improvement projects, landscaping provides one of the highest returns on investment.
Studies highlighted in publications like Realtor magazine find that well-landscaped and manicured homes can increase selling prices by up to 15% over comparable homes with average landscapes. Not only does your home’s value increase, but dollar-for-dollar, you can expect (in most cases) a 100% return on your investment.
Some key factors:
*Does its design complement your home’s features? Purpose is crucial—landscaping is more than just putting plants in the ground. Your landscape should complement your home’s architectural and design elements.
*The size of plants and level of maintenance. More mature plantings and having well-manicured turf, mature trees, sharp bed edges, and shrubs will especially add value.
*Keeping in mind that your landscape is always either flourishing or faltering. To stay healthy (and valuable), it requires ongoing care and proper maintenance.
Quality landscaping is not an either-or proposition—2021 can be your year to grow enjoyment of your home, while laying the groundwork for a strong return on investment.
This installment of "Ask the Plant Expert" will be published in the March 17, 2021 edition of the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest, the Forest Park Review and the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark.