When you’re shopping for a new home, it’s easy to get hung up on the details of the house itself. You might find yourself focusing on questions such as: How many square feet is the house? Is there enough closet space? Is the roof in good shape? These are certainly important questions to ask yourself, but don’t forget one detail that can add up to 25 percent to the overall value of the property: the landscaping!
Purchasing a home is a major investment, so most homebuyers insist on a home inspection before finalizing their offer. But since many home inspectors don’t concern themselves with inspecting landscaping, this is one area you should check out for yourself.
Is everything in working order? Things like irrigation systems or outdoor lighting can add a lot of value to the home plus make your life easier. But if they aren’t in good working order, you include them in your list of necessary repairs before closing day. The homeowner might agree to fix them, or you could get a break on the price of the house.
Are the trees healthy? Healthy trees are the single largest contributor to higher landscape values, but unhealthy trees have the opposite effect. Look for dead or diseased trees, which can present a safety hazard and need to be removed. Removing full sized or mature trees can add up quickly so be sure to check this out carefully!
Check out the shrubs. Luckily, shrubs don’t present safety hazards, but they do require regular maintenance. Unhealthy shrubs may have to be removed. Also ask yourself whether you feel like committing to the maintenance they require.
Is the lawn manageable? Are you up to mowing and watering the lawn on a regular basis? Are you ready for the water bill? That half-acre of lush grass might look great now, but you could resent all the work and expense later. Homebuyers who are averse to large lawn areas might prefer to shop for a home with low water landscaping instead.
Check for cracked or crumbling patios and walkways. Aside from being an eyesore, major damage to hardscaping can present a tripping hazard and will therefore need to be addressed right away.
All landscape elements can be modified to make your new home truly yours. If you do decide to invest in a fixer-upper that needs a lot of landscaping work, give us a call! We’ll be happy to consult with you on a landscape design for your new home.
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