Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Investment With Curb Appeal

family-in-front-lawn.jpg Everyone knows your home is your castle! Your home is meant to be enjoyed, personalized. Your castle is a reflection of your taste and values. Following are “must haves” to increase the curb appeal and value of your home.

Good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house, says landscape economist John Harris, and cut its time on the market 10% to 15%. Even taking your landscaping to the next level, upgrading from “good” to “excellent,” in terms of design, condition, and placement, can add 6% to 7% to a home’s value, according to a Clemson University study. More than a good investment, it’s enjoyable. Viewing a tree can reduce stress in just 5 minutes! Here are some essential elements for a gorgeous, valuable landscape.

Essential #1: Trees
Maybe only Mother Nature can make a tree, but the National Tree Benefit Calculatorcan tell you what it’s worth! Enter your zip code to find out the value of various trees for your neighborhood. According to the Department of Energy 3 properly placed trees may save $100 to $250 in energy costs. Trees can reduce heating bills by 15% and air conditioning cost by up to 75%. A study from Texas A&M University found that looking at trees produces “significant recovery from stress” within 5 minutes.

Essential #2: Native Plants
When choosing go native, so that plants can thrive without the extra time and money. A study by Applied Ecological Services Inc. shows that maintaining an acre of native plants over 20 years costs $3,000, compared with the whopping $20,000 price tag of maintaining a lawn of non-native turf grass!

Essential #3: Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting consistently tops the National Association of Home Builders list of most wanted outdoor features in its annual What Home Buyers Really Want survey: 41% rate it “essential;” 49% say it’s “desirable.”

Tasteful lighting paints your home at night, highlighting your other great landscaping choices and directing guests to your home’s focal point — the front door.