A question is always asked by homeowners looking to take on a landscaping remodel. How can a landscaping project add property value to my home? It’s a valid concern as you’re planning to invest into your Toronto home with such a project. You’ve also heard answers time and time again that landscaping can raise your home’s property value by X percent, giving you an extra value of Y thousand dollars come resale. But these bold statements of inevitable success are more complex than other articles make it out to be.
The decisions you need to make when landscaping need to take into account a number of things, all of these may positively or negatively affect the total outcome of your proposed project. It’s important that we know what these considerations are so that you can make an informed decision on the landscaping projects that you’re thinking of pursuing. Below, we’ll detail the biggest consideration you should have when doing landscaping: Is this landscaping project meant to satisfy you, or is it an investment for a future sale? After that, we’ll talk about the different parts of a landscaping project that need to be considered when thinking about a project that aims to increase your home’s marketability and value.
Is this Landscaping Project for you, or for Your Future Buyer?
Your landscaping is the perfect way for your home to embody your unique taste in a way that everyone can see. It’s the most direct opportunity for your individual style to shine through. As such, you shouldn’t be limited in your choices, as long as it’s within your budget. But, what you find beautiful might not be what a potential buyer finds appealing, so here comes the biggest choice you have to make. Do you prioritize your vision, or the option of resale? It’s a delicate balancing act that both you and your landscaping contractor needs to consider when you begin planning for your project. This decision will affect the scope and scale of your entire project and will inform your choices as well.
Thinking like a Buyer
Adding high end landscaping features like pools and curated gardens will definitely raise the overall property value of your home. But there is an important distinction when it comes to assessing the value of your house. There is a difference between its physical value, as in how much in actual dollars your entire home with the landscaping could sell for, and it’s salability or how attractive your property will be for potential buyers. Now while there’s always those few buyers who are willing to buy your home as is for the most you can sell it for, more often than not, a buyer will have their own needs when they look at listings.
You vs. the Neighborhood
While this applies to your home as a whole, it’s still important when considering how to proceed with your landscaping project. If you’re planning to eventually sell your home, take a look around your neighborhood. Normally, buyers will compare the value of your home relative to the homes around it.
When considering your landscaping project as an investment to attract buyers, it may be a good idea to have your landscaping be somewhat at par with the homes around you. This doesn’t just mean keeping with the general aesthetic of the neighborhood, which definitely increases your property value. It also means that you shouldn’t go overboard. Increasing the value of your home too much relative to your neighbors may make it look overpriced in comparison to the surrounding homes when potential buyers take a look at your listing.
What Buyers Might Want
What you put into your landscaping is a reflection of what you want. But a buyer may have completely different needs when looking for a new home for themselves. Below are a number of major landscaping areas that you’ll need to consider when planning a project with resale in mind.
Pools are the perfect way to add a centerpiece to your backyard landscaping while also providing a functional space to entertain your guests. They’re definitely a good way to raise the property value of your home.
However, some buyers will only see negatives with a swimming pool. A swimming pool comes with it a litany of long term costs, having to deal with maintenance and cleaning between seasons, as well as future repairs that may be needed. A swimming pool can also be a safety concern for some home buyers. For buyers who are looking for a home to raise a small child, the pool presents a hazard.
It’s important to remember that if you’re going to install a pool, you will be alienating a segment of potential buyers come selling time. However, that is true for most decisions regarding your home.
Gardens are the perfect way to brighten up your landscaping project. Adding colorful flowers and tasteful shrubbery are surefire ways to increase curb appeal and make your home stand out from the rest of the neighborhood without completely breaking aesthetic.
Plants are the most cost effective way to increase your property value through landscaping. A very good choice is to plant trees on your property. It’s a small investment up front but in a few years, you’ll have a tall tree that can provide shade in the backyard as well as a good windbreak for your home. Evergreens are a good choice for Toronto homes as they stay green all year round, providing color for your yard. As for the smaller plants and flowering bushes, it’s good to choose local species as they are already used to the climate of the area and thus will require less maintenance in general. Adding exotic plants to your garden will up the care costs for your garden and may require extra equipment to keep healthy.
It’s important however not to overdo your garden’s design however. You don’t want your yards to look like jungles as they can be off putting for buyers who will see it as a nuisance and a chore to keep properly watered.
Water features like ponds and fountains are a good way to pretty up your landscaping if you’re not the type to splurge on a pool. However, much like pools, maintenance costs be a turn off for the potential home buyer. Not to mention the costs to utilities that come with keeping the pumps moving and the water flowing. Ponds are also liable to scum up eventually as well if not properly cared for, and can be a place for mosquitoes to breed in the summer. All of these are important things to consider before adding one to your yard if you’re ever planning to eventually sell your home.
Other External Areas
A number of other landscaping additions like outdoor kitchens and sports areas like basketball half courts might also raise your property value as well. Buy only for buyers already looking for such additions. These types of things carry with them significant costs and maintenance for a space that has only one or two very specific uses.
Outdoor kitchens come with a lot of additional plumbing and gas works that will need to be kept in proper working condition and sports court materials will break down eventually as well.
Keeping a Classic Look
As you can see above, maintenance is a significant consideration buyers take into account when choosing a new home. But probably the best way to create a marketable landscaping that will draw eyes to your home come the time to sell is to keep your aesthetic clean and simple.
You can do this by keeping the landscaping clean and uncrowded. Provide a bit of negative space between the major eyecatches of your landscape to provide clarity, and a space for your buyers to imagine their own additions. An overly designed landscape may end up looking outdated as trends change. Using classic materials like stone and wood will give your home a timeless feel.
This doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your own vision in order to make your home as marketable as possible. It’s just important that you align your expectations properly between what you want out of your landscaping and what a buyer might want in the future. Besides, a good landscaping contractor is able to take your plan, work it out with you and execute it in a way that can balance both your own desires and your aim for the home to appeal to as many buyers as possible. Communicate with your landscaping team about what you want out of your project and how much you are willing to compromise in order to balance one need with the other.
But no matter the scope and scale of your landscaping projects, be assured that you’ll be in good hands with the expert team at M.E. Contracting. Call us at (416) 238-6700 and out expert team of landscape designers, builders and craftsmen will come and provide you with an in-home consultation and estimate.