Now that spring has arrived, it’s an ideal time to invest in landscape enhancements that will make your home a more enticing place to be while increasing its curb appeal and resale value. According to Realtor Magazine, a well-landscaped home can sell for up to 12 percent more than a home with no landscaping. What’s also encouraging, the value of landscape improvements increase over time as softscape elements like shrubs, trees and other plants grow. If you’re looking for inspiration on exterior improvements, here are a few to consider making right now:
Install fruit trees: One of the most cost-effective ways to beautify your home, trees also remove pollution from the air and can even help lower your heating and cooling costs by providing shading in the summer and acting as a windbreak during winter months. Spring is an ideal time to plant bare-root fruit trees in California – after the final frost when young trees have had enough time to establish themselves before they go dormant in winter. A few to consider: the Meyer lemon tree, the “Gold Nugget” seedless mandarin and “Buddha’s Hand” citron. Other popular fruit trees available in garden centers right now are cherry, pear, plum, peach and the Dwarf apple. Just be sure to check to see which fruit trees will grow best in your area.
Go for curved borders: For a beautiful, professional look, consider adding edging in curves around areas such as your home’s foundation, flower gardens and even sidewalks and driveways. As Popular Mechanics explains, creating borders in curves rather than straight lines is a wonderful way to add character to your landscaping. You can find instructions on “How to Edge a Curved Border” at SFGate.
Add a garden walkway: Hardscape basics like a winding walkway made with permeable paving add interest and functionality to your yard for a relatively low cost, especially if you do it as a DIY project. According to ImproveNet, the average cost to install a pathway is $2,884, but you can get an idea of how much it may cost in your area on their site. Find 12 options for stylish, water-conscious options for permeable paving at Sunset.
Do some spring cleaning in your yard: One of the least expensive ways to improve your landscaping is simply to spruce up what you already have in your yard and keep your lawn well- manicured. In April, prune back overgrown trees, trim shrubs and pull weeds before they can go to seed to cause infestation and rob your soil of vital nutrients and water. Mulch around your trees, shrubs and other plants to add nutrients to your soil, prevent water evaporation and reduce weeds. If your existing mulch is still useable (i.e., has not broken down into fine particles indistinguishable from dirt), you can use a rake to fluff existing mulch or turn it over with your hands to give it a fresher look.
Select drought-tolerant plants: As Sunset magazine points out, April is still a good month to plant drought-tolerant shrubs like ceanothus, manzanita, contoneaster, and rosemary. With their ability to thrive in dry conditions and limited need for water, these environmentally-friendly plants are can reduce your water bills and may be a selling point to future homebuyers. According to realtor.com, installation costs for drought-tolerant plants range from $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot, but they create savings of up to 36 cents per square foot each year with lowered maintenance and water usage. Find “33 Stunning Drought-Tolerant Plants For Low- Maintenance Landscapes” here.
Extend your living space outdoors with a deck: Ask a landscape expert or realtor, and you’ll undoubtedly hear that adding a feature that expands your living areas outdoors provides one of the best returns on your landscaping investments. And of course, a deck that harmonizes with your natural surroundings can contribute greatly to your enjoyment of your home this summer. Get an idea of costs and resale value in your area at Remodeling Magazine. Interested in knowing what other hardscape additions to your landscape might provide the best financial payoff? Fire pits, ambient outdoor lighting and fencing also rank high on experts’ lists.
Looking forward to getting started on landscaping projects before it’s prime time for backyard barbecues and other outdoor-focused activities and entertainment? A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) from SFPCU can help you get the funds you need to create a gorgeous landscape while boosting the overall value of your home. With credit limits from $20,000 to $300,000, our HELOC enables qualifying members to secure a low-interest, fixed-rate loan and pay it off in monthly installments over a specific term. Find details, restrictions and apply through our quick approval process at https://www.sfpcu.org/accounts-services/home-loans/home-equity-loan