Living with lovely landscaping

How making some adjustments to your yard can spur home sales

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to buying a new home, curb appeal is often everything.

Dandelion décor and weathered wood decks won’t work in your favour to draw buyers to your property, said Donna Balzer the gardener, speaker and TV personality behind www.gardenguru.net. Balzer cited a seller in Scarboro who contacted her after potential buyer’s commented on his home’s outdoor esthetics.

“[The client] had a really eclectic house, with just an interesting collection of things in the house, but he actually had his REALTOR® say people don’t buy it if they just don’t want to look at the house,” she said.

“I think that’s the critical thing. If people drive by and they don’t even want to look at the house, then you can’t even sell them on a house because they do not want to go in.”

Balzer suggested creating an outdoor esthetic that matches inside the home.

“If you’ve got something really colourful and bright and cheerful inside, it’s nice to match that look outside,” she said.

In the case of the Scarboro home, Balzer and her daughter removed small planters, which created a cluttered look, and replaced them with large blue pots. The pots matched the colour of the roof and, when paired with freshly painted blue trim on the garage door, made the space pop.

“It just kind of tied the whole lot together and directed you in,” she said.

Landscaping is becoming a more prominent feature when it comes to both selling and return-on-investment.

“What’s really exciting for me right now, especially when it comes to home value, is that landscaping has replaced the top five best return-on-investments according to Remodeling Magazine 2015,” Carson Arthur, founder of Carson Arthur Design told CREB®Now in February.

Arthur recommended small adjustments such as using mulch in flower beds and putting a bench in the yard as simple ways to draw people to your home for sale.

The Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) also has some tips for turning your yard from drab to fab, including adding water features such as fountains or ponds; outdoor lights; fun with flowers through mixing bulbs, annuals and perennials and cutting back on maintenance by using in-ground edging to prevent plant creep.

In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 84 per cent of respondents said the quality of a home’s landscape and yard would affect their decision to buy a home; 84 per cent said it is important to have their yard maintained

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