How to Improve Your Landscape and Curb Appeal – Fast

When you’re in the process of selling your house, putting your best foot forward is imperative to seal the deal. So many people focus on sprucing up the inside of their homes – fresh paint, staged furniture, new fixtures – but many forget to ramp up their landscape as well.

Sure, people mow and trim before a showing, but many people neglect to overhaul their yard in preparation for the event. Fortunately, you can employ some simple tactics to whip your yard into shape before house hunters come knocking on your door.

Sprucing Up Your Plant Life

When you’re getting you house ready for a showing, first clean up any overgrown grass and weeds on your sidewalks by using a weed killer and an edger. Remove any vegetation you find between sidewalk cracks as well.

After you mow, apply a weed killer to your lawn. This will keep it looking green, uniform, and tidy while you are showing your house. If you live on wooded land, rake stray leaves in your yard and remove the leaves from your property before people arrive.

Even if it’s too chilly to plant flowers in your beds, you can still add a splash of color with flowers in containers. Buy vibrant pots that match or complement your house’s color scheme, and fill them with cold weather-friendly flowers to display during showings. Hang some planters around your porch area and place others on the ground around your property. To preserve the life of your plants, bring them inside when you’re not showing your house.

Don’t neglect stray tree limbs. Grab some hedge trimmers and polish your tree’s appearance by cutting away any low-hanging branches. Remove them from your yard when you’re finished, and don’t forget to store all your tools before buyers show up.

Other Aesthetic Improvements

Your yard isn’t the only thing that needs polishing. Get the family together on a Saturday to clean all the gutters and windows on the outside of your home. Scrub decks and porches, then use a weather sealant to make them look like new again.

Next, it’s time to pull out the pressure washer and give the entire house a thorough once-over. Once you’ve conquered the sides of your home, hit the driveway to wash away dingy oil stains and dirt.

After your house has drip-dried, scout the premises for spider webs and remove any you find. Finally, use a small can of paint to touch up your home’s trim. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a little paint can make. Check that all exterior lighting is in working order and that every light fixture is in good condition.

Remember, potential buyers will make a value judgment about your home before they even walk inside. Even if the inside of your home is exactly what they’re looking for, the outside may leave a negative impression strong enough to kill the deal. That’s why a weekend of dedicated cleanup may just be the thing that sells your house.

Are you Feeling Overwhelmed with Your Landscape Lighting Design?

With so much information out there on how to add lighting to your landscape, it can become quite confusing to know how to bring it all together. You may have hundreds of pictures, talked to friends and family and you still feel like you are no closer to your goal.

It’s true that there are literally thousands of directions you could take with your landscape lighting design, but the best choice will be based on a few important factors. If you are the pen and paper list-making type, you will want to take notes. Additionally, speak to a skilled professional who has designed hundreds of landscapes. Since there are so many issues to solve when designing landscape lighting, they will have solid advice on how to work within the confines of your space.

When selecting fixtures and creating an overall design, focus on the important principles first so you end up with exactly what you want.

Accents – When looking for fixtures, don’t forget those that will accent beautiful features like fountains, rare trees and special areas. Use these focal points to “wow” your guests and offer a sense of awe when looking at your landscape.

Cohesion – Do all of the lighting fixtures work well together? Does each light flow seamlessly to the next? Envision the overall feel of your design and choose fixtures that work well together. Even when lighting focal points, ensure the spotlights match the overall look and feel of the whole.

Depth – Add three-dimensional effects by illuminating design elements near and far from your landscape. When you pull up to your driveway, the depth of your lighting will show how far your eyes can see. Pay attention to the effects you want as far as lighting distance is concerned before you select your fixtures.

Balance –Unless you are going for a chaotic look, opt for symmetry with your lighting. The proportions should be similar so the eye can look at the entire design as one cohesive whole while still being pulled to various accented features.

Different perspectives – One light may look amazing from a certain vantage point, but how does it look if you walk 10 feet in another direction? When designing your lighting, consider the point of view of each angle and all vantage points. A light may create a subtle effect on one side but blind another person on the other. Consistency is the name of the game. Ask friends and family to help you and have them walk around the property and even inside the home to ensure no lights are blinding or hitting areas they shouldn’t. Take special note of how the light hits your neighbor’s property as well.

Mood – If you are going for an overall mood, pay attention to how much light is emitted from a particular fixture. Look at narrow and broad beams as well as the direction, whether down lighting or up lighting.

Once you understand these important elements, you can plan out your design and execute it carefully. Speak to a professional if you need clarification. In some home improvement stores, knowledgeable salespeople can also provide assistance.


How to Get Your Landscape Ready for a Home Sale

If you were to put your home on the market today, what would prospective buyers think of your yard? Would it turn them away? Have you been neglecting it?

Today’s home buyers want to purchase move-in ready homes. They do not want to fuss with extra yard work or worry about renovations. Something as small as rotted plants or a faded water fountain facade can signal to a buyer that you do not care enough to keep up the home. This will most definitely turn them away.

With a few minor updates, you will save money in the long run by selling your house for what it is worth. Don’t give buyers any chance to say “no”!

Well-kept Beds – A little edging goes a long way. Even curving the edge of your flower beds to give the yard a more manicured look will increase your chances of a sale. A quick fix: If you have overgrown plants, widen your beds so the plants appear smaller to the natural eye.

Color Sells – If your landscape needs a quick pick-me-up, consider adding dashes of color with petunias or additional annuals that will continue to flower year-round. If you have the budget, add some large perennials. They will “wow” potential buyers and make the landscape look more attractive.

Depth Perception – Who said your mind can’t play tricks on you? If you place your plants away from your property line, your home will look farther away from the road and appear larger than it is. Also consider plants around the perimeter of the home to accentuate it and add some to block items you want to hide from potential buyers.

Green Grass – A brown or yellow lawn is a deal breaker for many potential home buyers. Ideally, you should start beautifying your grass long before you put your home on the market. But, if you are in a time crunch, try one fertilizer treatment to help “green up” the lawn. Some experts will also recommend green spray paint to spruce up dead grass areas.

Privacy – Buyers want to know their yard will be private. A beautiful landscape will lose its loveliness once a potential buyer sees and hears the neighbor’s kids splashing away in their pool. This is one of the most important factors to a landscape design.

If it is within your budget, consider a fence to surround the perimeter of your property. Even low-cost fences will be better than none at all. If you are not ready to sell the house just yet, evergreen shrubs will grow tall enough to create a private environment in a few short seasons.

Add Character – If your landscape is lacking drama and pizzazz, add a few elements to “jazz” it up. Consider statues, swings, or hammocks depending on your location. Create an oasis that will draw in your potential buyers. Add seating areas and places to relax and appreciate nature. The more appealing you make your landscape, the greater the chance you will receive an offer. Remember that it’s often an emotional experience that brings a buyer to make a decision.