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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Increase Property Value with Landscaping

When it comes to landscaping, you can have a “Plain Jane” yard with a couple of trees, a lawn or granite and very little else. Or, you can have a yard that excites the senses, with textures, elevation changes, seasonal changes and vignettes as you approach the front door. Color sells, pacifies, stimulates, attracts or subdues.

And all of this can affect your home value.

In fact, good landscape design will usually bring a return on investment of at least 220 percent in the value of your home. Take advantage of this by spending some time researching design options or find a good landscape designer who can assist you in enhancing the view of your home from the street as well as the back yard.

Value begins at the curb and continues all the way to the front walls and entrance. What attracts your eye as you drive by is the key to any front yard landscaping.

The excitement of entering your property should visually begin at the front property line and carry through to different accent points or view points as your guest walks towards the front door. Plan to bring out colors that excite and stimulate, accent or enhance the colors of your home or its textures. You can use various styles or themes of landscaping whether it is Southwest desert, Arizona collage, Zen, Oriental, French Country. Whatever you choose should fit with the style, the colors and textures of the house.

Both landscaping and hardscape will serve to enhance your value. Hardscapes such as walkways made of pavers, flagstone, cantera stone, and other materials make a statement. Enhance that statement with grading changes, mounding, boulders, walls, gates, curving curbing, low-voltage lighting, and other hardscapes that will help stimulate the eye. Use different textures and colors of granite as ground covers. You can also use colored ground wood for ground cover that yields a cooler choice.

Plant material will give you additional texture, color and excitement, height, microclimate (cooling trees) and interest. Vary the shades of green by using different plants to have bright greens, gray greens, blue greens or, you may choose to go with a completely gray plant. The color of the plants can help accent the colors of your house. The uses of blooming shrubs and trees should be considered since blooming trees add color at higher elevations around your house at various times of the year. Shrubs used as understory accents can be colorful or a neutral green or gray if you want to accent a particular hardscape or feature of your home.

When selecting plants think of flowers or bedding plants that are your lowest plant material. The next level is groundcovers such myoporum, lantana or others as lower accents. Next, you step up to midsize shrubs that are 18 inches to 36 inches tall. The following level is upper-story shrubbery that is 3 to 6 feet in height. Then courtyard trees from 6 feet to 12 feet, then full size trees of various heights as your upper story planting material.

Placement of various sizes of material makes a large difference as to the feel and look of your home. Microclimate conditions, whether it is full sun, morning sun, afternoon sun, filtered sun or full shade, change with the relationship to the sun during the summer months and winter months. Whether it is high in the sky, sunny conditions of the summer months or low, winter sun that puts more plants in shady conditions during the winter. Correctly placed plants also can help you save money on those large air conditioning bills in the summer. Lower utility costs mean more value if you are selling.

Upper-story trees will generate filtered light for the lower story plant material and allows you to use plants that bloom all year round and through the Valley’s hot summers. In some microclimate areas around the home, you’ll want the upper-story plants to lose their leaves so you have room for sun rather than cold, shady areas that greatly affect the human environment as well as the lower-level micro-environment.

Choosing your flowering plants is very important in landscape appeal because you can accent the home color or you can hurt it with the wrong color selection. Warm colors such as reds, yellows and oranges are what landscape designers call discount colors. Rich colors can be blues, purples, pinks or combinations of some of the warm colors can be used with cool colors to reflect a richer look. Selection of colors in relationship to your home colors is extremely important. A good landscape designer will generate colors that enhance the house and can make a statement about the residents.

Assess your property from the outside as well as the inside. Make small changes as needed or even a little splash of color can add to the interest and value of your home. Whether you are selling or just want to enjoy your yard, make your lifestyle show through your choice and care of landscaping.

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