Tag Archives: landscaping

Front Lawns: More Than Just Curb Appeal

Beautiful landscaping for your home is for more than just making a good impression.

Besides having that curb appeal punch, having a front yard is good for us! Having a lawn and/or yard reduces energy costs (as long as you have the right trees and foliage planted), cools down the outside areas, reduces stress, provides oxygen, protects trees, and reduces water runoff. All good things, while also making your home beautiful!

BeyondCurbAppeal

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

Summer-Friendly Landscape Ideas

While lush, green turf grass covers nearly 47 million acres in the United States, all that green requires homeowners to hand over “green” for upkeep.

backyard 2Most yards are covered with non-native grass species that need mowing, weed killing, fertilizing, and watering. In fact, the average American household uses 60 gallons of water a day on watering (which, since California has a new water conservation law coming into affect, we need to consider reducing that amount). So, ditch the thirsty green for these easy yard alternatives Continue reading

Tips for Trimming Remodeling Costs

fixer upperWhen it comes to home improvement it is easy to think big. As you look into your yard you can already envision the perfectly manicured lawn, breathtaking landscaping, renovated patio area, and a new outside BBQ area. However, when you look at the budget you have to work with your vision starts to slowly fade away and you begin to concentrate on more realistic goals.

How is it possibly for you to create that dream home on a tight budget? In many cases you are going to need to make some small sacrifices in square footage, quality, and special features. The following tips should provide you with plenty of ideas on how you keep your home improvement budget on track without compromising results: Continue reading

Examine Features Now To Sell for a Good Price Later

Home for saleWhen you buy a home, chances are high that you will eventually sell as your life changes over time. In the United States, it’s estimated that homeowners change residences every five to seven years.

So when you are house hunting, it’s important to keep resale value in mind. Some features you may find desirable may not appeal to others when the time comes to put the house on the market. That would hurt both your ability to sell the house and to get a good price.

As you start your search, consider these factors that will affect resale value:

Exterior Features

Location: If you find the property that offers most of the features you are looking for and it’s going for a bargain price, don’t rush into it. There may be a reason the house is selling for a bargain, so carefully consider where the property is located. When you resell, for example, couples with small children are likely to be searching for quiet streets, large yards and proximity to shopping and schools. Rectangular lots generally sell better than oddly shaped or awkwardly situated properties. For many buyers, the determining factor is the neighborhood.  A home in a safe area will always fetch a better price than the same sized home in or near a less desirable neighborhood. In addition to a low crime rate, many buyers are also looking for a high-achieving school system.

Maintenance: A beautifully manicured lawn with landscaping may have curb appeal, but it is likely to be expensive and time consuming to keep up. You may be willing to pay a premium for it but the next buyer may not. A house with little to moderate landscaping generally has the best resale value. More buyers will also choose a home with exteriors, decks or patios that are made of low-maintenance materials.

Swimming pools: Pools can pose resale problems. Safety concerns means families with small children generally avoid them, as do buyers in regions where a pool is used only a few months of the year. Buyers will also be aware of the maintenance pools require. Keep in mind, however, in some upscale neighborhoods a pool is almost considered an essential.

Size: Resale value is also affected by the size of surrounding homes. Don’t buy the largest home in the area — a large house in the midst of smaller houses generally will sell for a lower price than if it is surrounded by homes of a similar size. Conversely, small or medium-size homes near a larger dwelling tend to increase in value.

Interior Features

Bedrooms/bathrooms: Homes with at least three bedrooms usually have good resale value. The price goes up if the master bedroom has its own bathroom. In any case, the home should have at least two bathrooms and they should be updated for resale purposes.
Kitchens: The center of many homes is the kitchen, which makes it the most important room in the house. Look for modern appliances, a large pantry, plenty of cabinets, attractive and spacious counter tops and adequate dining space. If there is a family room or dining room, the kitchen should be nearby.

Storage and space: In general, lots of closets and well-organized storage space will entice buyers, as will plenty of natural light. Walk-in closets add to the appeal, and garages boost resale value, particularly if they fit two cars. A separate laundry room is typically a great resale feature.

Character: One all-important aspect that will help sell a home is its character. A home’s distinctiveness, however subtle, can charm a buyer. Small touches such as granite counter-tops, French doors, an antique fireplace, or a picturesque view through a bay window can often cinch the deal. The more character your home has, the higher the resale value.

When buying a home, it all comes down to this: Purchase a house that suits your immediate needs and desires, but keep an eye on its resale value. You’ll reap the rewards when it’s time to move on.

This article is by BizActions.