Should you landscape? Yes, and here’s why, even if you aren’t selling your home.

Landscaping is on the minds of many homeowners this time of the year. Home improvement stores are busting at the seams with beautiful flowers full of color. Coinciding with spring gardening fever in Texas is an upswing in real estate. Home sales begin to gain momentum this time of year. So the question, “Should I invest in landscaping to help sell my house?” is a legit one for many home sellers. The American Society of Landscape Architects recommends homeowners spend 10% of their home’s value on landscaping. Most real estate professionals will tell you a well landscaped lawn generates a perceived higher value in the minds of potential buyers.

Aside from the sought-after, aesthetic appeal, landscaping offers several, lesser-known benefits that reduce risks, making the investment a wise decision for homeowners. Here are a few reasons you and your home will be better protected if you choose to landscape your yard.

Plant and shrubs take in carbon dioxide and put out oxygen, improving our air quality.

Landscaping promotes air quality and mental health.

Air quality increases, and so does your mood.

Just by having trees and plants in your yard, you will breathe easier and your mood improve. Trees in the United States alone remove 784,000 tons of pollutants annually. One large, healthy tree is capable of removing 300 tons of carbon dioxide from the air in a single year. Plants and grasses also breakdown carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon, making the air around them cleaner. According to loveyourlandscape.org, a 50’x50’ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four. The boost of oxygen plantings give out improves cognitive function and reduces stress. Gardening promotes exposure to nature, sun especially. As a result, serotonin in the brain and vitamin D increases and these both contribute to a sense of well-being and focus. Even a minimal amount of time in your garden can change your mood and high blood pressure for the better studies show.

Lush landscapes absorb excess rain easier.
Lush landscapes absorb excess rain water more easily and help to keep your yard free of water accumulation.

Rain is more easily absorbed.

As we have seen in recent weeks, and even the last few days, severe weather season brings excess rain. Your yard will be able to tolerate large amounts of water better if you have grass and plantings. Bushes, low lying plants, lawns and trees play an important roll in absorbing water from rain storms that would otherwise puddle in your yard. In doing so, they take in the pollutants and sediments in the water, which helps to keep your water runoff clean and yard free of ugly, nasty mud puddles that mosquitoes love.

Strategic placement of trees can provide shade and contribute to cooling your home.
Strategic placement of trees, as see in this picture, provide shade and aids in cooling your home.

Your home will be cooler.

In Texas, we need all the help we can get in reducing our electricity usage in the hot summer months. Many homeowners do not realize that landscaping elements like trees and bushes can save you money on your energy bill. If you are working with a landscaping professional to spruce up your yard, be sure they consider placement, not just aesthetics. Strategically placing trees on the sides of your home that get the most sun can go a long way in helping to keep the inside of your home cool in hot summer months. Additionally, planting trees near your air conditioner unit will provide shade, helping your A/C unit to work less in cooling your home and extending its lifespan. Arborday.org offers an easy-to-use guide to help you decide which trees are best for your neighborhood.

A tall wooden fence combined with plants can help to buffer noise.
Tall wooden fences combined with plants buffer noise and help to keep your yard quite.

Outside noise will lessen.

In Texas, we are known for our love of big. With our expansive state comes travel, and with travel comes noise. Airplanes and busy streets are reasons many homeowners turn to landscaping professionals. If you live in a metropolitan area, a landscaped backyard can be a friendly ally in alleviating noise . What are some key landscaping elements that reduce noise? Stone retaining walls, water fountains and tall wooden fences all contribute to a quieter backyard space. Planting broad-leaf shrubs with low lying branches are good noise-blocking choices. Evergreen shrubs, Hostas, Juniper bushes and Magnolia or Oak trees all provide dense foliage that also contribute to noise reduction. Additionally, sunken sitting areas and fire pits are also effective choices if you are trying to achieve a tranquil outdoor space.

Smart landscaping choices and a weed-free lawn will make you more money when you go to sell.
Smart landscaping choices and a weed -free lawn will sell your home faster and make you more money.

The resale value of your home will increase.

Making a good first impression is important if you want to sell your home. According to Bob Villa, landscaping will allow you to walk away with about 20% over your home’s value. Take the time to access your needs and really plan out what plantings will go where. A mismatch of plantings sporadically placed in beds with no visual consideration will make your landscaping look unorganized and unprofessional. Remember, your goal is to help would-be-buyers envision themselves spending time in your yard. Even with a limited budget, there are things you can do to ensure your yard looks its best for showings. Some basic to-dos that will keep your yard looking well maintained:

  • Keep your lawn mowed and edged weekly for a tidy appearance.
  • Add plants to flower beds or pots near the front door.
  • Keep your outdoor spaces free of clutter and personal belongings.
  • Keep your lawn and flowerbeds weed-free with bimonthly attention.
  • Prune or trim the dead off existing trees and plants.

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