We all know how important first impressions can be. A first impression could be the make or break point of walking out of an interview with your dream job or walking away empty handed. What you may not realize is that first impressions are just as important for houses as they are for people. Landscaping – or “curb appeal” as some people like to call it – can mean the difference between a buyer stopping to take a closer look or driving by.

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Not only does good landscaping help create a positive first impression on a potential buyer, but it also helps increase the price you can get for you home. On average, good landscape design can add up to 20% to your overall home value. That’s because buying a home is an emotional purchase as well as an economic one and potential buyers want a house that’s as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.

Now that you know how much is at stake, here’s a few tips on how to get the best return on your investment.

1. Know How Much to Invest

Invest in Landscaping
A good rule of thumb, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, is to plan on investing 10% of your home’s value in landscaping. But don’t put that all into your yard or plants. You’ll also want to extend that money to structural improvements, like fences, pathways, and even outdoor living spaces.

2. Make a Plan

Make a Landscaping Plan
Landscaping is like any other home improvement project – you need a solid plan to make it happen. There are plenty of factors to consider when planning a landscape project, including who’s going to be using your yard, what plants will thrive in your climate, and how much sunlight your yard gets.

For a full list of tips on how to bring your landscape to life, see “6 Things to Consider When Designing a Landscape”.

3. Keep it Simple

Keep Landscaping Simple
While you might have a green thumb and love gardening, potential buyers may not share your passion. Those rose bushes or the extensive landscaping that you absolutely love can be seen as extra maintenance and extra work. The most appealing landscapes are ones that make the garden seem simple and effortless.

4. Consider Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor Living Spaces
Landscaping doesn’t have to end with the garden. Consider adding an outdoor living space, like a patio or an outdoor kitchen. These spaces are a great way to extend your home into nature, and they are especially appealing to people who love to entertain. An outdoor living area is an easy way to add functionality to your landscape design and value to your house.

5. Hire a Pro

Hire a Landscaping Professional
A landscape design-build firm like DSLD Land Management will help you come up with a plan that fits your needs, your dreams, and your budget. From choosing plants and putting your plan into action to developing the right maintenance schedule, a professional landscaper will help make sure that you get the best return on investment from your landscaping.