People certainly think about doing improvements to get their house ready to sell. Here at the blotter both Linda and I have written about what to expect from the money you spend and that the highest rates of return are, currently, on front doors and garage doors. You’ll get more out of those improvements than it costs to do them. However, I don’t think that we’ve talked about the return on investment for your yard. As it turns out, it’s quite good and certainly worth doing.
According to the National Association of Realtor, there are 5 outdoor projects that pay of the most.
- Standard lawn care service. Complete 6 standard applications of fertililzer and weed control on a 5,000 square foot lawn. Estimated cost = $415. Estimated return = $900
- Landscape maintenance. Mulch, mow, prune shrubs and plant about 60 annuals or perennials. Estimated cost = $4800. Estimated return = $5000.
- Outdoor kitchen. Install or inset grill, stainless steel drawers, ice chest sink, and concrete countertop with veneered masonry stone. Estimated cost = $15,000. Estimated return = $15,000.
- Overall landscape upgrade. Install front walkway of natural flagstone, add two stone planters, five flowering shrubs and a 15 foot tall tree. Estimated cost = $9000. Estimated return = $9000.
- New patio. Install a 18′ x 16′ concrete paver patio. Estimated cost = $10,500. Estimated return = $10,000.
There is also a lot to be said about doing your own weeding, watering, and bark dusting. This is labor intensive, but something many homeowners can do themselves. I think that the basic premise is that the more move-in-ready a house feels, the more appealing it will be to potential buyers.
I will also caution that there is a segment of the buying population who is intimidated by an overly elaborate garden. They know that it looks too labor intensive and will pass on a house that they don’t feel that they can maintain. So, yes, topiaries of the seven dwarfs is probably not a good idea.
Personally, outdoor spaces a super important to me. That patio that costs $10,500 but only returns $10,000, in my opinion, is pretty essential. Without a place to put some chairs and a barbeque, a yard becomes unusable. That patio, or a deck, is essential.
I hope that you have found this information useful. Happy gardening.