When I show homes to clients, the front landscaping as well as the architectural look and proportions are the first two things a prospective client sees. I am a big believer in NO deferred maintenance but also first impressions.
One mistake I often see people do is save their landscaping till the last thing they do in a home…even after interior decorating. Or they leave things “natural” instead of landscaping which doesn’t help exhibit the size of the lot.
Often when I show property to a married couple, I notice the husband will immediately checks out the backyard, basement or garage (while the wife focuses on the first floor flow and kitchen).
Before you consider remodeling inside, look at your yard and try to see it from a potential buyer’s eyes.
1. In a very high percentage of situations most homes need “some” yard.
Yard can be achieved in a number of ways. Atlanta has so much topography that we are used to being creative. The “yard” doesn’t have to be in the back, it can be on the side or front, but it should be screened for privacy.
2. No matter how long you’ve been in the home, now is the time to do the privacy screening.
Even if they are little Leland cypresses or magnolias, in 10 years your home will have privacy, so start now while it’s relatively cheap.
3. Get started now!
Don’t wait to do the huge master plan as too often that just doesn’t happen.
You can add things every spring or fall that aren’t expensive and in several years you’ll have a fabulous yard.
4. If you own a “mature” yard, screening is probably great, but you may lack sun.
I like to see a yard with great screening as long as the plantings look fresh and manicured. That may mean chopping large plantings back dramatically in winter to keep a groomed appearance.
5. Don’t allow bushes to cover windows from an aesthetic and safety perspective.
Often when I list houses I have to have them do major chopping back of plants. Also, it’s helpful to check back there for deferred maintenance, especially wood rot.
I have now lived in my house in Vinings for over 10 years, and every year I take a look and try to determine what would need to be done if I were to put my home on the market. An annual home review provides a fresh perspective and keeps maintenance up.
If you want a second opinion of your home, or are unsure of the maintenance areas you should concentrate on, ask me for a referral to a home inspector. They can make a punch list for you and point you in the right direction.