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Monday, March 1, 2010

Curb Appeal: Getting the Best Return



Improvements can be crucial when preparing to list your home for sale but it's the improvements that create the best curb appeal that will get the buyers in the door. One of the best bang's for your buck: Turning your drab yard into a magnificent lawn.

PAYBACK: Varies; a recent study shows that good landscaping adds 5% to 11% to a home's value

COST: Varies widely

WHEN IT MAKES SENSE: Your home isn't as landscaped as others in your neighborhood, or your yard looks unkempt or just uninteresting.

BEST WAY TO DO IT: Hire a landscaper that has an eye for design or landscape architects on staff ($$). For a small fee (less than you probably think), many will walk your property and recommend plantings and placement. (If you want a drawn plan, you'll pay $$.) Prefer to go it alone? At the garden center of your local home improvement store, resist the temptation to buy a little of everything. Be sure to know what your plan is and sketch your layout before entering the store.

CAVEAT: Don't tear all your existing plantings out. Keeping some mature ones will make your yard look more established.

COST-SAVING MOVE: Rather than buying new items, just prune the plants you have now and get rid of the dead stuff. Talk with friends, family, neighbors, and me as you never know who might be throwing out the Hosta or Day Lily's that they hate but would be a great addition to your landscaping.

I speak from experience: We hired a landscaper to drawn a design, recommend plantings and placement and on occasion, stop by to check on our progress. The best money spent!

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