Curb Appeal: Landscaping as an Investment
"How much should I spend on my yard?"
I like statistics. They help me make sense of the world. When I read that Canadians are on average putting away 10 to 15 percent of their income into retirement savings I find this reassuring. With a little discipline I should be able to retire one day.
But I find it problematic when I read articles declaring that homeowners should be prepared to put a certain percentage of the cost of their house into landscaping. There was a time when I gladly quoted "stats" from various internet sources saying you should spend at least 10% of your property value on landscaping. $500K house? "Absolutely you should spend $50,000 on your landscaping. We can help you with that!" And what about the articles claiming that landscaping improvements will provide a 75% to 85% return on your investment when you sell your house. It may be possible to recoup a significant portion of your investment in landscaping, but there are no guarantees. No guarantees that future home buyers will have the same tastes in landscaping that you do. No guarantees that the fabulous outdoor kitchen you are building this year will still be considered a "must have" in 5 years when you want to sell.
These "rules" of landscaping investment are usually pulled out of thin air by sales people wanting more of your money. Every property and individual is different, and every home buyer will see value in different places. Our goal at Earthworks is to provide you with a yard that fits your budget and your lifestyle – and that gives you some pleasure and encourages you to get outside for a bit each day.
First time homeowners
If you are a first time homeowner, odds are that you spent a larger portion of your budget on the house itself, so money is a little tight. It is also more likely that you will be selling in the not-so-distant future. For you, we will focus on function. You'll likely want a simple, attractive yard that will offer enjoyment in the short term, will be easy to maintain and will improve curb appeal when it comes time to sell.
Just purchased your dream home?
If however, you have just purchased your dream home, and have no intentions of moving on, let's have some fun! You don't have to worry about current "trends" because this yard is being designed for you, not a future buyer. If you are a gardener, let's give you some space to play in the garden. If cooking and entertaining is your passion, why not splurge on an outdoor kitchen with a large patio to accommodate your guests? If your greatest pleasure is to curl up with a good book, we can create an intimate, secluded space where you can disappear into the literary world.
The salesman in me loves the "rules" that say you should be spending more on your landscaping project, but in the end I get the most enjoyment from giving you the kind of outdoor space that you want and need.
If you would like to talk more about you landscaping plans give me a call, text or email or send me an email any time. I'd love to work with you.