Selling Your House? Choose the Projects with the Best Return

If you are considering selling your property in the not-so-distant future, you want to choose your landscaping upgrades carefully, investing in things that have universal appeal. Here is our guide to the best landscape investments.

Clean It Up

Even the simplest yard is an asset if it is well maintained. Start with what you have. Trim the grass and tidy up the garden beds. Add mulch to control the weeds in garden beds. Prune overgrown trees and shrubs. A simple, well-ordered yard is always superior to an elaborate mess.

Create an Outdoor Living Space

The cheapest way to landscape a yard is to plant grass from corner to corner. This can be great if you have kids and your most immediate need is for a space to host the neighborhood soccer tournament. But if you want to make your yard more inviting and usable, nothing does it better than a small patio or deck. A multi-functional space will be large enough to accommodate your barbecue, along with a small table and chairs set, or perhaps a couple of loungers.

Add a Flash of Colour

A great way to bring your yard to life is to give it an injection of color.

Perennials can add some subtle color to your gardens, but if you want bolder, longer lasting colour, plant some annuals. If you are among a growing majority for whom gardens are more of a chore than an asset, consider confining your gardening to a few large planters. Plastic planters and urns are inexpensive and lightweight. Ceramic and pre-cast concrete planters are available in unusual designs and rich colours.

Patio furniture is another way to add some colour. Brightly painted Adirondack chairs are very popular, as are more subdued wicker chair and loveseat combos that can be accessorized with colourful cushions.

Give It Some Focus

You can unify your yard and create order by choosing one element to be the focal point of the yard. It could be a small water feature at the edge of your garden. Or a patio and fire pit with built-in seating. Or perhaps a trio of planters on the corner of your deck, cascading with colourful annuals. It doesn't have to be expensive, just unique and eye-catching.

Add a walkway

A walkway can serve different functions. At its most basic it is a connector between different parts of your yard, a means of getting from your patio to the garden shed without having to walk through the wet grass. A well-placed pathway can also serve to draw your attention out into the yard. Combined with a small bench, a fire pit or a water feature, a garden path can create a secondary focal point. Walkways can be as simple as a string of stepping stones set into the grass or as refined as a flagstone walkway leading to an intimate patio with an outdoor fireplace.

Plant a Tree

In working on landscape plans I hear many reasons not to plant trees. Many people don't want to deal with the leaves each fall. Others are sun lovers who don't want to shade the yard too much. But, given time, few things will add value to your home like a mature tree. Why is it that homes in River Heights and Wolseley are in such demand? There are many reasons, but the large numbers of mature trees are near the top of the list. A young tree will cost $200.00 to $400.00 to plant. In 20 years that maturing tree could add upwards of $10,000.00 to the value of your home. Nowhere else can you get that kind of return on investment.

Keep it Simple

In the end, it is the simplest things that seem to provide the greatest value. Luxury items like pools, hot tubs, and outdoor kitchens can be very appealing, and in fact will be a great selling feature to the right buyer, but the added complexity and maintenance requirements may be a turn off to others. The key is to know what you want to get out of your yard. Luxury items are great, but you should build those for your own enjoyment. If you view your house and yard as an investment, keep it simple and functional.

If you would like some help in evaluating your landscaping priorities, send us an email at We'd love to chat.

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