Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun. Brian Wilson/Beach Boys
Summertime doesn’t actually start for another couple of weeks but for all intents and purposes, once we get past Memorial Day, it’s all about Summer. If you are a home owner this time of year the thought might occur to you to do something with the yard. The front yard is extremely important when you put your home up for sale. The back yard will likely be where you spend your outdoor time around the house. So, both are important.
So here are a few items to address to for both your personal enjoyment and ultimately your home’s value.
- Landscape – A broadly scoped word to be sure; but think in terms of neatness and symmetry. Keep the grass cut, a little mulching and get rid of the dead stuff. Depending on the size of the yard the cost can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Power washing – improves the look and lifespan of the outside of home. make sure to take the screens off first. Typical cost is a few hundred dollars.
- Fencing – most fencing is in the back and provides a sense of privacy as well as aesthetic enhancement. Always good to replace rotted boards re-attach loose ones. By the way, if you still have a chain link fence get rid of it. Chain link fences are best suited for dog runs etc. Power wash your fence every few years to extend the life. Typically a few hundred to one thousand dollars should cover everything.
- Shutters and Flower boxes – these are typically found around and under the front first floor windows of a home. Shutters should be kept painted and securely attached. The boxes are a great way to introduce color to the front of a home. This improves curb appeal and its nice to come home to. A thousand dollars should be plenty of budget to cover these items; but like everything else you can certainly spend more.
- Repair patios and walks. – This can sometimes be done as a DIY project. Here is an example from Zillow Digs. Ignoring these will only create a larger problem down the road. It also can hurt your value when the time comes to sell.
- Decorative ponds – I haven’t seen any evidence these are value adding items. Many buyers consider them to be maintenance heavy. However water features are appealing to some buyers and can be a nice aesthetic to a yard. Here is another Zillow Digs article on how to do this.
- Plantings – These are above the pay grade of most of us – myself included. Best bet is to hire a professional – we can help with that – and keep it simple. The maintenance of plantings is critical. Don’t take on more than you can chew (unless it is a fruit tree then you can sell the excess to pay for the upkeep. You’re probably looking at a $1000.00 and up for this.
- Irrigation system – The piece de resistance so to speak. The key here is to install after everything else is done particularly the plantings. The system should be designed to maintain the entire yard for maximum results. These systems typically cost up to 5 grand or more depending on the size of your yard. We have seen them in small yards for a lot less. The major benefit is the automatic watering keeps the yard in shape saves a lot of time and water too. We have had clients tell us their entire yard changed once they installed an irrigation system.
The next edition of our Foss Home Team newsletter FossTalk will feature additional summertime ideas and suggestions from our Foss Home Team experts. To subscribe click here and simple type your address and the words Foss Talk and you’ll receive a complimentary copy.
There is a lot more that goes into the preparation and enjoyment of home ownership. Let me know if you have questions or would like more information on specific areas. [email protected]