Not everything you do in your backyard will turn you a profit, but you should always try to get as great an ROI (return on investment) as you can. If you want to increase your home’s value consider these smart backyard investments.
There are no particular rules when it comes to plant choices or landscape design. Generally speaking a lush garden with different plants that bloom in each season is appealing to buyers, but maintaining it can be difficult and expensive. There’s no point in investing in a great landscape design if you can’t keep it looking good. It’s always best to go with what you like and can comfortably maintain.
Mature trees tend to add to a property’s perceived value. If you are moving into a newly built home consider planting a tree or two in the backyard so that when it comes time to sell they’re a decent size. Trees are one of the few things that appreciate in value over time so you may as well take advantage of it. And remember, plant large trees at the far end of your yard and smaller trees closer to the house.
It’s been suggested that backyard decks can give you a return of 68 to 77%, and I believe that when done properly this number can be even higher, making decks a great backyard investment. In fact, when it comes to ROI decks can be right up there with kitchens and bathrooms. I recommend spending between 2.5 and 5% of your house’s total value on a deck, and under $10,000 on a 200 sq ft deck. As far as size goes, the ideal is one part deck to 5 parts backyard. You can go bigger if you want, but don’t go smaller than 100 sq ft.
Fences are a bit tricky because the ROI isn’t guaranteed, but if you can keep the costs down a privacy fence can be a worthwhile addition. If you want to build a fence between yours and your neighbour’s house I recommend seeing if they’re willing to share the cost. If they’re into it then the ROI can be decent. But spending on an expensive fence on your own may not get you the return you’d like.
Don’t confuse luxury items with worthwhile backyard investments. Hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, landscape lighting and water features are all nice to have and will appeal to some buyers, but due to the level of maintenance they require they will turn off others. If you want to get them for yourself go for it, but know that they may not get you the return you’re looking for.
For more information on how to add value to the exterior of your house check out the ‘exterior’ section of my renovation website, Reno to Reveal.
Feature photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/chuckcollier