A great way to improve the value of your home is to improve your garden. When looking at homes, beautifully-done landscaping is always an attention grabber for agents and buyers alike. When I preview properties, I always take a good look at the exterior and garden areas. In fact, according to MONEY magazine, an investment in landscaping has the potential to return anywhere from 100 to 200 percent when a home is sold!

The key to planning your garden is to plan carefully and spend wisely in such a way that you not only improve the value of your home but you also attain maximum enjoyment now. Here are some tips to keep in mind for when you plan your new garden:

  • Set a budget. Some experts suggest spending approximately five percent of your home’s value on landscaping.
  • Take into account the environmental features of your property. Plan for both sun and shade during both summer and winter. Look for good and bad views. Listen for noises you may want to block. Know what type of soil you have.
  • Think about your needs. What kind of yard and features will best support your outdoor leisure activities?
  • Let yourself dream. Look at books and magazines (there are some great real estate magazines out there that feature gorgeous properties!) for inspiration. Keep note of specific plants, trees, gardens, yards, pools, patios, decks, and fences. Be sure to allot yourself more than enough time to brainstorm ideas for what you want to garden to look like.
  • Create a backyard blueprint. Sketch a plot plan that shows the physical features of your property.
  • Consult an expert. A landscape architect or contractor can use your ideas and plans to create an outdoor living space that truly fits your personality. Even if you opt to do the work yourself, it’s a good idea to hire an expert for the planning stages.
  • Savor your outdoor space. Careful planning and spending will ensure that your outdoor areas complement your lifestyle and enhance the look and value of your home!