Planning Your Home, Inside AND Out

Most real estate experts agree that landscaping can add anywhere from ten to fifteen present to the value of your home.  So, whether you are purchasing or building a new home, or considering renovating your existing home, you need to consider your landscaping as part of the planning process.

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There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to landscape planning. The first thing you want to mull over is how involved you want to be in weekly and seasonal maintenance. If you have a large, landscaped lot, you’re in for a lot of lawn mowing, leaf raking, and mulching…and that’s just the beginning. Some people enjoy that, so it’s not a problem. Others would rather pay someone else to maintain it, and that’s fine, too. But have that that figured out before you start, because that is going to heavily influence your design concepts.

Think about the style that you would like. Some like a formal English garden, with well-defined borders and a tight, tidy appearance, while some prefer a cottage garden, with a undisciplined beauty that comes with letting plants grow with little maintenance. Still others lean towards a standard suburban setting that mixes lawn elements with patches of gardens that are comprised of basic plant cultivars. Keep in mind that here in Anne Arundel County, we enjoy a coastal climate that allows us to grow plants that might struggle in other areas in Maryland. Whatever your preference, again, take into account the maintenance commitment that you are willing to make. What seems manageable in the planning stage may be overwhelming down the road, when it all grows in!

Don’t forget the practical elements of landscaping that should be both beautiful and practical. Shade trees, for example, can significantly lower your electric or gas bill by serving as a windbreak for your home in winter and providing shade in summer. Smaller trees and shrubs are useful as living screens to hide trash cans, HVAC compressors, cable boxes, etc. And ground cover, such as ajuga, can offer a great alternative to a lawn.

The first thing that people see when they visit your home is your landscape. That makes it particularly important to those who are thinking about putting their home on the market, as it will frame the expectations that potential buyers may have for the interior. So don’t leave anything to chance and make your landscape something to talk about!