Grand_Lake2014-05-25 14.38.30-3A buyer’s impression starts with lake home’s curb appeal. What better way to make a great first impression that with great landscaping?

Improving your landscaping can add as much as 28% to your home’s value. Even if you have good landscaping, an upgrade can still boost your resale value anywhere from 5 to 8 percent, depending on the landscaping and your geographic location. One of the major benefits of quality landscaping is that as the plants mature, so does your investment!

Here are some landscaping tips to increase your home’s value.

#1. Plan for the long run.

Before you go crazy spending hundreds or thousands of dollars at your local nursery, figure out where you can enhance your landscape, and how. says the biggest landscaping mistake is not making a plan. Without a long-range view of your landscape, it could end up looking like a patchwork quilt.

#2. Start large.

Get a head start on mature plantings with a shade tree that already measures about four to six inches in diameter at about a foot from the ground. This is an important investment, so don’t cut corners. In fact, have the garden center deliver and plant it to avoid tree damage that frequently happens in transportation. If the nursery delivers and plants it, they will be responsible if anything happens.

#3. Go native.

Native plants, shrubs, and trees will fare better in your garden than the more exotic types. Avoid the hassle of additional care and feeding of non-native plants, which will cost you in time and money.

#4. Avoid hijackers.

Some plantings will take over your yard very quickly. English ivy, bamboo, mint, Chinese wisteria, and trumpet vine grow so fast that they will hijack your landscape.

#5. Light it up.

Exterior lighting plays an important part in the curb appeal of your home. A beautifully lit landscape will be the envy of the neighborhood, as well as adding a safety benefit. The National Association of Home Builders’ list of home buyer preferences shows that 41% of buyers consider outdoor lighting as “essential” and 49% called it “desirable”.

Solar lighting is easy to install and adds a soft glow to light up your landscape in the evening. Talk to a lighting professional about other energy-saving ways to improve your landscape with the right lights.

#6. Less is more.

Don’t overdo your landscaping improvements in the first year or two. Give your plantings a chance to mature. Use pottery and garden art sparingly so that it accents, rather than overwhelms, the street view of your home. Also, go lightly with stonescaping and fencing. A heavy-handed approach might actually reduce the quality of your landscape.

#7. Think low-maintenance.

Most of what you do to your landscape will require some degree of maintenance. Plants will need to be fed and watered, trees and shrubs require pruning, and walkways must be weeded. Be watchful of your home improvements so that they don’t require more maintenance than you’re willing to give. You’re trying to boost curb appeal, and untended landscape will be a red flag to a potential homebuyer.