Q. How important is landscaping in buying or selling a house?
A. Good landscaping can increase your home’s resale value by 14 percent, according to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America. Better curb appeal may speed up the sale by as much as six weeks.
Professionals recommend that you invest 10 percent of your home’s value in landscaping. More than just plantings, this includes structural features such as lighting, outdoor rooms, fences and pools. Here are some helpful tips:
- Determine what you need. Are you landscaping to sell your home or to enjoy the property yourself for the longer term.
- Get professional guidance. Depending on the scope of your project and budget, consider hiring an arborist, a landscape designer or a certified landscape architect. Ask friends for recommendations or search web sites such as the one for The American Society of Landscape Architects.
- Develop a plan. Set your priorities ─ what needs to be done (have you solved that drainage problem?) versus what you’d like to do (put in an outdoor entertainment area). If you take a piecemeal approach, the result will look disorganized and cost you more money in the long run.
Q. What should I know about buying a foreclosed home?
A. There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a foreclosed home. Here are some general tips:
- See the house in person. Don’t rely on a low price and internet pictures.
- Conduct a title search. Find out whether it has a second mortgage or a lien on it.
- Get an up-to-date inspection. Conditions change and older inspections probably no longer apply.
- Budget for repairs and renovations. Chances are the longer the house has been vacant, the more problems there may be.
- Study the neighborhood. Is the house in a crime area or surrounded by other foreclosures?
- Get expert help. Work with a real estate agent who is experienced in foreclosures.
Published by: Craig Forte, Service for Life® Newsletter Subscription
If you have any questions, or need capable and trustworthy representation,
please call Joan at 480.241.7542
Joan Byrnes, SRES
Realty One Group