Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Kelly Heidbreder

COMMENTARY

Landscaping can help in selling your home

Are you thinking of selling your house? Maybe it is already on the market. Real estate professionals will tell that you only have a few seconds for that potential buyer to drive up and decide if they can call your place home. That means your landscaping could be a good way to reel them in. So if you are looking for ways to get that "sold" sign on the house, focus on some spots that will enhance your property values.

The first thing to do is to figure out how much money you can set aside for a project. Be realistic. Don't deplete your budget, but give the project enough to make it worthwhile. You can do a lot with a few hundred dollars and even more amazing things with a few thousand.

If you don't have a whole lot left in the budget after painting and fix ups inside the house, then at least spend a few hundred dollars right at your entry way.

Front door

Some things don't cost anything except time and muscle. Clean up any weeds around the front door, along the sidewalk or any areas that someone would see as they walk up to your front door. Look at your front entrance with fresh eyes. Get rid of clutter and prune back overgrown plants.

If you have shrubs that are more than 10 years old, they may be outgrowing their welcome. Dig out the old root balls and replace them with something fresh. This also gives a great opportunity to amend the soil and reconstruct the edging of the garden beds.

Mailbox

Don't ignore the mailbox at the end of your driveway. Sometimes this is the first thing people see when they pull up to your house. Decorate the base of it with annuals and consider growing some sort of flowering vine like clematis to greet your guests.

Clean slate

Once you get the space cleared out and all of the debris hauled off to the compost pile, you can come up with a new plan. Remember, this is for the new owner. You don't want to fill it with something that won't last, but you also don't want to go way over budget, or end up with an incomplete project only to have people turned off because of an elaborate blunder.

Think about timing for blooms and use at least half of your budget on plants that will last for years such as flowering shrubs, substantial edging and other hardscapes like trellises or arbors. Use the remaining budget on smaller perennials with unique foliage, pops of color all at different heights. Fill in the bare spots with the jewels of the garden, annuals.

Keep it simple. Taller plants should be planted at least two big steps from your foundation. Shorter plants can fill in front of them.

The wow factor

Keep a few fresh annuals on your deck and around the front door in pots. Pick one bright color that matches the exterior of your house. If they start looking ragged, just toss them out and buy new ones. This will give your house some of the curb appeal you will need to have those buyers signing on the dotted line.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com.

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