Care for your front yard and add value to your home
Ever rocked up to an open home with high hopes, only to feel a little deflated when, as you walk up the garden path, you notice paspalum and bindies are deeply rooted throughout the lawn, broken plastic pots are scattered amongst the overgrown flowers, and a possum is nestling in the neglected tree by the eaves?
Believe it or not, a beautifully presented front garden can add a whopping $100,000 to the value of your home. Why?
Because when you invest a small fortune in landscaping or simply redesigning your garden to meet a higher standard, you’re not only giving your home a sense of presence on the street but creating a first impression that is both lasting and convincing to potential buyers.
Buyers want to imagine themselves sitting out on the front porch with a cuppa or cold one, watching the world go by… And when buyers do this, they are driven by passion and excitement. Add to this that potentially, there could be multiple offers on your property! Before you know it, buyers are bumping up their offers by $20,000, $50,000 – and would you look at that! Someone has made an offer $100,000 (or more!) above the asking price.
But where to begin on that front yard overhaul? Here are a few tips and tricks to get your garden up to scratch before moving forward with selling your property.
Use lines to plan it out
It’s all well and good to jump in with your gardening gloves and the desire to turn your tired-looking yard around, but it’s better to plan your project first – especially if you’re thinking of trying something new and funky.
Use a hose to outline your garden beds. You can try flowing curves or run your hose parallel to the lines of your house for something a bit different. Alternatively, you might want to give your garden the classic straight flowerbox look.
Once you’re satisfied with the outline of your bed, mark it with a line of sand.
Remove unwanted grass
Approach your grass removal process in an environmentally friendly way. Avoid chemicals where possible and shovel out any unwanted grass growing in your newly marked flowerbed.
If you aren’t planning to sell for a couple of months and have a large portion of lawn you want to be removed, try mowing the area to an extremely low height, covering it with several layers of newspaper and a lot of soil. The grassy patch will die out over time and will be easier to remove.
Alternatively, you could try solarisation. Simply cut the grass to the lowest height on your mower, dampen the area, and weigh down a clear plastic tarp on top. The sun will scorch the weeds and grass in this area over a period of about four weeks.
Dig up all the unwanted dirt and grass, and remove any debris found. If the soil is of particularly poor quality, introduce compost or other organic matter. This is particularly so in areas of Sydney’s East. Then, if you have a pitchfork handy, use this to aerate the soil by tossing it around. Your plants will thank you!
Dig a trench about 8-inches deep and a few inches wide to stop those pesky leaf-eating insects from invading your garden. You could also place a barrier or edging fence to add an interesting aesthetic to the perimeter of your bed.
Experiment with plant positions
I know you’re excited to put those plants into place, but taking the time to see how they look in various positions throughout your garden will make a big difference.
Keep in mind that plants also have specific sun and drainage requirements, so ensure you take this into consideration as you plan out your plant sites.
Once you’re happy with your plant planning, dig the holes, tease the roots of each plant, and pop them into the ground. Voila!
Mulch and water
Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of wood chips, eucalyptus bark, or straw over your garden bed; this will stop weeds from growing and help your soil to sustain moisture during those inevitable Australian droughts and Summertime heat.
Finally, it’s time to thoroughly soak your new garden – but keep in mind the mulch may absorb much of the water before your plants have a chance, so you might want to pop on the sprinkler instead!
So there you have it. If you’re looking to sell your current property, attracting strong buyer interest from the get-go will be a high priority on your to-do list. Because your front yard is the first aspect of your property that buyers will see, it is important to get it right the first time around – with a little elbow grease and a vision to improve.