Taking care of your yard can seem like a pretty tedious task at times. But did you know how well you care for you yard affects your finances, health, and personal relationships? Here’s how it works:
1. Caring for your yard helps you feel proud of the place you live. It’s a great feeling to pull up in your driveway after a long day of work and feel proud of the way your home looks. It represents, in part, your personal success. Taking good care of your yard helps your outward appearance be dignified.
2. Caring for your yard maintains the value of your home. Economists estimate that between seven and fifteen percent of a property’s value is in the landscape. If you neglect the landscape, the value of your property will decrease. If you care for your landscape regularly, you will protect and grow the investment you’ve made in your residence.
3. Caring for your yard improves your relationships with your neighbors. Your home value is greatly influenced by the neighborhood in which you live and the recent sale prices of the homes surrounding you. If your neighbors see you are taking the time to care for your yard, they will know their own home value is protected and will appreciate your efforts.
If you neglect your landscape, they will inevitably start to complain about you to their friends and family. They might blame you if they can’t sell their home for a decent price. Rather than trying to win their goodwill by bringing them chocolate chip cookies, take care of your yard.
4. Caring for your yard is good for the environment. Landscape plants provide a wide variety of environmental benefits in cities and suburbs. They reduce our cooling bills, sequester carbon, mitigate stormwater runoff, produce oxygen, provide shade, and provide food and shelter for birds and insects. Want to go green? Green the space outside your home.
5. Caring for your yard gives you more usable space. In Colorado, we’re blessed with comfortable weather for much of the year. We truly get to enjoy the outdoors. If you’ve ever been in a home with an abandoned back yard, you know the space becomes unusable. When your yard is in good shape, you effectively increase the square footage of your home by creating more functional space.
6. Caring for your yard is good for your mind and body. Want a healthy brain? Research has shown that people who have access to “green spaces” perform better on concentration and memory tests. Plus, they prove to be more creative. Want to couple that with a healthy body? Being around plants reduces stress and speeds healing. Isn’t it great you can have a health-inducing experience right outside your back door?
7. Having a well-cared-for yard is important if you want to ever sell your house. Curb appeal is what gets qualified buyers in the door. The landscape is a huge component of curb appeal. If the yard is neglected, buyers wonder if there are other major problems with the home. On the other hand, people automatically assume that if the landscape is well cared for, the home has been well-maintained, too.
8. Caring for your yard will help you have a peaceful relationship with your Homeowner’s Association. Nothing is worse than being constantly being nagged by your HOA because of a “yard problem.” By following a regular yard care program, your yard will be in good shape. Your HOA will have no choice but to focus on someone else. This is one case where it’s better to avoid attention.
9. Investing in your yard increases your personal wealth. Looking for a rock solid investment? Think about improving your yard. It’s a great place to put your home improvement dollars. Landscape investment returns, on average, 109% compared to a kitchen remodel, which returns around 63% on average.
That means if you invest $1000 in your yard, you’re likely to recoup $1090 in home value. If you invest $1000 in a kitchen remodel, you’re likely to get back around $630 is home value.
Unlike a kitchen remodel, landscape improvements involve living things. You have to care for them to keep them alive. Once you improve your yard, don’t let that investment go to waste by letting it deteriorate. In order to reap the fantastic return in the future, you have to maintain the improvements.
10. Caring for your yard beautifies places that are special to us. One way to signify that a place is special to us is to beautify its surroundings. Our homes where we enjoy our free time, raise our children, and fulfill our dreams are places that deserve to look as special on the outside as it is on the inside.