As with any home improvement project, a wide range of pricing structures exist. Depending upon your needs for landscaping design, and whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a professional, it can greatly vary.
A beautifully landscaped home can improve your day-to-day life, while enhancing the curb appeal. Whether you plan to stay in the home you’re landscaping or sell it in the near future, then your home will present a stunning face to the world.
If you’re planning to sell your home, now or in the future, then your landscaping can play a key role in enticing potential buyers into wanting to see the inside of the home—an important step in the selling process.
In this post, we’ll share more about the benefits of quality landscaping (you might be surprised!), what the current landscaping trends are (so you can follow them, if desired, or avoid them to create something unique and different), along with ranges of what you might expect to pay for the landscaping of your dreams. Finally, we’ll also share smart strategies on how to budget and pay for this project.
Benefits of Landscaping
Landscaping can add beauty to virtually any home, and it can also add literally tens of thousands of dollars to your property’s value. According to HomeGuides from SFGate.com , this is one of the few home improvements that can add immediate value to your home, with that value often increasing as time passes.
When a home is well landscaped, the article continues, it can increase the home’s value by as much as 5.5% to 12.7%, depending upon the original value of the house and the type of landscaping done. Factors that make landscaping appealing to buyers include:
• sophisticated design
• plant size and maturity
• diversity of plant life
Plus, studies cited by Texas A&M University show remarkable and surprising potential benefits associated with being surrounded by plants, including:
• improved concentration and memory
• elevated moods
• reduced likelihood of stress-related depression
• accelerated healing
• improved relationships
• boosted levels of compassion
• increased energy
• boosted performance
• better learning environment
• and more
Clearly, there are significant benefits of attractive landscaping. So, how do you choose the design, plant life included and so forth?
BobVila.com offers practical guidance on landscape planning, sharing that cookie cutter designs are a thing of the past. Instead, the article shares, landscape design should fit your lifestyle. If, for example, you dazzle people with your grilling skills, fitting a dream outdoor kitchen into your patio makes good sense. Or, if you find peace through yoga, using landscaping to create a private “om” space can be ideal.
Also design landscaping around your life stage. For example, “families might opt for kid-friendly flower gardens, busy singles might gravitate toward easy-care coneflowers, and outdoor entertainers might prefer fragrant lavender and basil to perfume the backyard air.”
As one more tip from this article, serenity gardens are among the hottest, most versatile styles of landscaping today. People use water and plant choices to create a relaxing, even meditative, mood.
Eco-friendly landscaping is in demand, according to LoveYourLandscape.org , with a growing emphasis on water management and conservation that influences the design and maintenance of the plants. This will likely cause people to increasingly use plants native to their area, and to focus on xeriscaping, which involves the use of low-water plants. Smart irrigation technology will also likely increase in demand.
That, however, does not translate into boring! People are adding “pops of color and whimsy,” with purple plants being especially popular. Landscapers are therefore expected to use more violets, verbena, clematis and iris. Also trending are “patterned plants” with more intricate details, from striped leaves to brightly colored veins and more.
Here’s one more trend, this one by NewHomeSource.com : the imperfect garden. Forget, the article shares, rows of flowers that are perfectly aligned. Instead, intentionally incorporate imperfection, and feel free to repurpose old gates, add uneven rocks and otherwise make your landscaping truly unique. Then, go outside and relax!
Landscape Budget Planning
First, give yourself permission to dream, to think big. What does your ideal landscaping look like? Feel like?
Then, create a list of both needs and wants. In your “needs” column, list repairs that must be done for safety’s sake, ranging from drainage challenges, broken fences, toxic plants that need rooted out, dead tree limbs that need removed and so forth.
Walk around your property as you make this list and use this time to also imagine what the property could look like with the stunning new landscaping you’re envisioning. Perhaps some of the ideas we’ve listed above have inspired you in an unexpected direction. Have fun!
Now, prioritize your list and be clear about which items are optional (perhaps a special type of trellis material for climbing roses) and which are not (trip hazards where you plan to add outdoor seating). Be sure to write down your priorities.
Initially, this may feel like a waste of time but, once you get into the midst of your project, you may run across new landscaping ideas. When this happens, it’s important to be able to ground yourself by reviewing how you prioritized and why.
According to Houzz, about 60 to 70% of choices that get made impulsively cost more than what was included in the original budget. Sometimes, things are added on the spur of the moment because you discover they’re necessary. Other times, they’re not. So, review your priorities and make your decision thoughtfully based upon your original plan.
Next, determine how much you can spend, keeping in mind how quality landscaping can add significant value to your home. Then, it might make sense to talk to three professional landscapers to find out pricing. Even if you intend to do some work yourself, these professionals will likely share information you hadn’t yet considered. (Hiring them in the off-season can save you money.)
Add a cushion of 10-20% and then determine if you can fund this out of savings, or if you’ll likely need to obtain additional funds.
How Much Does Landscaping Cost?
Now that you’ve done preliminary landscape budget planning, here is a look at the average cost of landscaping. According to Thumbtack.com, you should figure on paying $500-$700 for a small project, with landscaping costs for larger, more complex projects being $20,000 and up.
If you’re planning a larger project, the site notes that the American Society of Landscape Architects recommends that you budget your project at 5-10% of the value of your home.
If you plan to use a designer for your project, Thumbtack.com suggests that you budget $50-75 per hour for that professional to draw up plans, choose the plants, and find and purchase hardscape materials. Plants could cost $320-900 for 1,000 square feet of lawn.
At Thumbtack.com, you can enter your zip code to get estimates from local landscapers, and you can do the same through ImproveNet.com .
Home Equity Loans Versus Personal Loans
If you’ve decided to invest in your home’s value through landscaping—and the price point is above what you can afford from savings alone—then it may make sense to weigh the pros and cons of a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and then of a personal loan.
In certain circumstances, a HELOC may make sense. If, for example, you have significant home equity and plan to borrow a large amount to fund landscaping costs, a HELOC may offer a lower interest rate. Plus, the payments could be tax deductible.
Advantages of using an unsecured personal loan include that it doesn’t tie up any equity in your home. Fees are typically less (perhaps with no fees, whatsoever) and the application and approval processes are typically pretty fast. With a HELOC, you very well may need to pay for an appraisal and go through a more detailed application and approval process.
Personal Loans at SoFi
Home renovations are one of the most efficient ways to boost home values, and landscaping can be an excellent way to improve both its appearance and value. Choosing a SoFi personal loan for your landscaping project could be a smart choice for multiple reasons. With a home improvement loan from SoFi, you can benefit from:
• Quick process: You can get started more quickly, with the timeline from online approval to funding averaging seven days.
• Fixed payments: This helps you to keep your budget manageable and your project on schedule.
• Kept home equity: The equity in your home is not on the line.
• No fees. None. No surprises. None. What you see is what you get.
You can find your rate is just two minutes, with no commitment. Then, when you’re ready, you can complete your personal loan application—after you sign on the dotted line, it’ll be time to finally start your landscaping project.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice about bankruptcy.