Providing potential homeowners the opportunity to live in well-appointed, easy-to-manage outdoor spaces can pay off big for developers and flippers who are looking to get the biggest return on their investment and effort.
A recent study by RealEstate.com suggests that landscaping and hardscaping can deliver as much as 150% ROI, which puts it at the head of the line for popular home improvement projects. According to Blasé DeMichele, a hardscaping contractor based in Media PA, “landscaping is like a room addition without the roof … The most requested outdoor aspects include fireplaces, fire pits, and patio pavers.”
The research indicates that home buyers will pay a premium for nicely landscaped property. According to the study, for every dollar invested in the outdoor living spaces, a flipper might see 60 cents to two dollars returned. Even people who add the improvements with no intent to sell will probably see a good return on their investment after years of enjoyment of the space.
In areas of the country where drought is a problem, other landscaping options can take the place of more expensive, high maintenance botanicals. California recently determined that as much as 50 million square feet of lawns across the state would have to be removed in response to the unprecedented drought that state is experiencing.
In place of the previously ubiquitous lush greenery, many drought-state property developers are installing Xeriscape landscaping, in addition to the brick and stone patios. Naturally fire resistant and drought tolerant, Xeriscapes offer natural beauty that doesn’t add a water burden to the community.
The Science of Xeriscape:
The term, “Xeriscape” describes a landscape that demands very little water and can withstand the harshness of extended sun and wind conditions. Far from being visually harsh, images of international xeriscaped gardens reveal amazing beauty and a variety of plants and designs not found in the US. Mediterranean gardens contain olive and other fruiting plants that thrive in hot, dry climates. African-themed gardens are filled with cactus and succulents that burst with color in the presence of very little water. The planting and pruning of this hardy vegetation style can evoke the sense of a formal French garden, or the sensory-stimulating experience of a Tuscan retreat.
Irrigation Is Essential:
Even in a Xeriscaped garden, a little water is required. Installation of a low-water drip system promises potential homeowners a virtually maintenance-free outdoor space. These easy-to-install, economical systems have a lead hose running from the spigot and from which side hoses emerge. Each side hose relates to a specific plant and delivers water directly to the base of that plant. No water is wasted, and every plant receives what it needs. Timers can be used to turn on and off the water supply.
Soil and Mulch:
The space between plants offers another money-saving opportunity. Frequently, xeriscaped yards are also lawn or grass-free. Instead, sand, gravel or colored stone is spread under all plantings to both prevent erosion of underlying soil and also provide an attractive foundation that highlights the beauty of the plants it supports.
Perennials such as rosemary, lavender, yarrow, sage and catmint offer color and scent and can be used in recipes. Vines such as honeysuckles, wisteria and grapes can be trained over structures and offer delightful scents and fruits. Succulents such as agaves, aloes, and echeverias have strong structural shapes and colors and can provide a highlight or focal point. The drought concern across the country may or may not improve as years go by. For actual and potential residents of drought-stricken states, the shift to less thirsty landscaping options is a both a pragmatic and economically sound decision.
Real Estate developers and flippers are always looking to increase their ROI through intelligent and responsible renovation choices. Choosing an outdoor renovation that includes easy, comfortable outdoor rooms surrounded by virtually maintenance free xeriscaped gardens is an economical, responsible and beautiful way to go.
If you are ready to begin a new rehab project including outdoor upgrades and need funding, contact us today.
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