Little gardens tucked in between apartment buildings and on abandoned urban lots have become ubiquitous.
A lush, manicured lawn, long a staple in boosting a home’s curb appeal, likely will be a turnoff to buyers schooled in the basics of sustainability.
If your house is eco-friendly, be certain that the first impression telegraphs sustainability to prospective buyers.
1. Natural landscape. Swap turf for low-maintenance, drought-resistant native plants that don’t demand chemical intervention.
Get up to speed on sustainable design principles and creating water-wise outdoor environments that are attractive and require little maintenance.
For information and resources: www.lawnreform.org and www.finegardening.com/blog/sustainable-landscaping.
2. Don’t fake it. If someone takes a peek into your garage and finds it loaded with weed killer, fertilizer, and an array of gas-powered mowers and tools, they’ll know that your eco-friendly curb appeal is just for show. Prospects’ next question might be: What else are these homeowners faking?
3. Light lights. Energy-hungry flood lights hooked to motion sensors send the wrong message. Instead, install solar-powered or LED lighting. And it’s all the better if you can quantify the energy savings of these eco-friendly alternatives.
4. Easy living. Create a sense that a house is in move-in condition. Help buyers to imagine themselves ensconced in your yard and show them they don’t need to do the heavy lifting.
Consider installing a drip irrigation system and have attractive rain barrels and composting bins in place and get gardens and planter boxes in shape with low-maintenance plants, vegetables and herbs, and colorful flowers. Also, create a haven for birds with appropriate plants, shrubs and water. For tips, click here.
5. Color me green. When repainting your garage, front door, trim, shutters, and fences, opt for low-VOC paint. The same approach–non-toxic stains and sealants– applies when you’re rebuilding or freshening up your decks.
6. Outdoor decor. Don’t let your porch and deck be an afterthought. Sustainable decking material and furniture and decorations made from recycled or renewable sources reinforce your sustainable curb appeal.
7. Door decor. Think organic when it comes to door wreaths and introduce fresh, natural scents, such as lavender, rosemary, and cinnamon, and use natural materials, such as dried leaves and fresh balsam.
8. Trash or treasure? Sure salvaged wood and repurposed tires and industrial materials can go a long way in the hands of a skilled artist. But an artistic vibe also can seem junky. Ask a friend–someone who’s honest and has good taste– to cast a vote. Trash or treasure?
9. Talk it up. Be certain to share all your eco-friendly outdoor upgrades with your real estate practitioner so he or she can point out the subtle green features, along with the time, energy and water savings those features will offer to future homeowners.