Location is only one piece of the real estate puzzle. If your home is on the market, it’s curb appeal that attracts potential buyers. Landscaping is more than just cutting the grass and weeding a flower bed; it’s about pleasing visuals that add value to your real estate investment. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Real estate agents say well-designed landscaping can increase the value of your home up to 20 percent. But the economic value of landscaping means more than an increase in your property value. (1) Energy-efficient landscaping can reduce the cost of heating and cooling your house. (2) Today’s landscaping trends lead to tomorrow’s sales. The American Society of Landscape Architects recommends investing 10 percent of your home’s value in landscape design. That includes garden paths, swimming pools, ponds, terraces, decks, flower beds, and lighting. Landscape architects are experts in botany, horticulture, engineering, and design. They can also advise you on soil, property grading, and irrigation. Landscaping Trends Today’s technology can now be incorporated into backyard living. Cellphone apps control swimming pool heaters, outdoor lighting, and sprinklers. Some can even identify insects and plant diseases. Artificial intelligence is everywhere: “Siri, turn on the grill.” In addition, many homebuyers want a low-maintenance yard. Eco-friendly pollinator gardens are trending right now. Native plants need little maintenance or water and attract bees and butterflies to your yard. Secluded areas are a draw for those who want to feel cozy and snuggled in. Gazebos, private gardens surrounded by living walls, and privacy screens help to feel like you’re in your own little world. Add a waterfall and the lulling sounds create a backyard oasis. Related: Home Upgrades That Are Seriously Worth Making (Think: ROI!) Pergolas made of wood or steel are in demand, especially with outdoor heaters, solar lighting, and sound systems. Thick, green lawns need consistent care, but you can jazz it up some by cutting patterns in the turf. Striping is rather easy when you’re on a riding mower. There are pattern rollers and striping kits available if you want something a little more intricate. In small backyards, shrubs, trees, and hanging planters are popular options. And again, living walls can grow vertically on walls and fences. Raised planters and pedestals work nicely with container gardens. Add a few paver stones to create the perception of a bigger yard, especially when you place them around a corner. Hardscaping Retaining walls, stairs, walkways, patios, and other features made of wood, brick, concrete, and stone make your backyard user-friendly. These projects need to be set into place before you plant trees or shrubs. Start by making a list of all the things you wish you could have, like an outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, cabana, deck, patio, built-in fire pit, and barbecue. Then, choose what will work best on the property and what you can afford. Hardscaping ideas for the front of the house include built-in ceramic planters, tiled steps, and lantern posts. Related: Landscaping: 4 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Yard’s Curb Appeal Softscaping The trees and shrubs on your property provide valuable shade, privacy, and windbreaks. Plant native and drought-tolerant plants in your yard. They conserve the environment by not drawing too many nutrients from the soil. Native plants are less apt to become diseased or bug-ridden, too. These landscaping trends add value to your home by expanding the available space. But the value is more than getting it ready to sell. The reason you bought the property was to enjoy it personally or provide a space that your tenants would enjoy! And both the house and the yard look better and are more functional with sculpted landscaping. Sources http://www.uvm.edu/pss/ppp/articles/econvalue.html https://www.helveta.com/10-ways-to-make-your-landscape-design-energy-efficient/ Have you observed any other landscaping trends recently? Which improvements do you think provide the most bang for your buck? Weigh in with a comment below.