What can I do to improve my home's value

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Okay so I am attempting to figure out ways to improve my current residence. I'll preface this with we do have HOA so anything done will likely have to go through that. And it is Lexington SC.

But here is what I am working with. The backyard is a slopping back yard and is somewhat steep. It does level off at the bottom. As you can see in the pics I have attached that everyone in the cul-de-sac has a somewhat similar back yard.

What I planned on doing is clearing the small shrubbery you can see in the first part of the back yard and making it more welcoming and nice. Spread some mulch and put some chairs. Maybe a fire pit. Anything would be more than what the neighboring house have.

But I started looking and wondering about the part of the back yard where it levels off. Where you can see the bigger trees. Would it be worth it to have that cleared and make it look nice? 

Would that add any value? None of the neighboring houses would have a back yard like that and with it being in a subdivision, wouldn't this add a feeling of privacy to the new owners that they would enjoy?

All thoughts welcomed, we plan on staying at the very least a year. The location is great with great schools, and the neighborhood sits in between two major highways that are in the path of growth, however it is very slow growth.