A minimalist curb-appeal landscaping plan can revitalize any yard that's not in serious trouble. You'll have bright color, lush greens and a well-manicured yard that says, "I'm easy and neat." It turns out, sellers don't need landscaping skills or a fat wallet to win on curb appeal.
Here are some quick and simple landscaping fixes that enhance curb appeal and deliver a low-maintenance yet high-class look.
1. Remove debris every day. "You don't want your yard to look like a lot of work to keep up," said Annette Weese, manager of Cold Creek Nursery in Aiken, S.C. She advised homeowners to be mindful of keeping the grass raked and free of pine needles, pinecones and leaves. A yard full of leaves only shows the amount of work awaiting new homeowners -- and for some, that's a deal breaker.
2. Trim everything back for a just-planted look. Weese advised keeping bushes neatly trimmed below the windows. In addition to a groomed appearance, trimmed shrubs look easy to care for and suggest slow growth -- another important element in a low-maintenance look. Also, windows and natural light are big assets, so letting shrubs grow to block these detracts from exterior curb appeal as well as the interior of the home.
3. Make a splash with annual color. "It's amazing what a little color can do to change the look of a house," said Brad McLean of McLean Landscapes in Northern Virginia. He recommended adding 15 to 20 pots of an inexpensive, easy growing seasonal bloom. Keep it simple and choose one type, such as impatiens, pansies or, depending on the season, even mums. You can break out a little and try alternating colors. Be sure to select a long-blooming variety so your landscaping efforts will carry you through the entire season.
4. Top off the flowerbeds. Refresh flowerbed mulch and re-edge for a clean look that pops. It's a classic approach to enhance curb appeal and will slow down weed growth, so there's one less thing to worry about. If you are doing this yourself and live in a termite area, remember to keep wood-based mulch pushed away from the side of the house. Other mulch choices include pine needles, pea gravel, bark and shredded hardwood mulch.
5. Get the golf course green. It isn't easy to green your yard in a pinch if your grass is dry, dull or has brown patches, but who wants to inherit a sickly yard? In this case, McLean suggested a little-publicized quick fix: turf paint. The result is instantaneous, lasting and affordable. It's commonly used on golf courses to maintain year-round greens and can add luster to any dull yard without damaging the grass.
For more landscaping and home-staging help see these AOL Real Estate guides:
• Xeriscaping: 6 steps to Natural, Low Maintenance Lawn
• Best Landscape Design Options
• Home Staging for Every Season
• How to Stage a Home Yourself
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