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Curb appeal goes a long way to add value and attract potential buyers for your home

METRO CREATIVE SERVICES - 5 outdoor projects that add valueExterior renovations can enhance the appearance of a property and make it more enjoyable for homeowners.

Certain renovations have the potential to add value to a home, while others may do the opposite. Learning which ones have the most significant return on investment can help homeowners select features that will have the most positive impact.

Curb appeal goes a long way toward attracting potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), first impressions of a property strongly influence buyers. Landscaping and external features can do much to influence such impressions.

1. Lawn care program

An attractive feature is investing in a lawn care program that consists of fertilizer and weed control applications and can be transferred over to a subsequent homeowner. NAR says such a care program can recover $1,000 in value of the $330 average cost, or a 303% return on investment.

2. Low-maintenance lifestyle

When choosing materials for projects, those that offer low-maintenance benefits can be preferential. These include low-maintenance patio materials, composite decking, vinyl fencing, and inorganic mulched beds.

3. Fire pit

A fire pit can be used for much of the year. The firepit is a great place to congregate to roast marshmallows or sip wine and gaze into the fire during the spring and summer. In the fall, the fire pit can make for a cozy retreat. A fire pit with a gas burner is low-maintenance, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals says that most can recoup about $4,000 of their $6,000 average price tag.

4. Softscaping

Hardscaping refers to structures like outdoor kitchens or decks. Softscaping involves the living elements of the landscape. Hiring a landscape designer to install trees, shrubs, natural edging, and rock elements can improve the look and value of a home.

5. Pool or water feature

In certain markets — particularly hot climates — a pool or another water feature is a must-have. However, in other areas where outdoor time is limited, a pool or water feature can actually lower the value of a home. Again, speaking with a real estate professional can give homeowners an idea of how a pool will fare in a given neighborhood.

Outdoor improvements can improve the marketability of a home and enhance its appearance and function.

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