Adding Hardscape features to your backyard

Hardscape features can greatly increase the value of your home and are considered to be any type of hard surface or structure added to your landscape. A gazebo, built-in bar-be-que, decking, concrete flower beds, and anything of this nature are all considered to be hardscape additions. If you have a large back or front yard, the possibilities are pretty much unlimited. We actually know a local homeowner that lives in Scottsdale Arizona that had her home evaluated before adding a shaded gazebo to her back yard. Before the project was completed, she was given an estimate of $250,000 for her home. After the gazebo was completed, she then received an estimate for  $275,000! That’s a huge difference of $25,000 in extra money she would have received for a project that only cost her $8,000.

Real estate is all about perceived value and there are many ways to increase the amount of money someone is willing to pay for your home. Many people think about remodeling and adding to the inside of their houses, but neglect the possible opportunities that exist in your homes front or back yard. Home valuations have been proven to be greater when outside structures are added to a property so we always suggest to get creative and brain storm ideas of what you could add to your yard. It’s important to be practical and try to actually add something of value that you and your family will utilize, BUT if you’re just in it for the money, that’s OK too. We hope you’ve received great value from this post… we want to thank our friends NTS Landscaping for sponsoring this blog. NTS offers the best Scottsdale landscaping services, hands down.

Simple Tweaks to Improve Your Landscape

Landscaping is one of those tedious tasks that pays off dividends after the work is complete. The problem? It seems like the work is never complete! If you own a home you know how much time and effort can go into maintaining your lawn, bushes, tress, and everything else in your yard. We’ve put together a simple checklist that will take the headaches and the guessing game out of when your yard needs to be tuned up. One problem I see is that people will let their landscape go for a long time and than feel so overwhelmed with how much work has to be done that they never get around to doing any of it. We read a post about spring cleaning that was very similar to what we’re talking about. Basically it’s the same idea where people don’t do anything around their house like dusting, sweeping, cleaning the sinks, etc., and when Spring comes around they feel like they have so much to do they just don’t do it! We’ve made a checklist for your landscaping duties to help you maintain control of your life and not freak out when you let things get out of hand.

  1. Mowing

Pick one day of the week and get busy mowing your yard for 1 hour. If you’re a neat freak like me you’ll probably want to set aside 2-3 hours every week to do this.

  1. Bush & Hedge Trimming

Pick one day every 2 weeks to trim your hedges and bushes. Most of the time, your bushes won’t get out of control as long as you do this once every 2 weeks. Just like mowing, set aside 1 hour to trim your bush and hedges.

  1. Plant Pruning

Once every 3 months will do the trick for plan pruning. If you’ve never pruned plants before, simply take some small sheers and trim the outside of them until they’re at a length you are happy with. I would personally cut them down as far as possible to make sure you don’t have to do this chore more than every 3 months.

  1. Raking Your Decorative Rocks

Once every 3 months is good enough to keep your landscape looking great when it comes to raking your decorative rocks. The great thing about performing this task is that you will uncover trash that blew into your yard and got stuck under the rocks. With so many decorative rocks it’s sometimes hard to notice these small details. While raking, be sure to even out the decorative rocks as much as possible. Raking is a huge factor if you want to keep your landscape looking neat and tidy!

  1. Cleaning the Pool

Most people have pool cleaners come out and perform pool cleaning services, but if you don’t, this snippet is for you. Set 1 hour per week to comb over your pool with a net. If you live around a lot of trees, you might need to clean your pool twice per week. Skimming your pool is going to not only keep your pool looking crystal clear and free from debris, it’s also going to help you avoid having your pool pump get clogged.

Though these tips might seem redundant and uneventful, we assure you that if you make out a schedule that includes performing these tasks on a weekly and monthly basis, you will never feel overwhelmed with maintaining your landscape.

How Your Pool Can Add Value To Your Arizona Home

Pools are almost a necessity in Arizona. The sweltering heat can reach temperatures upwards of 120 degree on a consistent basis throughout the summer and having a pool to jump into and cool off is a luxury most Arizona residents cannot live without. The only downfall of having a pool in Arizona is that during the summertime it can feel like bath water but when the temperature outside is about 20 degrees warmer than your pool, it can still feel refreshing. Our state has one of the highest pool per resident count in the entire country. There’s no question that when a home has a pool, the asking price will certainly be higher than one without. The size of your pool definitely plays a part in the valuation of your home. One of our friends that lives in Phoenix has an identical house to her neighbor. The square footage is almost exactly identical, the number of bedrooms is the same, and the number of bathrooms is also the same. The only difference? Our friends pool is almost twice the size of her neighbors. Now, her neighbor does have some upgrades that our friend does not including: granite counter tops, upgraded sink fixtures, and tile flooring throughout the house. Our friend doesn’t have any upgrades and about 50% of her house has carpet flooring. Guess whose house is worth more? You got it. Our friends house is worth $20,000 more than her neighbors house and it’s all because of the size of her pool.

The point of this post is not to persuade you to upgrade the size of your pool. The point of this post is to give you the cold hard facts about how having a pool can drastically increase the price of your home. It might cost you $20,000 to have a pool constructed and installed in your home but if you could get that money back when you sell your home, would you do it? Most people would answer, yes! The reason being is because having a pool in Arizona can drastically increase your quality of life and the lives of your family and friends so if the person that will be buying your home in the future is going to pay for you to have a pool, it’s a really easy question to answer.

We wanted to give you some tips on having a pool installed or upgraded at your home. We’ve interviewed multiple pool construction companies and they pretty much all had the same thing to say, “Don’t skimp on the little things when having a pool constructed at your home.” They are basically saying if it costs a little more to have nice tile installed on your pools border, go for it! It’s going to pay off in the long run so don’t go cheap just because it’s going to cost you more money now. It’s proven that the work you do now will increase in value over time and you will get a return on your investment, and most importantly be able to enjoy your home a little more.