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Ask Eli: Landscaping Tips for Resale or Long-Term

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: We’re hoping to do some major landscaping work over the next year and would like your thoughts on what we should focus on that will also be good for resale.

Answer: Now is a great time to start planning a landscaping redesign project for next year’s warm weather. If you’re preparing for a sale, small improvements to your yard can be just as valuable as updates to the inside of your home.

I sat down with local landscaping expert and long-time Arlington resident, Jeff Minnich (you should see his yard!) of Jeff Minnich Garden Design, to discuss smart ways to boost the outdoor appeal of your home before listing it and talked about some of the landscaping trends he sees in Arlington.

High ROI Landscaping For Resale

  • DAPPR: Define bed edges, Add fresh mulch, Pull the weeds, Prune the bushes and Remove dead leaves.
  • Lawn is King: Tall Fescue grass works the best in Arlington. The best time to seed your lawn is March, April and September. Water 1-2x per week. Give it about a month to grow.
  • Blast of Color: Azaleas are beautiful around here in April and May. Pansies are good options fall thru spring. Geraniums are great in the summer.
  • Grand Entrance: Your front door is a focal point — hit it with a fresh coat of paint or replace all together. Power wash your driveway and walkways. Flagstone aka Pennsylvania Bluestone offer great value if you need to replace or add a walkway (also perfect for patios).
  • Create a Scene: Help potential buyers picture themselves relaxing in their future yard by staging an area of your yard with chairs, table, umbrella, hammock, lemonade pitcher, etc.
  • De-clutter: Just like you removed personal items from inside the home, put things like statues and lawn gnomes away.
  • Condos too: If you have some outdoor space (balcony, patio, etc) pot some plants (see Blast of Color) and stage it (see Create a Scene).

Landscaping For Personal Enjoyment (not everything needs to be done with ROI in mind)

Trends:

  • Outdoor living spaces are the biggest trend in Arlington. This includes kitchens, fire pits, entertainment areas and lighting.
  • Hydrangeas and other “old fashioned” shrubbery are back in style. Dogwoods and azaleas are always trendy in Arlington.

Approaching a landscaping project:

  • Step 1 Hardscaping — Install patios, walkways, living spaces, water features, etc. This can cost anywhere from $10,000-$25,000+
  • Step 2 Sheds and Storage — Establish space for these items next
  • Step 3 Plantings — Work from biggest (trees) to smallest (flowers)
  • A full project usually takes 1-3 months to complete
  • There’s no such thing as maintenance-free

Thank you Jeff for all of your great advice. To learn more about Jeff or see examples of his work, please visit his website or send an email to [email protected].

Jeff received his horticulture degree, with an emphasis on landscape design and nursery management, from Virginia Tech. His garden design/build firm, Jeff Minnich Garden Design, Inc. takes the client from initial design concept through the completed garden design. Enjoy the wonderful colors of his personal Arlington garden at 2268 N. Upton Street.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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