MANY Jamaicans embark on a bit of property sprucing up at this time of the year but experts say well-thoughtout landscaping, can significantly increase the value of your property all year round.
In the same way individuals create first impressions, so do properties, and according to industry experts, a lasting impression goes a long way toward securing your asking price if you are looking to sell.
“The first thing a visitor notices about your home is its curb appeal,” said landscape design manager Nadia Tharkur of Nature's Paradise.
“No matter how beautiful the inside of your house is, it's what's on the outside that will first arrest the attention of your guests,” she said.
The value of your home can be increased by up to 10 per cent if at least five per cent of the home's value is invested in landscaping, Tharkur advised.
Before embarking on landscaping, whether with the use of a professional or on your own, Tharkur advised that the “look and feel you wish to acquire should first be considered”.
Considering the size of the space and the needs of its users will guide the elements that you include.
“Always think about the mature size plants will reach before placing them since roots and limbs may cause damage to the physical structure of the dwelling.”
Underground utilities should also be borne in mind, as fibrous roots “will make their way into water systems”.
The amount of maintenance time your new garden will require is also a key factor in deciding which plants to select.
“A rose garden is time-consuming and will require more attention than bougainvilleas,” advised Lawrence Scarlet, project manager of Evergrow Garden Center.
“It’s not just about increasing the property value with a garden, you have to make the time to nurture your investment,” he said.
“You could use stones — which are not very costly — to create a feature, and it would still improve the property value,” Scarlet said.
“It’s all about how you use the various features,” he said, adding that individual tastes and preferences ultimately guide the landscape design.
Plants, pavements, water features, and fencing are common elements that the experts agree may be added to a property to up its appeal and value.
“The type of fencing depends on your personal needs, whether its for privacy, to restrain pets or for security.”
Environmental factors such as salty air should be considered when deciding on the fencing material.
Too much of an elaborate fencing can “overpower” a small structure. Strategic placement of prickly plants can bolster security while adding an aesthetic flair.
“The dwelling type and the community also impact on the type of fencing,” Scarlet explained.
“A simple wooden picket fence would work well for an apartment complex or gated community in which just the borders are being marked.”
Though the decision on whether to have a wonderfully green lawn or a pavement depends on personal taste, proper drainage must first be addressed before this is installed Tharkur said.
The value of a beautiful garden does not only extend to increasing the value of your property but it “works wonders” for the health of the inhabitants as well, the experts advised.
The landscapers agreed that a tranquil garden improves recovery time from illness and is a “good stress buster after an exhausting day”.