How to Landscape When Flipping a Foreclosure
Think about it. Curb appeal is what gets potential buyers ringing the doorbell. When it comes to fixing up a foreclosed home for resale, sometimes people focus so much on the interior that they forget. Here’s everything you need to think about the next time you’re trying to get potential buyers admiring your lawn and, in the door, when you’re flipping a foreclosure.
1. Begin with Lawn Care
It’s recommended to start landscaping about a month before listing the home, that way you have enough time to maintain the basics. Lawn care should be on the top of the list. There’s nothing that turns people away like overgrown grass, trash or brown patches. The condition of the lawn can also hint at any irrigation issues in the yard.
Once the lawn is looking nice and green, line up the edges. This is a simple way to boost the home’s value, but it’s overlooks by many flippers.
2. Maintain the trees and bushes
After the yard, look out for any trees and shrubs in the area. Trees guaranteed to boost home value. They are aesthetically pleasing, and they help provide shade to keep home cooling costs low in higher temperatures. Surveys have found trees planted near the sidewalk or the street can help bump up the value by 7 to 19 percent.
Potential buyers will be nervous if trees are located too close to the home. Not only do they hide the home’s beauty, but also they could pose a danger if a storm hits. The ideal is to keep trees at least 20 feet from the home. Overgrown shrubs have the same effect.
3. Tend the flowerbeds
With the trees and lawn looking good, it’s now time to fix the flowerbeds. Adding mulch is an easy way to spruce them up. Dark colored mulch makes bright flowers pop. Mulch has practical use. It helps protect plants against weeds, dry summers and freezing winters. Replace any flowers on their way out with inexpensive annuals.
Like trees, container plants are another way to add value to a home. They help make a home feel more welcoming, help air quality when placed indoors and there are varieties of pots and urns that can serve as a statement piece. Large tropical plants are especially popular for patios or doorways.
Potted plants also have the added benefit of portability. After you’re done flipping your foreclosure, take those potted plants with you to your next flip!
4. Clean any existing water features
It’s important to clean out any water features in the yard. Remove leaves, visible algae and other items that may have accumulated over time. You should also make sure any fountain or running water feature works properly.
While a koi pond sounds like a good idea, some buyers will automatically associate it with being high maintenance. For potential buyers who want stay somewhere kid-friendly, a koi pond could be a red flag. Still, older buyers may find the peaceful nature of the ponds attractive. If the pond is already there, don’t remove it. But be prepared to recommend local services that will help buyers maintain it.
High-maintenance yards are a big turnoff in general. The spectacular rose garden someone spent years caring for can look like a lot of work for a potential buyer.
5. Spruce up the exterior walls
Before shelling out cash for a new paint job, consider washing the outside of the home. Power washers do a great job of blasting away dirt and grime, revealing the vibrant color the home once was. But, we’ll touch on that later in the series – so stay tuned.
Last thing to consider is lighting. Dark homes can be intimidating to buyers, especially in rural areas. Solar lights work well along the driveway or a sidewalk leading to the front door. Consider adding lights to a deck or patio as well to create a warm and inviting space.
Stay tuned for part 3 of the Flipping a Foreclosure series here on Beachfront Builders, and contact us for your contractor needs in the Delray Beach area.
– Written by, Sam Casteris is an aspiring writer who
loves writing about all things real estate and travel.
You can check out her work on Contently.
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