Cooped up at home? 5 outdoor projects to get your home ready for the post-pandemic real estate market

Joe Pelak
Joe Pelak
Published on April 15, 2020

There’s talk in real estate circles that homebuyers who get into the market after we’re released from “self-isolation” will have an entirely different wish list than those who bought homes before the pandemic.

This makes sense when you consider that we’ve never spent so much time in our homes as we have over the past few months.

Look for home offices to be on many homebuyer wish lists. Outdoor spaces, however, will be hot sellers as well.

How’s your backyard looking? If you’re planning on selling, take a good long look and get to work on some projects to make your home stand out when we get back to normal.

1. Start with a clean slate

Winter is firmly in the rearview mirror. If your front and backyards still show winter’s scars, it’s time to get that remedied.

Get rid of all the debris that winter deposited in your yard. Remove broken branches, trash, leaves and any other debris.

Although we love spring, we don’t care for the weeds it brings. Weeding should be next on the list.

Pruning dead or dying branches from trees and shrubs will not only make them look better but make them healthier as well.

Tip: Disinfect your pruning equipment before using. Give it a 5-minute soak in a disinfectant, such as Lysol. Rinse with water and allow to air-dry.

2. Turn your attention to the hardscaping

Hardscaping refers to the non-living elements in your landscape. This includes pottery, benches, water features, pavers, arbors and fencing.

Consider painting the fence if it needs it. Darker colors are better, according to Darin Bradbury, a landscape designer.

“Not only does the dark color give those vertical surfaces around the garden a uniform finish, but it creates the perfect backdrop for all that green foliage,” Bradbury tells Georgia Madden with Houzz Australia.

3. Add new plants

While the gardening centers at the big box home improvement stores remain open during the pandemic, it’s a good idea to shop online right now.

There are many online plant retailers and we’ve rounded up several for you: DirectGardening.com, NatureHills.com, BrighterBlooms.com and FastGrowingTrees.com.

Landscaping professionals suggest that we should choose a theme before planting. The theme can be based on color, scent, pollinators (such as butterflies) or choose from some of the popular gardening themes:

Sticking to a theme helps prevent the space from looking too “chaotic and disconnected,” landscape designer Wayne De Klijn tells Madden.

“The right plant for the right space” is an old gardening adage that describes one of the most important secrets to gardening success.

Before purchasing plants, observe the landscape for a few days. Where is it sunny all day, shady all day, partially sunny? Choose your plants based on the existing conditions in your garden and you should have far fewer problems.

4. Mulch – the workhorse of the landscape

Mulch offers so much to your garden. It’s ornamental, it helps suppress weeds, it keeps the soil cooler in the summer, it helps the soil conserve moisture and, if it’s organic, it breaks down, adding nutrients back into the soil.

Choose whichever type of mulch you like and spread at least 2 inches of it over the soil, keeping it about 6 inches from the base of each plant.

5. Spruce up outdoor furniture 

Since we are all supposed to be staying home, running out to buy a new patio furniture set is not a wise idea. Hopefully, with a little DIY action, you can spruce up what you have.

Best of all, you can buy most of the products you’ll need online at Amazon.com or Gardener’s Supply Company and have them delivered to your door.

If your outdoor furniture is made of wood, follow the instructions you’ll find online at YouTube.com. Ideas for updating other types of patio furniture can be found at BobVila.com.

Stay well!

 

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