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Are Landscaping Improvements To Your Home Money Savers?

So I live in a pretty decent sized house in a cookie cutter neighborhood. We were the last house to be built in the subdivision, and they weren’t even sure they were going to squeeze us in, but they did. In so doing, they gave us a pretty tiny yard, but with my kids growing, they want somewhere to play. In comes the landscaping crew…

We got into the house we wanted to and thought the park at the end of the street would be more than enough to keep the kids busy when it gets hot, but we didn’t realize that we can’t always be heading down there to let them play. It isn’t as easy as we thought it would be and the kids certainly can’t walk there themselves alone as they’re still young.

We’ve got a really strange layout for our yard due a couple things. We live at the end of a cul de sac so our yard is kinda circular. Secondly, our neighbors actually bought 5 foot more of our land when they moved in because they weren’t sure, nor were the builders, that they would squeeze one more house in at the end.


As with the squeeze, we’ve really got even less than most in the yard department, but more than the usual with the house part. At least they gave us that benefit and the bigger house appealed to us more than the bigger yard for now.

We’ve got a front yard that slopes about 4 feet from house to street and makes it completely unplayable for the kids. The plan is to dig it out completely, flatten it out, and plant sod to make it worthwhile.

Furthermore, the landscapers didn’t put down any topsoil so the sod they DID put down didn’t have a chance. You can see the little checkerboard squares of plastic that the sod comes in on that shows through the grass because of its uneven-ness.

Which leads to the next point that I was given by the new landscapers – Don’t pay for “landscaping” services by big housing developments. If they’re advertising it, they’re likely skimping on it and sticking you with a bill. I paid approximately 10k for the “landscaping” they offered to throw in with the house.

The bushes they put in are going to grow up to 20 feet tall, and another set of bushes is supposed to be 8 feet around. I didn’t/don’t know much about plants, but I DO know that I don’t want a 20 foot tall bush to take over my front yard of which I don’t have very much of.

Ultimately the project is going to cost about 6k when it is completely done, but it will be worth it I think going forward if we ever DO decide to move out. Landscaping can really make a house look better and we’ve got a few extra bucks after getting our tax returns.

Does anyone else live in a cookie cutter neighborhood? Did you get taken to the proverbial cleaners with your “landscaping” they provided?

1 Comment

  1. Brianb4255 · April 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

    In today’s housing market, I don’t know if there is anything that can be a “true” silver bullet, but landscaping always bumps up the value a bit…

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