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Cultivating Value in Your Home: Curb Appeal for Homeowners

Spring rains have saturated the Ann Arbor area this month, and now is the time for you to get outside and beautify your lawn, flowers, and gardens, especially if you’re planning to sell your home this summer.

Landscaping curb appeal is a known added value for home sellers, serving as a first impression of a home. Agents and buyers agree that a lush lawn and tidy landscape add to a home’s value, and reflect positively on the overall care and condition of the property.

The four most common areas of landscaping that have the biggest impact on buyers are:

  • Lawn and landscaping
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Fencing
  • Front entrance (including the driveway and walkway)

Home owners don’t have to take on a massive landscape transformation in order to spruce up their home’s curb appeal. To instantly add curb appeal without making a large investment, start by:

  1. Keeping a trim and healthy lawn with weekly mowing and line trimming. Clean up outdoor light fixtures from dust, cobwebs and dirt.
  2. Adding solar lights along walkways and in flowerbeds to add nighttime appeal and effect. If the home has a wood fence, paint the ‘showing’ side and repair loose boards, holes and worn areas.
  3. Weeding and cleaning the driveway area and walkway.
  4. Making sure the front entry is welcoming. A freshly painted front door, a potted plant, a rocking chair, and a welcome mat go a long way in creating a great looking entry.



Know your lawns

Before throwing down any seed or sod, make sure you know what lawns do best in the Ann Arbor area. Grass types are classified as “Warm Season” grass or “Cool Season” grass. This is determined by the grasses’ active growth period. For example, areas in the middle of the country are known as the transition zone. Mixtures of cool- and warm-season grasses are often necessary there, but cool-season varieties are the most successful.

Test your soil

Existing soil needs to have the proper pH value and nutrients to support a healthy lawn. Soil can be tested at any time. However, if you test in the fall or early spring, you have time to make adjustments before you start planting and tending to your lawn.


Different types of grass require different fertilizers. As previously mentioned, know what type of grass your have in your yard and fertilize appropriately and at the right time. If you have pets or children, be sure to purchase a fertilizer that is safe for them.

Mowing a Lawn 101

Stick to the 1/3 rule and try not to remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length in a mowing. Also, mow when the grass is dry, as this is when the blades are upright, and they will clump together less. It’s also a good idea to mow in the morning or night, because mowing in the heat of the day can damage the grass.

While you’re mowing, aim mower clippings (unless you bag them) towards the area you have already cut. It’s a good idea to leave the clippings on the lawn, as they will help return nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn. If you bag your clippings, consider composting them.


Prune away winter damage once plants have lost their leaves, and cut limbs back to live wood.


Here’s a cost-saving tip for mulching: If you’re mulching a large area, use a cheaper hardwood mulch for the ‘filler’, then top-dress it with your mulch of choice. You can also top-dress old mulch by just adding a 1-inch layer on top.  It’ll look brand new, and then you’re not paying for something you don’t see.

Planting Annuals

Annuals are plants that live for only one season. Late spring is the best time to plant annuals such as Petunias, marigolds, and impatiens. When planting, make sure roots are not too matted so they can expand into the soil.


Flower gardens make a yard look beautiful and welcoming.

One of the best gardening tools is a monthly landscaping calendar. To see one for your specific area, visit The National Gardening Association’s website. Plug in your zip code, and you’ll get a specific plan for your area.

Plants, flowers, and shrubbery are great ways to add allure and definition to a home’s landscape. Flowering plants are a wonderful addition, but homeowners should consider the appeal when the plants are not in season and flowering. Also, planted herbs are easy to plant and maintain. They also do great in pots for entryways and backyard patios.

Here are a few local places we recommend for your landscaping needs:

Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Downtown Home & Garden

English Gardens


By investing a little time and money into the yard this spring, you can easily increase your home’s valuable first impression and “wow” factor.

Interested in learning more about preparing your home for sale? Fill out the form below, or give us a call at (734) 845-9700.

Contact Us

For immediate assistance, call us at 734-845-9700 or email Andy Piper at

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