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Buying a House? Don’t Forget to Look at the Garden!

They say that a good landscape increases a house’s curb appeal and consequently, its selling price. But what if you are the one who is in the market for a house? Remember, the landscaping comes with your purchase of the house. It is best to consider how well you like the landscape. If you want or need to do extensive Utah landscaping, this may add considerably to your cost of ownership.

Here are some of the things you should consider about the landscaping when you are choosing a house:

–  Consider: What kind of outdoor space do you need? Are you single with no plans to have a family in the near future? Do you have young kids or are they already grown up? Do you have pets? Would you like to entertain outdoors on a regular basis? Are you a gardening enthusiast who is looking forward to raising your own herb or vegetable garden? You should check how well the current landscaping meets the current and future needs of your family.

–  Look at the health of the plants. Are there any trees that are deteriorating or on their way to doing so? Having trees removed can be costly so it is important to ensure that the plants in the landscape are in tip-top shape.

–  Go beyond the flowers. A strategy for sellers would be to increase curb appeal by adding seasonal Utah shrubs and flowers, repainting the containers and adding fresh layers of mulch. After all, these are some of the first things the buyer sees. However, these are only superficial improvements. You need to look deeper to see how much care has been extended to the landscape infrastructure such as the use of Utah retaining walls, pavers and water features. Take a look at how well these are maintained – check for cracks and uneven surfaces. For wooden structures, be on the lookout for wood rot or weakened spots.

–  Determine how much work needs to be done for the landscape reflect your taste and standards. Poorly maintained hardscape may require major repair or may need to be replaced altogether. If you don’t want the current plantings, there will be expenses involved in uprooting these and installing the plants of your choice.

–  Check for practicalities.

  • Irrigation system.  Is this already in place? How much more do you need to install? Are there any problems with the drainage? Where are the pipes located? Try having a test run to see whether there are any leakages or gaps in the coverage. While you’re at it, also ask about how high the water bills are.
  • Power sources and lighting. Look at the outdoor lighting and electrical system. Check if the outdoor outlets available are enough for your needs when it comes to using your landscaping tools or in case you want to do some outdoor entertaining.
  • Transport. How easy is it for you to wheel out the garbage can? How much space is available in case you need to have landscaping equipment onsite?

–  Check for safety. Uneven Utah pavers can cause slip and trip accidents. So will broken stairs and guard rails. Another factor to consider, especially if you’re living in an area that has a high incidence of forest fires or fires due to accidents, is the Firewise qualities of the landscape. The distance between the plants, especially the trees should be adequate so that the fire cannot “climb up” into the house.

–  Ease of maintenance. This actually depends on how much time and effort you are willing to expend for your new home. How big is the lawn and how many plants need to be tended to?