Screen_Shot_2015-08-13_at_3.26.34_PMAfter buying a new home or vacation home, there’s a lot to think about.

Of course you’ve dropped a big chunk of change on the home itself, which still may need some interior improvements. But you also have to think about the yard.

The lawn won’t mow itself, and perhaps you see exterior areas you want to change, even if you’re not sure what those alterations would be.

Clients with a new house often ask us where to start and how they should think about and prioritize landscaping improvements. So we thought it might be helpful to put this mini guide together.

5 Basic Landscaping Tips For First Time Homeowners

Consider the following GreenEarth’s landscaping guide for first time homeowners. Having a beautiful landscape is attainable — but sometimes the process to get there can be a little overwhelming. Our advice? Start here:

Take Stock Of What You Have

Before making any plans, it’s helpful to get a good sense of what you’re working with. It’s worth having a professional arborist survey your trees to see if they’re in good shape, and to find out what maintenance they need.

If you have sprinklers and a timer, a landscaping professional can evaluate the irrigation system to make sure it’s working properly. You can also look for any safety issues in your yard, like patio pavers that are sticking up or a pool that needs fencing.

How Do You Maintain What You Already Have?

Screen_Shot_2015-08-13_at_3.27.27_PMIf you haven’t owned a house before or taken care of landscaping, the learning curve can be steep. You’ll need to determine the best lawn mower for your grass and what height to cut it, if you’re not going to have your yard professionally serviced.

If you are considering a landscaping professional, the representative will come to your house to discuss needed services, making recommendations for maintenance, and the time frames involved. You’ll get a written proposal.

Aside from lawn care, here are a few more maintenance issues to keep in mind:

Take Some Time To Live With It

While you may move into the house with a long list of needed landscaping improvements, those necessary items may take a back seat or become unimportant after you’ve lived in your house for six months to a year.

You might realize that it’s more important to plant shade trees or a privacy hedge than to redo the walkway, or that adding lighting outside your house is the first priority.

By living in the home for a time period, you’ll better understand what works for you and what doesn’t.

What Will Improve Your Home’s Value?

You just moved in, and don’t plan to sell any time soon. Still, you’ll want to consider that any improvements you make should increase your home’s value. For example, the 2015 Remodeling Cost v. Value report shows that a deck addition in Florida will recoup 63-83% of its cost when you sell.

If a new deck is high on your list, it may be worth pushing to the top. Statistics show that landscaping can increase a property’s resale value by up to 14%, and that a 5% landscaping investment can yield a 15% home value increase. Good landscaping pays off, and you should be around to enjoy it before you’re ready to sell — way, way down the road.

What Improvements Can Decrease Water Consumption?

In a state like Florida, water conservation is important. When considering landscaping improvements, it’s smart to look for ones that will cut water use. Not only is it good for the environment, but it could save you money as well.

Some options are installing rain sensors for an irrigation system, choosing native plants that use less water, and incorporating xeriscaping into your yard.

GreenEarth Can Help New Homeowners Get Settled — In Their Landscape

We at GreenEarth would like to help you, a new homeowner. There’s a lot to know about your home. We can walk you through the process of caring for your landscaping. We can inspect your sprinklers, evaluate your trees and give you tips on how to maintain your lawn and shrubs.

If you’d like an estimate of how we can care for your landscaping or even revamp it, we can do that too. We specialize in hardscaping projects as well.

Give us a call at our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959, or our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment. You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation.

free landscape planning guide from GreenEarth