The first time you pull up in front of your newly completed home in Ottawa, you should be dazzled. Here it is – your carefully selected architectural model, brick, trim colours, front porch – exactly as you wanted. Welcome home, indeed!
The good news is that your home’s curb appeal is only going to get better. How? Well, the one aspect that usually remains to be completed is the landscaping. (The exception here is for condominium properties, which tend to include full landscaping and lawn maintenance.) Most of you will be met with a nice green lawn and, often, the single planted tree that many builders include among their standard features. That’s a great start – but it’s only a start!
Now, I’m not recommending that you go over-the-top in terms of money or style. Gazebos and waterfalls are lovely, but simple gardens can be just as beautiful. Trees in particular are one of the best investments you can make: they increase in value every year until they reach maturity. Trees add beauty, shade and a sense of neighbourliness to your Ottawa home and the whole community – just think how dramatically a streetscape is changed when a big oak or maple is struck down by lightning. As an added benefit, large shady trees can decrease both your air-conditioning costs in summer and, acting as a windbreak, your heating costs in winter.
When selecting a tree, talk to an expert at your local nursery. They’ll help you decide on the right tree and the proper location, taking into account such variables as your home’s exposure to sun and wind, the size of a tree’s root system and the amount of upkeep necessary.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to have a green thumb to have gorgeous gardens. Again, rely on your nursery experts to help you choose low-maintenance plants. Planting perennials (plants that return each year) is one way to reduce labour. If you time it right, you can often pick up incredible flowers, shrubs and ornamental grasses for half-price towards the end of summer.
The love you give your lawn will not only increase your enjoyment of your home, it will also pay off years down the road when you put your home in Ottawa on the market. Take it from me: great landscaping can dramatically increase interest from buyers, and can definitely boost your asking price. So get out there and get your hands dirty!
Visit www.bennettpros.com for all your real estate needs