When you buy a new home, you are also buying the property that the home sits on. Whether you’re in the market for a sprawling multi-acre property, or a home in a close-knit neighborhood, don’t overlook the land and surroundings of the house.

Your new home’s curb appeal takes many factors into account, including what the overall property looks like, what type of maintenance is required, how much outdoor space you have to live with, and what really matters to you for the exterior of the home.

Enhancing Landscaping Curb Appeal

First, consider the hardscape versus softscape features—the “hard” stuff in your yard like stone walls, concrete patios, driveway surfaces, and brick paths; versus “soft” features, like gardens, flowers, trees, shrubs, and grass. Each feature requires a different type of maintenance, and how much of each feature is often based on each homeowner’s preference. Ask yourself what fits your lifestyle best: do you love planting and gardening, or would you prefer to play sports and entertain outdoors on a hard surface? Do you enjoy the shade of large trees, or would you rather have an open area to mow? You may want to factor some of these questions into your homebuying decision, or plan to update your outdoor space after purchase.

“Landscaping personalizes a property into a true home, inside and out,” said Victoria Goldstein, Owner and Landscape Designer, Birdsong Gardens. “There are so many options to consider, so I often encourage people to first think about what they want to do outside of their home and what they want to see when they look out their windows and then make their landscaping decisions based on the lifestyle they want to live.”

Having Creative Curb Appeal

Keep in mind that some exterior features will require more maintenance than others. For example, a long winding driveway in a snowy area may involve the purchase of a snowblower or plow service. Several large trees or extensive gardens may require extra time in fall and spring for raking, weeding, and yard clean-up. The age and health of property trees should also be considered as trimming or removal might be necessary for the plant’s health and safety of those around it. Many people opt to maintain the outside of their homes themselves, but there are numerous services you can hire for any type of landscaping, lawn maintenance, or tree clearing needs you might have. Make sure you work that into your budget as they can get pricey and often require full payment up-front.

What This Means for Your Mortgage

In most real estate markets, the value of the land is taken into consideration in addition to the value of the home. The size of the yard, amount of space between neighbors, and recreational availability (like being near water) all contribute to the value of the land, which will impact the overall home value, mortgage and property taxes. Your local Summit Federal Credit Union Mortgage Team can help you understand home and land values in your area, and how they can impact mortgage decisions as you look towards the purchase of your new home. Contact us today.