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Home Step 5. Budget
Step 5: Determine Your Budget PDF Print E-mail
Budget Example

At this point you, you might be wondering if you can afford to do the things that you want with your property. Let’s face it…

Landscaping is expensive.

Budget is an important issue and we’re going to talk more about this later on, but to start, we’ll put your mind at ease by letting you know that according to a recent survey performed by ‘Money’ magazine …

… homes with “excellent” landscaping realize a sales value of 6% to 7% greater than homes with “good” landscaping.

What a relief to know that if you need or want to sell your house, you’ll be able to get some or all of the money back that you put into it!

Not to mention that it will make your house look better than your competition so it will sell faster – and, of course, you’ll have the benefit of enjoying it over the years.

How to Determine Your Budget

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you determine your budget:

  • How long do you plan to stay in this house?
  • What is the most you would ever want to spend on your landscaping?

If you plan to stay in your current home for many years, you can consider a higher budget because you’ll be gaining the money back in the pleasure you receive.

You might also want to check with your real estate agent to find out how much of a return on investment you can make on landscaping in your area.

But as a general rule of thumb...

...if you invest 15 to 20 % of your house and land value in landscape, this will be recouped when you sell your home.

Here are a few more facts from Money magazine’s survey:

  • 146% more was spent on decks and porches in 2002 than in 2001, indicating that more and more homeowners are interested in outdoor living and will pay for it when purchasing a home.
  • Outdoor kitchens are amongst the most coveted home improvements. For a custom one that is set in tile, stone or brick, complete with grill, refrigerator, storage cabinets and accessories, expect to spend about $7,500.
  • For about $6,500 you’ll get a simple 16 ft. by 20 ft. deck with a built-in bench and planter.
  • For $20,000, you can add an outdoor living room including: a 28 ft. by 12 ft. flagstone patio on a concrete foundation, a built-in gas grill, a cedar arbor and simple landscaping.

In case you’re experiencing sticker shock, the good news is that you can stretch out your investment over time.

Remember, in Step 1: Stop and Smell the Roses, we talked about the benefits of relaxing and allowing your project to evolve?

By doing your project in stages you might be able to accomplish more than you could by doing it all now. All it takes is that virtue called ‘patience’, which is a quality you’re going to develop anyway while you enjoy watching your flowers, shrubs and trees grow! And don’t forget …

… a $20 tree today can become a $2,000 tree in the future with a little time and care!

Here are some more budgeting facts for planting:

  • A 3-gallon-size bush will cost about $20. The same bush will cost $30 to $40 planted by a landscaping professional.
  • A $3 to $4 perennial will cost about $12 installed.

Don’t forget to budget for soil amendments and mulch!

So, you’ve got your vision of paradise, the features you want, the functions you need fulfilled, and your budget.

Now on to...

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