Proper landscaping contributes to curb appeal, a buyers first impressionThe cliche is true -- first impressions really do count in real estate.  The house itself is only part of that essential, early curb appeal. Landscaping can be crucial part of the first impression, working for or against your property.  Check out the entry to this home... dappled shade, comfy garden chairs, and bright "pops" of color.  All combine to create curb appeal for a potential buyer.

The next time you pull into your driveway, take a fresh look at the exterior plantings. Do they enhance your home?  Good landscaping flatters a home by providing a visual transition from the lawn and walkways to the house. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to be well thought out and well maintained.

Yes, you need to weed. Tidy up that garden kitsch and yard clutter. Tackle the tangles. Take on the overgrown garden – and the worn spots.

If your landscaping looks dated, freshen it up, especially if you have updated your home’s interior. An inside job can be negated by what’s ignored outside.

Refreshing your landscaping doesn’t need to be massive, expensive or seasonal, it just has to be neat. Color helps.  So does a light feeding of fertilizer.

If you opt to overhaul your landscaping, accept that you live in a subtropical climate. Add shade and appropriate plantings, but let your house breathe. Landscaping planted too close to the foundation is a wick for termites and rot. Similarly, adjust sprinkler system heads so the spray doesn’t rot out windows or French doors.

In sum, plan well. A little landscaping can go a long way toward improving curb appeal. If you’re landscaping impaired, befriend a nursery.

And when you view your grounds, don’t forget the fences. Good fences do make for good neighbors, but only if they’re well-maintained.

Roger Martin