Get Southern Maryland Buyers Out of the Car with a Front Yard that Beckons

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on January 10, 2017

Walk across the street, and take a good, long look at your house. What you see is your home’s curb appeal, the lack of which can be detrimental to the successful sale of your home – especially for the amount of money you hope to make.

When Southern Maryland homebuyers shop online, they want to see photos, and they will judge your home first by its exterior. If the outside is unattractive, most won’t keep scrolling to interior pictures.

What do potential buyers see when they look at your Southern Maryland home from the curb? Are they compelled to get out of the car and come inside, or do they want to drive off to the next listing? If you think they’ll drive away, it’s time to get to work amping up your home’s curb appeal.

Follow some simple guidelines

Landscaping near and around your home’s entry requires a focus on three aspects, according to Environmental Landscape Associates (ELA), a Pennsylvania landscape design firm:

  • Principles
  • Program
  • Elements

Principles of landscape design

The most important principle, the firm says, is that the landscape’s design synchronizes with the architectural style of the home. In other words, avoid elements of a formal garden in front of a ranch-style home.

Second, make sure that “the front door is prominently visible and the landscape provides the visitor clues and signals for how to get there,” suggests ELA. Make it easy for potential buyers to get out of the car, approach the home, and enter it.

Your landscape design program

How will you (or the potential buyer) use the space? The “program” part of the process includes answering this question. Is the entry way merely for going in and out of your home, or will you use the front porch for entertaining? The program also includes determining your focal point. If you’re selling the home, consider making the porch or front door the home’s focal point.

Landscape design elements

What elements will you incorporate into your design? Think about hardscape elements, like pavers and lights, as well as which plants you’ll use. Remember, all elements should tie into the home’s architectural style.

Going formal?

The home’s formal entry way is best defined by keeping everything organized and in symmetry. The easiest way to do this is to keep both sides of the entry way identical.

Shaped hedges and patterned hardscapes will also lend a formal, balanced feel to the area. Don’t neglect the area near the front door. Even identical planters and plants on either side of the door will help illustrate the landscape’s design.

Keeping it casual

The rules for a formal entryway don’t apply here, so get as creative as you like! Irregular patterns, mismatched shrubbery, and more casual edging materials all lend a relaxed feel.

Soften hard edges, such as walkway surfaces, by lining them with plants that bloom in pastel colors (dusty miller comes to mind) or with coleus, hosta, or other plants with interesting foliage.

Plant placement

When the focus is the entryway, plant placement becomes critical. Large plants should be placed at both ends of the home and small plants closer to the front door with medium-sized plants in between.

When grouping plants for a formal design, place them in even numbers, suggest agents from University of Missouri Extension. Use odd-numbered plants in informal entryway groupings.

The path to your front door, known as your home’s welcoming “handshake” according to Sunset Magazine, should be landscaped to match or complement your home’s architecture.

Of course, if you’re planning on staying in the house for some time, you’ll want to blend design rules with your personal taste. If you plan on putting the home on the market, however, curb appeal trumps your taste.

Leonardtown MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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