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The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends investing 10 percent of your home’s value in landscaping – a wise investment that will likely grow right alongside your greenery. Actually, according to a 2009 study by Texas Tech University, landscaping yields serious profits: Each $1.00 invested in upgrading an average landscape to excellent quality returns $1.35 in added property value. General tree cover adds 2–9% to the value of existing homes and 7% for new construction on tree-covered lots. A single tree can add as much as 2% to the property value. Landscape attributes such as hedges or walls, dense vegetation, and landscaped curbs each add 2–4% to the property value, and homes with landscapes containing more trees than nearby properties are valued at up to 7% higher. The perceived value of a home may increase by 5–11% with landscape that is sophisticated in design, incorporating large plant size, evergreen and deciduous plants, annual color plants [...]

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Let’s say you’re a homebuyer on the prowl – cruising through your favorite neighborhoods and browsing open houses that catch your eye. You stumble upon a home with “good bones” and a warm vibe, but it clearly needs a lot of work. Should you buy? Good question. The incentives are enticing, no doubt. Successful house-flippers feel tremendous joy as they help a home reach its full potential, and then get an extra boost when its sale makes a substantial profit. But to ensure a fun and fruitful flip, you have to wisely choose the right “canvas” and make sure you’re prepared for the challenge. When you first enter a home and see UGLY, pause and take a deep breath; you may very well have found a winner. Squint your eyes and peer past the 1960s wallpaper and shag carpet. Though they can be incredibly distracting, the cracking paint, dreadful color palettes and neglected landscaping are actually [...]