Sure, the San Diego real estate market has cooled since the exhilarating days between 2012 and 2018. Even though it’s leveled off a bit, homes in this neck of Southern California still have plenty of takers. Location helps sell a house, but proper landscaping can seal the deal. Here are some trends that can bring in higher offers, and help your home move a little faster on the market.
A lush, green lawn is always more appealing than a dry, brown one. If you have a grass lawn, the best thing you can do to add value and curb appeal is to maintain the grass, and keep it disease and pest-free. But, in drought-prone Southern California, there are a couple of alternatives that will water consumption. Artificial turf -- it’s not just for football fields anymore. More homeowners are turning to artificial turf to keep their lawns green and their water bills down. Even better, it’s not the same stuff you’ll find at the neighborhood high school stadium. Artificial turf for lawns looks pretty realistic.
Rockscaping is another alternative for homeowners who are over the patch of green in front. Vintage railway timbers and pea gravel can make a charming, low water path through the yard. Concrete squares separated by river stones can give your home a sense of Zen. A flagstone path flanked by pebbles around the side of the house can hide the unsightly HVAC unit (because really, there is no such thing as an attractive HVAC unit). Rockscaping provides excellent drainage while requiring no water for upkeep.
Choose native Southern California plants, and you won’t be spending your weekends trying to get your garden to thrive. Native plants are advantageous because they require less water and less maintenance. Plant some fiery red globemallows or the delicate California Wildrose, and you’ll add impact to your landscaping with little work. The California Native Plant Society can help you choose which plants you want, and point you in the right direction to the nurseries that carry them.
Californians love their outdoor kitchens! With average highs between the 60s and 70s all year long in San Diego, an outdoor kitchen is an addition that will see a lot of use. You can spend anywhere from $500 to more than $10,000, depending on your budget and how fancy you want to get. Just make sure there is counter space, and a barbecue grill or smoker to start. Home buyers love amenities like a dishwasher, or a mini fridge to make cooking and eating outside even more convenient. San Diego is a real estate market where there is a return on this type of investment because outdoor kitchens are trending in this part of the country. And why not? The outdoors is one of the things that makes San Diego so awesome!
One of the biggest complaints from potential buyers is the lack of storage space. It’s prohibitively expensive to add more closet space to the house or the expand the garage. Instead, a storage shed placed unobtrusively in the backyard provides storage space for items that you might otherwise stash in the garage.
We saved this one for last because it is the most expensive to create. The less you can spend on improving your home’s value, the more money you’re going to pocket when it sells. A covered patio makes a home in any part of the country more marketable. San Diego gets approximately 266 sunny days every year, so many home buyers will be looking for something to keep the glare of the sun’s rays off of them.
A few improvements to your landscaping will bring in interested buyers. Even though homes are staying on the market a bit longer, the median price is still up over the last year (according to Zillow). That means there’s room in this housing market for you to bring in the right buyer, and get an offer you desire.
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Meredith Hale is a gardening and landscape writer, and design addict. She has coordinated the design on many house flipping projects, admitting that her favorite part is creating inspired outdoor spaces.