One of the most overlooked and underrated home improvement/remodeling projects is gardening or landscaping. But, as most experts would tell you, adding a garden or improving on one can boost the resale value of your home, and even improve your chances of selling it.

What are the Payoffs?

One of the advantages of an attractive garden is that it could help improve the curb appeal of the property. How your home looks from across the street makes for a good or bad first impression. A beautiful landscape can also make you property stand out from the others in your neighborhood according to Real

"If a landscaping change is positive, it can often enhance price and reduce a home's time on the market," said Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II.

There are also homebuyers who look for a good landscape design or a well-maintained garden when house hunting. This could be a selling point for your home.

What to Consider

You may want to look into the appeal of your garden to potential buyers, according to the Appraisal Institute. You have to ask yourself if it would attract them to your place. They advised to keep the design contemporary and in line with the overall theme of the community.

You also have to take into account whether your gardening efforts could lead to savings and energy efficiency. Do consider your geographical area in choosing the right design and materials like those that require little maintenance or supply of water.

The use of trees in the landscape must also be regarded because those that are not carefully placed could pose a threat to the house structure; it could be a fire hazard if positioned too close from the house, or they could affect the foundation with their oversize roots.

Also make sure that the design would not appear too overwhelming for the buyers. You don't want to give them the idea that the garden would be hard to maintain and require more efforts and resources, says the

What to Add

House Logic identifies some key elements to boost your home improvement project through gardening. First off, they recommend adding a tree which can help against water runoff and clamp down on carbon dioxide that affects climate change.

They also cited that trees could contribute to energy efficiency when they are carefully placed on the right spots because they can provide additional shade and reduce your cooling cost. Trees, according to a Texas A&M University study, also provide relief from stress.

They also advise the use of indigenous plants from your area as their non-native counterparts could find it hard to survive outside their natural environment -- which could prove costly in the maintenance.

Outdoor lighting, they say, is also significant to make your home feel more "homey" and inviting, especially with the use of soft lights. Its importance goes beyond its practical use of lighting up an area as it could also help deter intruders at night.

Sarah Smith of the Realty Times advocates the adding of vegetable garden to your outdoor space. It could appeal to home buyers who are into gardening and those who may want to grow their own produce, she said.