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Home owners may want to focus more of their remodeling dollars on boosting curb appeal, Realtors and landscapers advise.

Outdoor remodeling projects not only offer some of the highest returns at resale, they can also increase the happiness of home owners who are staying put in their homes. So say the National Assn. of Realtors and National Assn. of Landscape Professionals in a 2016 Remodeling Impact Report.

Taking care of the home’s lawn can bring some of the biggest bang for your buck. Realtors find projects like seeding the lawn, implementing a standard lawn care program, and updating a landscape with sod lawn can have some of the highest returns at resale.

“Realtors understand the importance of curb appeal–from flower beds to fire pits–because when it is time to sell, a home’s exterior is its first impression to potential buyers,” says NAR President Tom Salomone. “Realtors also know that these projects can bring home owners who have no plans to sell even more enjoyment and satisfaction in their home.”

Realtors ranked the following outdoor remodeling projects as the most likely to add value to a home at resale (listed from highest to lowest):

  • Landscape upgrade
  • New patio
  • New wood deck
  • Standard lawn care
  • Sod lawn
  • Softscape (horticultural elements of landscape design)
  • Seed lawn
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • Outdoor fire pit
  • New pool

Outdoor remodeling projects that scored high on bringing “joy” to home owners included an overall landscape upgrade, followed by a new wood deck.

“Home owners looking to take on large, expensive outdoor projects should do so for themselves, for the enjoyment they and their family will gain from the finished results, and not only to improve the value of their home for when they sell,” Salomone says. “Smaller projects will bring potential sellers the most value back upon resale–and have the benefit of costing less up front.