Homes for sale in St. Cloud compete in the marketplace based on the major search criteria that have long been in place: location, architectural style, number of bedrooms and baths, overall size, style, quality, age, etc.
It’s a given that curb appeal and the property’s other photogenic qualities also make a difference for how much buyer interest is generated, and how soon serious offers roll in. We who deal in the marketplace also keep an eye on any emerging or strengthening trends and that could impinge on our Town clients’ properties’ popular appeal. One of those factors might be in the process of becoming more important—it has to do with landscaping.
In any year, this is the season when landscaping makes the biggest impact on potential buyers. If January is prime time to show off a home’s outstanding fireplace or welcoming radiant heating setup, July does the same for a property’s outdoor living attributes. A welcoming yard or leafy patio can be the final extra feature that propels a house for sale in St. Cloud into the ‘sold’ column—but now it seems more important that the effect be due to the right kind of greenery!
That’s the takeaway from the ASLA’s latest query to its membership. The American Society of Landscape Architects is its members’ pre-eminent professional association. Part of their charge is to track the trends and innovations in what is called residential outdoor design elements—exterior features that can make a home for sale more saleable—or, it now seems, less so.
In their latest poll, landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of backyard design elements based on what they are hearing from the field. Needless to say, we might expect those factors to show a commensurate impact on their popularity with prospective buyers of our St. Cloud homes for sale.
Among the Top Ten project types that registered the highest expected consumer demand, all but two reflected some element of the same theme: water sustainability. Scoring highest was “Rainwater/graywater harvesting” with 88%. The next three most popular project types also showed an awareness of water conservation. “Native” and “Drought-Tolerant” plants and “low maintenance landscapes” each weighed in with more than 80% of respondents. “Permeable paving”—which can be a method of avoiding water wastage through pavement washing, came in next. Also in the list were “rain gardens”, “drip/water-efficient irrigation,” and “reduced lawn areas.”
Water conservation has long been a serious concern for those with a keen green awareness quotient, but when responses on this kind of popularity list reach eight out of ten, that awareness and concern must be notching up considerably. It’s something to bear in mind for those whose St. Cloud homes will be up for sale in the future—particularly if any landscape beautification projects are being considered.
I hope you will feel free to call me whenever a question arises about how to prepare your own property for St. Cloud’s active real estate market!