One of the best things you can do to add value and help your home stand out when your trying to sell is to have what is called curb appeal. If your home looks poorly kept from the outside, it will turn off buyers and they may not even take the time to look at the inside.
Even if you're not selling your home, curb appeal is still important, as it is a first impression to visitors to your home and will give you that welcome home feel every time you come home from a hard day at work.
By standing back and really taking a good look at your home from the curb, you should take note of anything that needs improving.
You will want to make sure to fix any broken or deteriorating areas on the house, clean or paint the outside and most important get your lawn and landscaping in the best shape possible for your budget.
If you have bare areas in your lawn you will want to get some grass seed to patch the areas. There are a lot of great products out there just for this purpose that include the seed, fertilizer and mulch, all you really have to do is rake the soil a little, spread the mixture and make sure to keep it well watered until it established. Make sure to get the correct seed for the area you are planting, either for sun or shade for the best results. If you have a lot of weeds, you can get a weed and feed product to take care of that problem.
Next is the landscaping. Start with any existing tree's bushes or plants. Do the trees and bushes need trimming or maybe need to be removed completely? One of my pet peeves is an overgrown bush covering the views of windows. Not only does it look bad from the outside, but is blocking the view from inside. This is one reason you have to take into consideration the size of the tree or bush at maturity when you're planting.
After you have finished improving the established landscape, make a sketch on paper of your yard making sure to mark areas that are in full sun, part sun or shade. Take some photos and the drawing to a good garden center where they can help you pick out plants that are appropriate for your yard. You also want to take a sample of your soil for them to test, so that they can recommend the necessary materials to improve the soil to get your plants off to a good start.
Now your ready to plant! The best time to plant is on a cloudy day or late in the day when you don't have the hot sun beating down on the new plants. Make sure to water them thoroughly immediately after planting. When you're finished with the planting make sure to put down a layer of mulch to keep moisture in and weed's out. There are a variety of mulching materials available, depending on your area, including wood chips, pine needles, stone or shredded rubber mulch.
Do what you can do with your budget; even a little bit of change will make a big difference in the look of your home.