The word “value” has a literal definition and an abstract one. The first, obvious definition of value is the amount of real, actual money your home is worth. The second definition is going to be how much appreciation a buyer holds in their mind regarding what they’re purchasing. It might seem like an increase in one always results in an increase in the other – but that isn’t always the case!

For example, let’s take two homes for sale right next door to each other. These homes are identical in every way with the exception that one has a swimming pool and the other does not. The home with a pool is likely going to be somewhat more expensive than the one without, because the pool makes it more valuable. However, a savvy buyer will look at a swimming pool and see the future increases in their monthly utility bills, and the amount of work it takes to maintain a pool, and may ultimately decide to purchase the other home. In this scenario, the presence of the pool raised the market value of the home, but decreased the mental value in the mind of the seller.

So, what can you do to increase the market value of your home and also make it more enticing to buyers? Landscaping! The great thing about landscaping is that it’s relatively easy to add things to your yard that make it more appealing, while at the same time being easy to change if the buyer isn’t too keen on your design. Removing unwanted shrubs, flowers, and even trees, can be done over the course of a weekend. The new owners can then replace the landscaping with something more appealing to them, or simply leave the front lawn as nothing more than green grass.

Removing an unwanted swimming pool, however, isn’t really an option. The removal of a swimming pool would be a nightmare and result in a giant, gaping pit in its place. Keeping the pool and not using it can still be a hassle because water and debris will collect in the bottom and, over time, turn into icky green sludge. Covering the pool can slow the process, but experience shows that water always finds a way in there somehow.