In the ups and downs of the Vegas real estate market, a pleasantly landscaped yard can help tip the balance in favor of a property’s owner.
“Landscaping helps sells houses,” says Ginger Magleby, a real estate agent with Ameridream Realty who lives and works in Spanish Oaks. “Landscaping that is well-designed and well-maintained will create a positive energy as you enter the house,” she says. “Potential buyers carry that cheerfulness with them into the residence.”
But in addition to lifting the spirits, well-placed flora can help lower costs, too—by reducing water usage.
“In southern Nevada, a typical homeowner uses the vast majority of water—about 70 percent—for landscaping,” says Hillery Francis with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). “In triple-digit weather, that figure can go up to 90 percent.”
Francis is a conservation program coordinator who focuses on single-family residential properties at the regional water management entity. She names two issues that can cause landscaping to guzzle so much residential water:
Poor irrigation practicesby homeowners, such as watering during the hottest part of the day, or using sprinklers that spray water at a gallons-per-minute rate.
Las Vegas’ low average rainfall. Francis says we receive about four inches per year, which prompts many homeowners to overcompensate with irrigation.
To address those issues, and to cut back your water bill by reducing water consumption, Francis suggests the following:
Install drip irrigation systems. Drip irrigation systems are custom designed to deliver slow, targeted amounts of water directly to a plant’s root system, at a gallons-per-hour rate. The design helps to shield the water from factors that can speed the process of evaporation—for instance, direct sunlight and wind.
Do a xeriscape conversion. This activity removes unnecessary grass from your yard and replaces it with plantings and other landscape materials that are suited to our dryer climate and don’t require supplementary watering.
Because of desert extremes, only a limited number of plants—including cottonwood trees, creosote bushes, Joshua trees, and juniper bushes—can thrive in our Mojave Desert climate, according to Franco Volpone of Chip-N-Dale’s Custom Landscaping.
Volpone, who has more than 30 years’ experience as a custom landscaper, says to find the best elements for landscaping, it can make a lot of sense to consult people with the right expertise. He says a mix of the right plants keeps landscaping looking beautiful 12 months per year, not just during the summer.
As you’re planning or maintaining your home’s landscape, keep in mind the following practices can help protect your home.
Keep tree limbs away from power lines, to help prevent power outages or downed power lines during high winds or storms.
Reveal what’s underground. NV Energy says you should call 811 before you dig to install a fence or plant a tree, to make sure no utility lines are below the ground there.
Thin vegetation within 30 feet around your home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends doing so to reduce the amount of potential fuel in case of a wildfire.
Whether you want to make an impression with your home, cut down on your water bill or protect your dwelling from a natural disaster, the right landscaping can go a long way in helping you reach those goals.