Home prices throughout Southern California continue to fall. The median price paid for new and resold Southland houses and condos last month was $280,000, down 8.2% from a year earlier and the largest drop since September 2009.
Don't even look at home prices toward the end of 2007, when the average Southern California home was going for $500,000.
If a prospective buyer looked at your house today, what would they see? A weedy lawn, a maintenance and water headache, some big boring shrubs that look like they might swallow the car? When on your property would they have a clear view to a neighbor's equally hideous scene? Maybe worse, would the neighbors be looking into your home's windows?
According to research by Money magazine, "not all improvements will increase the value of a house by the amount they cost to perform." But landscaping, Money concluded, had a return on investment of 100% to 200%.