As the drought continues in California, green lawns are giving way to more water-friendly xeriscapes. The well-known grass of front lawns and golf course fairways is being replaced with drought-resistant plants as well as other natural and manufactured ground coverings like crushed stone and shredded bark. In many cases, governments, water utilities and other agencies are funding the effort to lower the demand for water. A growing number of Californians are participating in the cash-for-grass initiative, which has been around for several years. The rebate can be as much as $4 per square foot.
When looking for a new home, buyers will see more yards featuring less thirsty succulents, cacti, potted plants, fire pits and hardscapes rather than the once ubiquitous swath of green grass. More Southern California homeowners are returning to a natural form of landscaping that is better suited for the state’s dry climate rather than have an unattractive, brown lawn. As a result, the aesthetics of a neighborhood and the perception of how a front yard should look are also evolving. The drought friendly plantings provide an economic benefit as water is becoming more expensive and there are fines for using too much of this resource. In many cases, the new landscaping requires less maintenance than a lawn. The appearance of the average home may also change as builders design houses to complement desert-inspired landscapes. Homeowners and potential buyers are growing accustomed to the new norm, which presents an excellent opportunity when buying or selling a home.
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