Updating the landscaping around your home can turn your backyard into a haven for you and your family and increase the value of your home. Landscaping projects can also be expensive, and you may need to borrow money to pay for it.
This guide will show you how to find the right landscaping financing for your situation and determine how much you’ll need to apply for.
In this guide:
- Average cost to landscape a backyard
- Best landscaping loans
- What about builder financing?
- 4 questions to ask before taking out a loan for landscaping
Average cost to landscape a backyard
Landscaping projects typically cost around $50 to $100 per hour or $4 to $12 per square foot, according to HomeGuide. But your costs could vary widely depending on a variety of factors. These include:
- The amount of hardscaping you’re doing.
- Which materials you choose.
- The plants you choose.
- Whether your project requires permits.
- Whether you’re hiring out labor or doing it yourself.
- Your location.
- The equipment you need, like a lawn mower.
A landscaping project with a swimming pool, paver patio, or outdoor kitchen, for example, will cost more than a simpler project that just involves putting in some plants and mulch.
Best landscaping loans
The list below details three methods for financing a landscaping project. You can click on each one to jump down to our top picks for lenders offering that type of financing.
3 Methods of landscaping financing
- Home equity loans: These are loans for a fixed amount, with the amount you can borrow based on your home’s equity. They are an ideal choice if you know how much your project will cost and want to borrow a large amount at a low interest rate.
- Home equity lines of credit: These give you access to a revolving line of credit, with your credit limit based on the amount of equity in your home. They are likely the best choice if you want to work on a project over a few years and need access to an ongoing source of money, but you don’t know exactly how much you need.
- Personal loans: These loans are unsecured, and the amount you can borrow is based on your credit and other factors. Personal loans are ideal if you need to borrow a smaller amount, want to receive funding in a lump sum, and you can’t or don’t want to put your home equity at risk.
Home equity loans
When you borrow for landscaping using a home equity loan, the amount of money you’re eligible to borrow will be determined based on how much equity you have in your home. This equity will act as collateral to secure your loan and reduce risk to your lender.
Lower interest rates than you’d qualify for with an unsecured personal loan.
Know how much you’re borrowing upfront, which provides certainty for your budget.
You may be able to claim a tax deduction for the interest you pay, depending on the size of your mortgage and whether you itemize deductions.
Potentially higher upfront costs than a personal loan.
You’ll be eligible only if you have enough equity in your home.
Approval may take longer than for an unsecured loan.
You put your home on the line.
>> Read More: Home equity loan uses
Here is a lender offering home equity loans.
- Rates (APR): As low as 9.50%
- Loan Amounts: $25,000 – $500,000
- Repayment Terms: 5 – 30 years
Spring EQ is a highly-rated home equity loan lender. You can receive an instant qualification which allows you to qualify for a loan before you submit the full application. If approved, funds can be received in as few as 11 days.
- Minimum credit score: 640
- Maximum loan-to-value: 90%
- Origination fee: $700 – $2,000
To compare more options, you can check out our guide to the best home equity loans.
Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
A HELOC works similarly to a credit card but is secured by your home. You’ll get a revolving line of credit with the credit limit based on your home equity. You can borrow as much as you need up to your credit limit and then borrow once you’ve paid back that balance.
Interest could be tax deductible if you meet requirements.
You can borrow only what you need, making the loan more useful for ongoing projects.
Interest rates are often lower than rates on personal loans.
The rate could be higher than on a home equity loan.
Rates are often variable, which means your rate and monthly payment could rise.
Your home is at risk if you can’t pay back what you owe.
You need to be disciplined about your budget to avoid borrowing more than you need.
Here is a lender offering a home equity line of credit.
- Rates (APR): 6.55% – 15.54%
- Loan Amounts: $15,000 – $400,000
- Repayment Terms: 5, 10, 15, or 30 years
Figure is a top-rated lender offering home equity lines of credit. The lender offers pre-qualification that does not affect your credit score. The application can be completed in full online, and funds can be made available in five days. There is no need to wait for an in-person appraisal.
- Minimum credit score: 620
- Maximum loan-to-value: 80%
- Rate reduction: 0.75% discount for automatic payments
- Draw term: 5 years
- Origination fee: Can go 0% – 4.99%
To compare more options, you can check out our guide to the best home equity lines of credit.
A personal loan could be best for your landscaping project if you don’t have a lot of equity in your home, your project is low cost, or you don’t want to put your home at risk. Some lenders market personal loans for landscaping specifically as home improvement loans or similar.
Many personal loans come with higher interest rates than home equity financing, because they are unsecured. These loans are typically better for people with good credit who can qualify for competitive rates.
Borrowers can get funding in as little as one business day.
Most personal loans are unsecured, so your home won’t be at risk if you can’t keep up with payments.
Personal loans usually come with lower minimum loan amounts than home equity loans or lines of credit.
Most personal loans come with lower upfront fees than home equity products.
Personal loans can be used for nearly any purpose.
Interest rates may be higher than secured debt forms, especially for borrowers with fair or poor credit.
Interest payments will not be tax-deductible.
Here is a lender offering personal loans.
- Rates (APR): 7.99% – 25.49%
- Loan Amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
- Repayment Terms: 24 – 144 months**
LightStream offers loans with low rates, no fees, and a Rate Beat program to beat any rate a competitor offers by 0.10 percentage points.*** If you have excellent or good credit, LightStream is a terrific option.
- Minimum credit score: 660
- Rate reduction: 0.50% discount for enrolling in autopay
- Deposit time: As soon as the same day
- Origination fee: 0%
- Late fee: None
To compare more options, you can check out our guide to the best personal loans.
What about builder financing?
In some cases, you can finance your landscaping project through the landscaping company you contract with. This can be convenient, but it also puts more power in the hands of the contractor to control your costs.
Compare the rates and terms of contractor financing with the terms you could qualify for with other financing options to make sure you get the best deal.
Many contractors don’t actually provide financing themselves but just refer you to a preferred lender. If that’s the case, you lose the convenience associated with financing directly with the contractor.
4 questions to ask before taking out a loan for landscaping
Before you borrow for any landscaping project, answer these four questions.
1. What’s your budget?
While you may not want to spare any expense to create the yard of your dreams, be reasonable about what you spend so you can afford to pay off the bills.
Consider the total project costs, including any interest you’ll pay throughout the repayment term, to ensure everything works within your budget. Make a budget before you start to avoid taking on a bigger project than you can afford.
2. What’s your credit score?
If you don’t have good credit, you’ll likely be charged higher rates for a landscaping loan. This can make the project more expensive than it should be.
In this situation, you may want to take a couple of months to boost your credit score before applying for a loan if the project can wait. This could help you qualify for the lowest rate and save money over time.
3. What are your goals for the landscaping project?
There’s nothing wrong with remodeling your backyard simply for your family’s enjoyment. But if you’re on a tight budget, some landscaping projects could justify spending more than others.
For example, if you’re grading your lawn away from your home’s foundation to prevent flooding, spending on this project could actually save you money over time. You’ll want to spend what you need to do things right the first time.
Likewise, if your landscaping project improves your home’s curb appeal and you plan to sell soon, incurring higher costs can also make sense. You could sell more quickly, and you may be able to recoup the cost if the improvements get you a higher sale price.
But if you simply want a new yard and don’t have the ability to pay for it, think carefully before taking out a loan.
4. Will one project lead to another?
If you have a clear idea of your goals, hopefully, you’ll know the scope of the project going in. But, even in the best situations, one landscaping project has a way of leading to another. Watch out for never-ending projects that drain your budget.
Make decisions upfront about the scope of the project and the amount you want to spend, so you can choose the right form of landscaping financing and stick to a budget.
Recap of Landscape Financing Options
|Spring EQ||Home equity loan||$20,000 – $500,000|
|Figure||HELOC||$15,000 – $150,000|
|LightStream||Personal loan||$5,000 – $100,000|
*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
**Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of three years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.
***LightStream will offer a rate .10 percentage points lower than the rate offered on any competing lender’s unsecured loan provided that you were approved for that lower rate (with the same loan terms offered by LightStream) no later than 2 p.m. Eastern time two business days prior to loan funding. The Rate Beat Program excludes secured or collateralized loan offers from any lender, and the competitive offer must be available to any customer with a similar credit profile. Terms are subject to change at any time.
If you believe you have been approved by another lender for a lower qualifying rate, contact LightStream customer service. We will work with you to determine your Rate Beat eligibility and obtain the necessary documentation.