Zillow contributor Steve Asbell says there's a lot to think about before digging into a landscaping project at a new construction site. The land can be hiding bad soil, unmarked wires and pipes, and weed seeds. He offers a few guidelines to creating the perfect yard at a new home:

-Start off beds right: whether there's newly added topsoil or nothing more than fill dirt, it will need your help to become fertile, rich and loamy soil. Bagged compost is the best option for creating fertile soil.

-Get the lay of the land: scope out the area to see which sections get the most sunlight, and where certain plants will thrive best.

-Think ahead: don’t turn the whole yard into a decked out party zone with a pool (or a Zen garden complete with koi pond and jagged rocks) without at least considering what can be done with that space down the road.

-Start with mulch and groundcovers: Weeds are inevitable, but a struggling lawn or half-hearted attempt at a garden bed provide weeds with a veritable breeding ground. Mulch is your first line of defense, and it also keeps soil from drying out. Or, find a good, weed-suppressing ground cover like mondo grass, creeping phlox or Japanese forest grass.

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