Landscaping adds from 12 to 28 percent to the value of a home, depending on whom you ask and also what part of the country you live in. Going from “fair” to “excellent” in the look of your landscape can make a twelve to fifteen percent difference in home price, and having a deficient landscape can cost in reduced home values as well as in opinions the neighbors will form. I suppose the trick is to get the most added value with the smallest input, and that might lead to do-it-yourself projects and to buying small plants to economize. Actually having a lovely landscaped place adds to your overall happiness with your home and dollar values are only part of the benefit of having a great landscape.
Buyers, sellers, and those who are planning to stay planted (no pun intended) can all benefit from nice landscaping. Let’s consider a few points to increased value.
Simply looking out at a tree for five minutes can have a significant impact where stress is concerned. Trees and flowers may not solve all life’s problems, but they will have a healthful impact on you and also your neighbors. This is one of the reasons crime is rampant in inner city apartment buildings with little or no landscaping and lots of concrete and parking lots.
If you have a home to list for sale, it may be that a thousand dollars of landscaping added to fix-up and selling expense can add more to the selling price than what you spend—and also houses with nice curb appeal don’t sit on the market as long and are more apt to sell for listing price. Consider that before doing the kitchen upgrade even.
If you are buying a home, finding one with a landscape you like is a big plus, all else being equal. And, if you’re buying from a builder who may not be finished with the home you are buying, see if you can get him to tell you what the landscaping budget he plans to spend is. (It may be that he can reduce the sales price, and you do landscaping that suits you with the money…plus some extra usually, as builders don’t put much into most new home landscaping.) If you can’t get out of some landscaping by the builder, see if you can have him spend the budget on one nice large shade tree, and you can do the foundation plants to suit yourself.
Most of you may not plan to move anytime soon, you’re planted for the duration. Even so, doing additional landscaping that is in good taste and well-planned can grow money for you. Consider a small tree may cost you under $150 and when it has a trunk a foot thick it may be valued at $1000. And, good looks, shade, windbreak, savings on heat and air conditioning, will be fringe benefits. Amazingly, few seem to even think of fruit or nuts as a yearly dividend from the pecan tree or the mulberry or jujube tree.
Unless we live in a desert setting, most of us don’t care for brown or weedy lawns. They are unattractive. Having more areas in trees and shrubs, including mulched beds with perennials under and among the trees will give your home added distinction (and less time spent on mowing, too).
And if you must do something on a small budget, consider fast-growing trees that will fill in fast, even though this will mean they may well have to be replaced someday with better species of trees. Fast growth usually means short-lived. Consider the Bradford pear and silver maples as examples of this.
Boosting the value, both in dollars as well as aesthetics and service, of your home with some great landscaping is probably a wise thing to do soon as you have a plan and a budget worked out. You may be able to do your own and save money. More homeowners know little about landscaping and would be well served to hire an expert to help. Either way, you can boost the value of your place with smart landscaping.