Landscaping Trends and Ideas That Add Value to Your Home

Posted by TSI Appraisal

adding home value through landscaping

If you’re looking to sell your home this summer, landscaping could be one area to focus on before putting your house on the market. Even if you’re not ready to sell this year, landscaping can offer a solid return on investment when you are ready.

However, there’s so much that can be done to improve your outdoor living space that it may be hard to know where to start. Here’s a look at some current landscaping trends and some helpful tips on where to focus your outdoor efforts.

Looking at Four 2015 Landscaping Trends

Some landscaping options are always in season, but if you’re looking to add value for a sale in the near future, it can be helpful to look at current trends. This year, eco-conscious plants and materials feature prominently. According to Garden Design, the following trends are currently in demand:

●    Subdued colors. For textiles, furnishings and planters, more “subdued and sophisticated” color palettes. For the trend-conscious homebuyer, staging an outdoor space with this type of color palette in mind could bring a higher offer.
●    Foodscape gardens. As sustainable living becomes more important, foodscape gardens are becoming more popular, especially with younger buyers. For smaller outdoor spaces, miniature fruit trees and traditional herb gardens are creative ways to take full advantage of a home’s outdoor assets.
●    Native plantings. For many parts of the U.S., this summer is expected to bring more drought conditions, making water conservation a potential major concern for would-be homebuyers. Native plantings often require less watering than exotic species, which could save a current or future homeowner thousands of dollars per year.
●    Sustainable materials. Using recycled and sustainable materials for hardscaping (outdoor elements like fences, walls, walkways and lighting fixtures) is also taking off with consumers in the Northwest who want an eco-conscious home. Increasing the size of your hardscape outdoor space could also make for an energy-conscious landscape that requires less water, which for some markets could be a strong selling point.

 

Adding Trees for Added Value

For homeowners looking to add value for the long term, trees can be a good investment. According to HouseLogic, trees reduce stress, canopies reduce cooling bills in the summer, and windbreaks reduce heating bills in the winter. Healthy, full-grown trees can even add value to your neighbor’s property. The National Tree Benefits Calculator is a nifty tool that can provide localized information about the value and benefits of specific tree species.

Focusing on a Healthy Lawn

While major landscaping efforts can add more value to a home, they also require a significant capital outlay. When it comes to adding value on a budget, homeowners will do well to keep the basics in mind. Amy Simpson of TruGreen Lawn Care shared with us three key points from the company’s Lawn Lifestyles Survey of America.

●   Don’t underestimate the value a healthy lawn can add to your home. According to TruGreen’s survey, 79 percent of homeowners say a healthy lawn adds value to their current home. When it comes to buying a new home, 56 percent of these respondents agreed that a good lawn would warrant a higher price.
●    First impressions do affect sales. Owing to the importance of curb appeal, three out of four respondents agreed “it takes seconds to form a first impression” when it comes to a home’s landscaping, and many buyers have acted on these first impressions. According to the survey, 71 percent of homebuyers claim to have bought a home with a healthy lawn, and 72 percent say they purchased a home with well-maintained landscaping.
●    Even basic weed prevention can make a difference. The survey found that the treatment and prevention of invasive weeds was a top lawn care concern for 34 percent of homeowners. Well-maintained landscaping could put up to a third of potential buyers at ease.

Adding Value Now Versus in the Future

 

New trees you add this summer will certainly give a good return on investment, but more likely several years into the future. In a Virginia Tech study that measured the effect of landscaping on perceived home value, the maturity and size of the trees mattered most to 36 percent of respondents.

For homeowners hoping to add and recoup value in a sale this summer, choosing smaller projects will make for a better plan. Staging your outdoor area with on-trend colors and materials could net a quicker sale and higher price. Furthermore, adding a foodscape garden or native plantings are also likely to net you a better sale price.

Lastly, if you’re limited to improving the lawn you already have, TruGreen’s survey shows a healthy, weed-free lawn is well worth the sweat equity you’ll invest.

Answering “How Much Value Does Landscaping Add?”

Just how much value will improved landscaping add to your property? For the experts, this remains a question without a definitive answer. In the Virginia Tech survey, results showed different types of landscaping could add anywhere from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent to a home’s perceived value.

Writing for the Washington Post, real estate broker Jill Chodorov posed this question to John Gidding, host of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal.” Gidding told the Post a conservative estimate of the return on investment for landscaping was 150 percent of the landscaping cost. However, he pointed out a “Curb Appeal” project where $20,000 in landscaping brought the homeowner an additional $200,000 in their home sale. Both Chodorov and Gidding agreed it was not practical advice to anticipate a 1,000 percent return for landscaping.

Still, experts do agree that landscaping can have a huge impact on the value of your home, both now and in the future. The Post’s Chodorov echoed TruGreen’s Simpson when it came to lawn care: “Keep the lawn mowed and watered and keep the yard weed free.”

You could spend thousands on new landscaping, but you don’t have to. “If you only have a few hundred dollars, paint the front door and get new house numbers,” Gidding told the post. “Improve whatever the eye will see from the street.”

 

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