Landscape and Housing Value
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
When it comes to landscaping, one of the most frequently asked questions is about the value it will add to your home. While you may be landscaping for yourself now, how much of your investment will you get back down the road if you sell? The answer may surprise you.
Does it Increase Value?
Researchers have been looking for patterns linking landscape and housing value for years. The general consensus is that a well-landscaped exterior can increase a home’s value anywhere from 5 to 15%. Not all landscaping features pack the same amount of punch for their dollar, though.
According to studies, the top-yielding landscaping projects are those that add lifestyle value beyond aesthetic. For buyers browsing the market for a new home, they want a home and yard that does more for them. As far as landscaping is concerned, they will look at features that not only add beauty to the home, but those that add comfort, are convenient, use the space well, lower the cost of heating and cooling, create a quieter space, and don’t require too much upkeep.
Reaping What You Sow: What Works and What Doesn’t
This year, the National Association of Realtors released the 2018 Remodelling Impact Report: Outdoor Features from their research department. This report details the impact that landscaping has brought to housing values seen by realtors in recent years. They highlight specific landscaping features and how much of your investment you may see again in resale.
Lawn Upkeep – If you want a simple way to get your money back and more, regularly maintaining your lawn, garden, and trees is the way to go. With regular mowing, pruning, weeding, planting, and fertilization, you create a polished look that buyers want. It’s also very cost-effective, and for what you spend, you could see a return of 100 – 250%!
Sprinkler Systems – When buyers are looking at homes, they want one they don’t need to work too hard to maintain. Sprinkler systems allow them to maintain a lawn and garden with the simple flip of a switch. They can bring back 85% or more of your investment.
Walkways – Clean stone or brick walkways lined with bushes, shrubs, trees, or plants add an aesthetic and comfort value. For what is spent, a return of over 80% may be seen.
Patios and Decks – Patios are something that we as homeowners may love, but when it comes time to sell, they typically yield less than 70% of their value back. Wooden decks, however, with proper railing, stairs, and sealing may see a return of 80%.
Outdoor Kitchens – These features are excellent additions if you plan on using them lots before you sell. However, they typically require a bit more maintenance, and some buyers don’t value the use of outdoor space. You may only see about 70% of your money back.
Fire Features – Adding a backyard campfire feel is a great way to build a sense of community. When it comes to the resale value, though, they don’t make much of a splash, meaning you may only get around 65% of your money back.
Pools – Pools are something that everyone believes will bring them a lot of money when it comes time to sell. After all, who doesn’t want a nice, cold dip on a summer day? Unfortunately, pools require a lot of upkeep to keep them clean and pristine, which buyers see as more work and inconvenient. When it comes to adding one of these just to drive up value, reconsider, as you’ll probably only get back half of what you spent or less.
While many people landscape for their enjoyment while they live in a house, it can also be a great way to add some value when the time comes to sell. If you’re landscaping just to sell, though, you’re better off keeping it to simple lawn and garden care. For what you spend versus what you’ll get back, the real value is how much use you’ll get out of it. Spend now to get the use out of it, regardless of the money, and enjoy a little extra return when the time comes to sell.
Images courtesy of Salisbury Landscaping. View the full Gallery here.