The benefits of high-quality landscaping and outdoor design
If you ask us if we think landscaping is a good investment, of course we’ll say that it’s a good value. Sure, if you’d bought a couple of blueberry bushes instead of those shares of blackberry.com stock in 2000, you would have made out ok, but it’s more than that. We believe that a well designed landscape offers an enjoyable outdoor space for your family that provides a solid monetary return as well. Research studies from all over the nation underscore that landscaping can be a great investment in your home:
Landscaping as an investment in your home
Smart Money Magazine notes in the March 2003 issue that spending 5 percent of the total value of your home on landscaping, and doing it wisely, you can add 15 percent or more to the value of your home.
A Clemson University study found that landscaping can result in more than a 100% return on investment. The report concluded that “Homeowners wanting to increase the value of their property will do well to consider the cost-effective, return potential of quality landscaping, and to safeguard their investments by hiring licensed, professional landscape contractors to perform the work.” The return on investment is contingent upon the quality of the landscape installation. This study also found that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3% higher than its base price.
95% of respondents to a Society of Real Estate Appraisers survey said that landscaping adds to the dollar value of residential real estate, while 99% of them said it enhanced the sales appeal of residential real estate.
According to Money Magazine (May 2003), spending on landscape design and installation has more than tripled in the past five years, as it offers the best return on investment of any home improvement. Smart homeowners are hiring landscape architects to help them realize their dreams. Think about what you want and how you will use your landscape. Formal entertaining, herb gardens, and children’s playgrounds are all possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to plants and trees; maybe you would like a fence, a fountain, a deck, a patio, or other outdoor element. Make a realistic budget. One rule of thumb is to invest 5 to 10 percent of your house’s worth. If this seems steep, consider that appropriate landscape improvements are estimated to return 100 to 200 percent of their cost when a house is sold. According to the Money magazine story on home renovations, “not all improvements will increase the value of a house by the amount they cost to perform.” Landscaping, however, according to their research, has a recovery value of 100% to 200%, “if it is well done and harmonizes with foliage nearby.” This compares to a recovery value of 75-125% for a kitchen remodel, 80-120% for a bathroom, and 20-50% for a swimming pool.
The Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association researched and compiled the following statistics: Landscaping can increase the resale value of a property by as much as 14% and speed up the sale of a property by as much as six weeks. A landscaped patio can raise property value by 12.4%, a landscaped curb by 4.4% and hedges can add 3.6%. 5% of a home’s value invested in low-maintenance, quality landscaping can increase resale value by as much as 15%, earning a return of 150% or more on the original landscape budget. When plants are properly selected and placed the results can come in lowering heating and cooling cost by as much as 20%.
According to the Guide for Plant Appraisal, published by the International Society of Arboriculture, homes with nice landscaping are likely to see sale prices that are 4 percent to 5 percent higher compared to similar properties in the neighborhood. Homes with landscapes that are not as nice as others in the neighborhood could see sales prices that are 8 percent to 10 percent lower. Eighty-four percent of the real estate agents interviewed for the study said a house with trees would be as much as 20 percent more salable than a house without trees. A popular landscape trade magazine notes that “a mature tree can have an appraised value of $1,000 to $10,000.
According to the American Nursery & Landscape Association, an improved landscape can increase the value of a homeowner's property value by 7 percent to 14 percent. The association's study also revealed that such improvements could accelerate the sale of a home by five to six weeks.
According to a Gallup poll, homeowners polled feel that landscaping “adds almost 15% to the value of their property and that landscaping is an investment with lasting value.” According to this poll, 95% of residential homeowners believe that good landscaping adds value to their homes; 86% of commercial property owners feel the same about their commercial properties.
In The Value of Landscaping, homes with nice landscaping are likely to see sale prices that are 4 percent to 5 percent higher compared to similar properties in the neighborhood. The general rule of thumb is that you get back 100 percent to 200 percent of what you invest in landscaping when you sell your home.
Environmental & Health Benefits
It’s a known fact that plants improve the quality of our air. Did you know that one tree could remove from the atmosphere around 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per year?
When the proper tree is selected, planted and well maintained it can significantly absorb sounds waves and reduce noise pollution by “eating up” unwanted sound, although your tree won’t protect you from the neighbor kid’s new Metallica album.
Carefully designed and well planted native gardens enhance wildlife and bring butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and songbirds into your life. Everybody needs more hummingbirds in their life.
Erosion and the flow of pollutants and sediment can be reduced to nearby bodies of water when landscape buffers are planted. The salmon will thank you.
A well designed irrigation system can not only save you unnecessary time spent hand-watering, but save water and reduce your utility bill.