Curb Appeal Adds Value to Homes

Updated May 31, 2013
Source: FlickrSource: Flickr

Landscaping can add a lot of appeal to a home. Even more so, landscaping can add a lot to a home on the market.

Studies have shown installing good landscaping, such as patios, decks, flowerbeds and outdoor living accommodations, can add 12 to 15 percent of value to a home, according to Total Mortgage.

Landscaping maintenance is a necessity to keep that value up, and some markets may reflect the added landscaping differently. However, Alex Niemiera, a Virginia Tech extension horticulturist, conducted a study about six years ago and concluded that landscaping can add 12.7 percent of value to a home.

At the time, that translated to an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 3.05.32 PM“Survey results showed that relatively large landscape expenditures significantly increase perceived home value and will result in a higher selling price than homes with a minimal landscape,” the study states. “Design sophistication and plant size were the landscape factors that most affected value. The resulting increase in ‘curb appeal’ of the property may also help differentiate a home in a subdivision where house styles are similar and thereby attract potential buyers into a home.”

Landscaping can help a home, but it can also hurt the value of a home. If the landscaping does not match the rest of the market in the area, the home could actually decrease in value.  

The American Society of Landscape Architects encourages homeowners to invest 10 percent of the home’s value in landscaping.

Homeowners are also being encouraged to invest in professional landscapers to help with maintenance and installations.

Landscapers have the background knowledge and can help a homeowner gain equity on a home and in the long run, help save a few dollars by installing plants that fit someone’s personal budget.

Total Mortgage spoke with Richard Borges, president of the Appraisal Institute, who offered questions on what clients should look for when landscaping a home.

  • Is the landscaping attractive enough to make the prospective buyer walk through the front door?  Keep the design contemporary and in line with comparable properties in the area.
  • Could the landscaping provide cost savings? Landscaping that requires little or no water to maintain could be desirable depending on the geographic area.
  • Is the landscaping energy-efficient for the home overall? For example, it’s a good idea to plant trees in a place where they block the sun in locations with year-round hot climates.
  • Are the trees planted at a safe distance from the home and are they healthy and well maintained? Weak, old or damaged trees planted too close to a home or building could pose dangers to the home’s structure and will need to be removed. Consumers should also be sure that mulching or beds don’t get too close to wood around foundations to avoid wood-destroying organisms.
The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover