Realtors/NALP: Outdoor remodeling good investment, pleases clients

Updated Sep 29, 2016
This low walled garden with dense trees and plants behind it feels like a secret retreat. Photo courtesy of Lambert Landscape Co., Dallas, Texas; LoveYourLandscape.orgThis low walled garden with dense trees and plants behind it feels like a secret retreat.
Photo courtesy of Lambert Landscape Co., Dallas, Texas;

Looking closely at both the financial and emotional factors involved when homeowners decide to undertake outdoor improvements, a study by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) showed keeping the lawn cared for properly represents the biggest bang for the buck.

realtor-logoFor Realtors, of course, an outdoor project’s value is based on its contribution to the resale price. On that criterion, the organizations’ research indicated that seeding the lawn delivers the highest return, recovering 417 percent of the project cost at resale.

Next in return at resale were implementing a standard lawn care program (303 percent of cost recovered) and updating landscaping with sod lawn (143 percent recovered).

Here’s a link to the 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.

“Realtors understand the importance of curb appeal because when it is time to sell, a home’s exterior is its first impression to potential buyers,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “Realtors also know that these projects – from flowerbeds to fire pits – can bring homeowners who have no plans to sell even more enjoyment and satisfaction in their home.”

NALP-logoHomeowners’ No. 1 desire when it comes to outdoor projects is a pool. However, Realtors estimate that a pool will recoup only about half its cost on resale, making it one of the least profitable projects cited in the report.

A new wood deck was next in popularity among homeowners, the report says.

NALP’s vice president of public affairs, Missy Henriksen, said the report “validates that outdoor remodeling and landscaping improvements are a necessity when it comes to improving your home’s resale value. Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations – whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, rehauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features, like patios and exterior fireplaces – can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment.”

Even better, she said, the investment is “coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless.”

Here’s how Realtors rank the top 10 outdoor features that appeal to buyers:

  1. Standard lawn care program
  2. Overall landscape upgrade
  3. New patio
  4. New wood deck
  5. Softscape
  6. Sod lawn
  7. Seed lawn
  8. Outdoor firepit
  9. Outdoor fireplace
  10. New pool

And here’s how Realtors rank projects in terms of the value they add at resale:

  1. Landscape upgrade
  2. New patio
  3. New wood deck
  4. Standard lawn care
  5. Sod lawn
  6. Softscape
  7. Seed lawn
  8. Outdoor fireplace
  9. Outdoor firepit
  10. New pool
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