Why not improve what everyone sees first… Your Landscape!!
The Value of Plants and Landscaping
1) Landscaping is the one home improvement that actually appreciates over time.
2) Wall Street Journal notes: Landscape investments are fully recovered and sometimes doubled from increasing real estate values.
3) According to: U.S. Department of Energy: Landscaping may significantly reduce energy bills. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of a typical household's energy for heating and cooling. Computer models from DOE predict that just three trees, properly placed around the house, can save an average household between $100 and $250 in heating and cooling energy costs annually.
4) Plant Natives!
Native plants do not rquire fertilizer, they help reduce air polution, they provide food and shelter for wildlife, thereby inviting birds and butterflies back home.
• Landscaping can add between 7 and 15 percent to a home's value. Source: The Gallup Organization.
• Homes with "excellent" landscaping can expect a sale price about 6 to 7 percent higher than equivalent houses with "good" landscaping, while improving landscaping from "average" to "good" can result in a 4 to 5 percent increase. Source: Clemson University.
• Landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200 percent at selling time. Kitchen remodeling brings a 75 to 125 percent recovery rate, bathroom remodeling a 20 to 120 percent recovery rate, and addition of a swimming pool a 20 to 50 percent recovery rate. Source: Money Magazine.
• A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. Source: Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.
• In one study, 99% of real estate appraisers concurred that landscaping enhances the sales appeal of real estate. Source: Trendnomics, National Gardening Association.
• In one study, 83% of Realtors believe that mature trees have a "strong or moderate impact" on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%. Source: American Forests , Arbor National Mortgage.
• Landscaping can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent, by shading the windows and walls of a home. Source: American Public Power Association.
• Trees can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50 percent and can mask unwanted noises with pleasant sounds. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
• Trees can reduce temperatures by as much as nine degrees Fahrenheit. Source: American Forests.
• A single urban tree can provide up to $273 a year in air conditioning, pollution fighting, erosion and storm water control, and wildlife shelter benefits. Source: American Forests.
• Top reasons people garden: To be outdoors (44%); to be around beautiful things (42%); relax and escape the pressures of everyday life (39%); stay active and get exercise (35%). Source: American Demographics, Roper Report.
Improving Your Home Value with Landscaping
Most people landscape their homes for their own enjoyment. You probably want your home to have attractive front yard landscaping for both yourself and visitors. The backyard is the area which normally gets used more, and therefore designing it for both beauty and function is desirable. Another reason for landscaping your home is an appreciation for plants which can provide all season color and interest.
However, some are concerned as to the relationship between the amount of money they spend on landscaping and their home's value? What will it mean if you want to sell your home? Will you actually recoup the money you have spent on landscaping your property?
In recent years, there have been quite a few studies done on just this subject. Here are some findings:
Money Magazine determined that landscaping offers an excellent return on investment. Actually it ranks top out of any home improvements. In addition, there was a study done by the American Society of Landscape Architects in conjunction with Money Magazine. A recovery value of 100% to 200% of landscaping costs can be gained when you sell you home.
Clemson University stated that homes with excellent landscaping will sell for 6 to 7% more than comparable homes with just good landscaping. Research by Michigan State University found something similar, but gives good landscaping even more value. They state that the perceived value of a home which is landscaped nicely is improved by 12%.
The Society of Real Estate Appraisers also feels a landscaped home adds value, 99% agreeing that it actually causes these homes to sell more quickly.
And what about trees? A study done by the U.S. Forest Service found that just trees alone can add 3 to 7% to the value of a home.
If you put all of this information together, it is easy to see that adding nice landscaping can definitely provide a positive financial impact on your home's value.
If money is tight, it might make sense to get an equity loan to finance your project. Except for paying interest, you will obviously recoup this money.
Susan Schlenger is a Landscape Designer with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Read about ways to landscape your property and options for an Equity Loan.
When visitors, friends, or new home buyers visit your home, what is the first thing they see? Your Landscape!
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