Economics of Property Landscaping By Peter Beck of Luxuriant Gardens
In 2002, the American Nursery & Landscape Association reported that the average amount spent on landscape installation and construction was $3,502.Several sources indicate that the recovery on this investment cost is very high. According to Money Magazine, February 2000, “A nicely landscaped property can allow owners to recoup 100-200% of their investment at selling time.” Larger landscaping design projects can offer more value to homeowners but will always keep investment cost in line with property values.The Home Gain survey also reported that a simple improvement such as ‘landscape & trim’ with a typical cost of $432-$506 can bring an increase in sale price from $1,594 to $1,839 – a 266% average return.
Other sources concur with this finding. According to the Gallup Organization, a landscaping project could add anywhere from 7%-15% to a home’s value. A Clemson University study reports slightly more conservative results: homes with “excellent” landscaping can expect a sale price about 6% to 7% higher than those with only “good” landscaping.Buyer appreciation of patios, decks and inviting outdoor living spaces further heighten sales appeal and add real economic value when it’s time to sell. But if sellers expect to recover all costs of elaborate projects, they should be aware that many buyers will not consider a “highly personalized” project to be as desirable!
Front Door Landscaping
The front entryway is a particularly important area and offers great opportunity to make a statement. It doesn’t matter how small the area is, there are lots of tasteful touches that will make an impact without costing very much. A simple welcome mat, a wreath on the door or a hanging flower arrangement, may be enough. A brass door knocker and kickplate, and a potted tree on the steps can add class to the front door area. Benches, art or antique objects which fit the overall house style can add more interest and a more welcoming appearance. Consider colour in the front entrance also! Could door trim, or the front door, itself, use a color upgrade? Changing front door color is a quick and inexpensive way to improve curb appeal. When they are painted a complimentary color to house and trim, doors can add dimension and style, instead of reducing overall appeal. House numbers, lighting and mailboxes should also be included in overall design appearance.
“Hardscaping” elements leading to the front door or the front porch itself are other opportunities to improve features that may need a lift. Selection of hardscape materials themselves (such as slate, brick, stone, etc.) are style choices that should relate to and complement other property elements.
Driveway, front porches, and walkways are items often overlooked, which when they are updated, can make a huge impact. One of the easiest projects to undertake is to create a defined walkway if none exists. This not only adds visual value but is practical. A walkway should efficiently direct users to the entry and look attractive while doing it; no overgrown grass, shrubs, loose slates or out-of-place bricks on the way to the front door.
The Value of a Tree
A home’s curb appeal has the power to set the stage for a first appearance. It may keep prospects away or draw them in; easily affecting a property’s sale price. Appeal is highly individualistic, but a well-designed and maintained “curbview” doesn’t need to be cost-prohibitive to improve the home’s desirability. If sellers anticipate carrying out a curb appeal project for the purpose of resale they should be aware that design modifications are the best strategy for investment recovery.
For those planning to sell their home soon, now is the time to consider curb appeal improvements! Luxuriant Gardens specializes in landscape design, including installation and sales of high-quality ornamental plants for any environment or visual application!
Consider just the value of an average tree. Based on its maturity it can have an appraisal value of between $1000 to $10,000, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. For mature flowering shrubs and fruit-bearing trees, it can also have quite a significant impact, in terms of the appraisal value and homeowner satisfaction!