Every once in a while I will have a customer approach me about the possibility of completely overhauling their existing landscape. As the landscaper, I called in a designer and
It was a very interesting thing to see how homeowner consumers approach different kinds of capital improvements with drastically different views. This prospective landscape customer had just completely renovated his kitchen and installed granite countertops in all his bathrooms. Whether or not he was planning on selling his home anytime soon, I cannot say, but he seemed to be knowledgeable that kitchens improvements are one that pays dividends when it come time to sell a home. What he didn’t know, and this was stated in a recent issue of Money Magazine based on their extensive research, is that “landscape improvements have one of the best returns of any investment a homeowner could make”.
A recent report based on research done at Clemson University shows that home buyers value a landscaped home almost 12 percent more than its intrinsic market value. Landscaping investments are also not just recovered at the time of a sale, but almost always account for a higher return and more profit for the seller.
I couldn’t understand it, but I had seen it before and took the response in stride and with respect for the decision. My mason, however, was flustered, “I have tow my $80,000 excavator to the site plus another $50,000 worth of other heavy machinery, float $20,000 worth of exotic stone that the client wanted, rip up the existing landscape and build a masterpiece for a few thousand dollars… but people are willing to pay $50,000 for laminate flooring, low-quality granite, and cheap stainless steel appliances”. He really lost his composure.
I kind of kept my distance from him as I watched the steam evaporate from his head. I understood his reasoning, but I couldn’t relate to how irate he had become. I made the mistake of mentioning, “True, but people see value in the upgraded kitchen because they use it every day, and maybe they spend the majority of their time at home inside” (I’m an outdoor person myself).
He gave me a quick look back, the kind of look a wife gives a husband when we carelessly make the wrong comment: “Okay Alex, but what is the FIRST THING that EVERYONE ELSE sees about the house… the first thing that a prospective
And you know what… as crazed as my hardscape contractor had become, he was right. Curb appeal means a LOT. When a prospective buyer pulls up to a house with a dried out lawn it shows neglect on the owner’s part. What else did the owner neglect? Not to mention the impact it has on rental properties that landlords are trying to rent… what does an unkempt landscape say about the tenant-landlord relations that a tenant could anticipate? 10% additional appreciation isn’t something to brush off either… That’s an additional $30,000 come selling time on a $300,000 home, or $40,000 on a $400,000 home.
The benefits don’t stop just at the monetary gains. The University of Florida recently published an article about the benefits of a professionally landscaped home (other than the rise in home value), and they included:
- Less Audible Noise from Neighbors and the Surrounding Area
- More Privacy
- Security and Reduced Crime with a Well Thought Out Design
- Lowering Heating and Air
- Conditioning Bills-Extending the Life of Your Roof
- Wind Mitigation (Very Important in Florida)
- Improving the Aesthetics and General Appearance of the Home
- Uses the Outdoor Space Most Efficiently, Creates a Flowing Area and Separates Individual Outdoor “Rooms” and Areas-Sets Up Natural Spaces for Outdoor Art, Statues, Additional Enhancements, and Conversation Pieces
If you have any interest in