Curb Appeal Adds Value


How Valuable is Landscaping?

Your home is your castle — enjoy it, customize it, make it reflect your taste and values. But, there’s one area where you can really add value, curb appeal.

Good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house, says landscape economist John Harris, and cut its time on the market 10% to 15%. Even taking your landscaping to the next level, upgrading from “good” to “excellent,” in terms of design, condition, and placement, can add 6% to 7% to a home’s value, according to a Clemson University study.

Landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property. In fact, it is one of the few home improvements you can make that not only adds value immediately, but also increases in value as the years go by; while interior decor and design concepts regularly go out of style and mechanical systems wear down, plants grow fuller and more robust as the years go by.

A review of research by Alex X. Niemiera, a horticulturist at Virginia Tech, found that a well-landscaped home had a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping. That advantage ranged from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.

Niemera's research makes clear that there's more to landscaping than sticking some flowers and a couple shrubs in the ground. The number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a sophisticated design.

Another valuable home improvement is lighting. Outdoor lighting consistently tops the NAHB’s list of most wanted outdoor features in its annual What Home Buyers Really Want survey: 41% rate it “essential;” 49% say it’s “desirable.”

  • Tasteful lighting paints your home at night, highlighting your other great landscaping choices and directing guests to your home’s focal point — the front door.

  • It protects against slips and falls.

  • It makes a property a more difficult target for intruders. That added security can reduce burglaries, and therefore claims. Some insurance companies give 5% to 15% discounts to homeowners with reduced or zero claims.

  • It makes your home feel homier. Soft lighting on a wrap-around porch or just a front stoop feels warm and inviting.


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