Does Landscaping Increase Your Homes Value?
There are so many things a homeowner can do inside a house to increase its value but what about outdoors and landscaping? Landscaping or improving the backyard could not only enhance the look of a property, but landscaping can increase your homes value and also adds value for refinancing or to make selling a home easier.
Usually the return on investment for what you put in and your efforts not only returns in money later but you can gain the benefit of a healthier environment, increased liveable space, shade and privacy. If you add fruit trees you may also enjoy the fruits of your labour quite literally. Plus flowers make backyard landscape design more appealing for us humans and the much needed bee population.
What is a good budget to increase your homes value?
If you take about 3-5% of the home value and spend it on a low-maintenance but quality landscape the value of your home can increase in resale value by as much as 9 -15%. Earning you back a significant amount on that landscape budget! We recommend looking at the types and levels of landscaping the properties around you have. Then aim to plan within these limits, doing this gives you a guideline so you’re less likely to over-capitalise.
How and where to spend landscape money
Front or back? Both ideally, the front yard provides curb appeal but it is the backyard where the money needs to be spent. ‘She’s a big job’ and you might not be able to do everything right away, so focus on things that make a big impact and that your household will get enjoyment from.
What do you or potential buyers want? The garden really is an extension of your living space, so take your time, think about your lifestyle, then start making a list of what you want. Your list may involve a children’s play area, a shade area with garden seats, an entertaining/relaxation area, paving or decking, a vegetable and herb garden, and practical storage.
Choose a style that suits your house and lifestyle, then stick to it. We can’t emphasise this enough when it comes to your choice of plants. Choosing less varieties but using a lot of each avoids the ‘hodge-podge’ effect.
Best Bang for the Buck – Trees
The best money you can spend around the house is to plant trees. If you plan on staying in your house for only 2 or 3 more years consider planting some trees in the 2.5 mt range. Staying longer? Opt for less established trees that will grow over time to add value in the form of shade, privacy and potential security.
Outdoor Living Spaces
It’s quintessentially kiwi to enjoy the sun and outdoor spaces, it’s basically in our DNA. A landscaped patio or deck can raise the value of a home by as much as 12%. Anything you can do to incorporate the outdoors with the indoor will be seen as a bonus to buyers.
Water is a nice feature in a backyard landscape design but we’re not talking about a pool! A fountain, a small pond or a spa pool can do the trick. The key is to make the area a comfortable place to sit and relax.
Fire is another element to enhance outdoor living, be it a fire pit, BBQ area, outdoor kitchen or wonderful heating to extend comfortable night time hours.
Outdoor lighting today is pretty easy to install, or even better still a quick job for your electrician to set you up, and solar powered lights are an even easier option. Lighting your landscape can silhouette trees, light up the garden, keep visitors safe by lighting their path and provide security from potential burglars. It also makes the outside more liveable in the darker months.
Rethink the Pool
As attractive as a swimming pool is, investing in a pool just to increase the property value rarely happens. There are some cases where all the homes in the neighbourhood may have a pool and it could be a selling point. However, an in-ground pool costs upwards of $60,000 (the sky really is the limit) but it will not give the same return for each dollar spent.
From some homebuyers perspectives, a pool translates into maintenance, additional cost and could in fact be a turn off if they’re not keen on extra upkeep.
If you are putting in a pool – DO NOT put an in-ground swimming pool in for investment reasons. Put a pool in for you and your families enjoyment and make sure you add landscaping around a pool!
Concrete Patio not all it’s cracked up to be
Patios are a great idea – but building a patio by just pouring a concrete slab is not. Concrete is viewed as very basic and outdated. Creative pavers or better still a wooden deck is preferable (even though it does have a limited lifespan).
Remember Concrete cracks, pools water and does not look as good as a wood deck, landscape brick or pavers, especially for potential buyers.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
Of course you can take on your own landscaping projects, DIY is so very Kiwi and with so many resources online and helpful teams at landscaping and garden supply retailers you’ll be able to achieve wonderful results by doing it yourself. But if you don’t enjoy manual work outside because it’s just ‘not your thing’, you’re on a schedule to sell or think it’s better to call the experts in then by all means go for professional help.
Remember garden design plays a big part in improving the outdoor appeal of a property, and while using a landscape architect costs money, look at it as an investment rather than a cost. A professional ensures the right plants go in the right place, the available space is maximised, and the final result is appealing and well-proportioned.
Your landscape plan can incorporate many of the above elements for installation over a few years if you are not planning on ‘Flipping’ your property quickly and still plan to enjoy it for yourself.
For the best return and to add value with landscaping, we recommend aiming for (in order of effectiveness): A well-maintained lawn, inviting outdoor living/socialising area, good paving and walkways, established decorative trees and shrubs, well-kept hedges, colourful flowerbeds, water features, a good garden shed, and fruit trees.
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