By Glenn Curtis of Plantenance Design & Plantenance Landscape Group.

Believe it or not, buried amongst all the negativity about our economic decline, diminishing stock returns and fluctuating home values, there is actually some very positive news for the savvy investor – the savvy landscape investor that is!

Undoubtedly, most of us can appreciate the fact that a successful landscape project can add significantly to the enjoyment of ones home and property by making it not only more attractive, but functional as well.

But did you know that properly designed and installed landscaping also represents a worthwhile investment that can actually add as much as 15% -20% to the overall resale value of your home?

In fact, a recent study conducted by “Money Magazine” reports that quality installed Landscaping yields the highest rate of return of any home improvement project, even more than remodelling a kitchen, bathroom, or the addition of a swimming pool.

Similarly, the magazine reported a recovery value of 100 to 200 percent in landscaping projects especially those that are “well designed, installed and harmonized with the surroundings nearby”. In other words, a homeowner can at the very least expect to recover the funds invested in a landscape type project if the property is to ever to be sold.

In contrast, a kitchen remodelling was given a recovery rate of 75 to 125 percent, while a bathroom re-modeling received a rate of 20 to 120 percent and a 20 to 50 percent rate was given for a swimming pool installation.

It must also be noted that a properly designed and installed landscape project, as with any wise investment, can quickly appreciate over time as the plant material increases in value as it continues to mature.

Likewise, a skilfully installed patio, walkway, or retaining wall system for example, unlike cars or furnishings, can easily be expected to maintain their value over the years.

But wait, there’s more! Consider these interesting landscape statistics and facts:

• Quality landscaping can add 7 to 15 per cent to a home’s value. Source: The Gallaup Organization

• A study by Environmental Companies found that landscaping as an investment is nearly always recovered and can help reduce time on the market.

• Researchers at Clemson University conducted a study of home sales and compared the results based on varying levels of landscape quality. Homes with “excellent” landscaping can expect a sale price about 6 to 7 per cent higher the equivalent houses with “good” landscaping, while improving landscaping from “average” to “good” can resulting a 4 to 5 per cent increase. Not only were type, size and condition of the plantings considered but also the overall design. Well-designed landscaped homes had faster sales because of first impressions…

Source: Clemson University

• A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000 Source: Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers

• 99 per cent of real estate appraisers concurred that landscaping enhances the sales appeal of real elate. Source: Trendnomics, National Gardening Association.

• 83 per cent of realtors believed that mature trees have a “strong or moderate impact” on the saleability of homes listed for under $150,000, on homes over $250,000, this perception Increases to 98 per cent.Source: American Forests, Arbor National Mortgage

• In Canada, researchers at Quebec’s Laval University made detailed survey study of 760 home sales and found that landscaping attributes (trees, flowers, plants, hedges) can “command a substantial market premium.”

• Landscaping can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50 per cent, by shading the widows and walls of a home. Source: American Public Power Association

• Trees can reduce temperatures by as much as nine degrees Fahrenheit Source: American Forests

• A small urban tree can provide up to $273 a year in air conditioning, pollution fighting, erosion, storm water control, and wildlife shelter benefits. Source: American Forests

• A recent survey by the federal government found that the mere mention of the word “Landscaping” in real estate ads had particular resonance with homebuyers. Ads containing the word resulted in a selling price 6% higher than those that didn’t. Even more surprising, the word speeded sale time by a whopping 20%

By carefully investing into quality designed and installed landscaping, you will have taken perhaps one of the biggest steps towards maximizing not only the beauty and enjoyment of your home, but the overall value of your property as well.


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