It is well known that quality, professional residential landscaping can offer a much higher return on investment (ROI) compared to other home improvements. In a recent Society of Real Estate survey of appraisers, 99 per cent of the respondents agreed that landscaping enhances the curb appeal of residential real estate, making it likely to sell faster. Ninety-five per cent of the respondents also agreed that buyers had no problem paying 10 to 20 per cent more than the original value of the home before landscaping.
The home improvement that keeps improving
Residential landscaping not only increases your property’s value and selling price, but also keeps the price going up as the landscape matures. It is extremely satisfying to know that your investment will continue to increase the value of one of your biggest assets over time. And when you decide to sell, purchasers will pay a premium for mature and well maintained landscape.
This is because well-tended landscapes – that are not overgrown – give potential homebuyers the impression that the sellers are responsible, and that the inside is also likely to be well cared for. Real estate agents agree that most homebuyers get more excited when visiting homes that look inviting than those that seem dreary, with the exception of flippers.
It extends your living space
Transforming your yard into an attractive space gives you extra square footage you can enjoy instantly and for years to come. Hardscaping, which includes adding firepits, seats, fireplaces, and patio pavers, among other things, allows you to do anything that you would do inside your home outside and in the comfort of your compound.
To continue enjoying your landscape without detracting from it, consider:
- Keeping the garden tidy: Trimming shrubs, pruning trees, and keeping the yard weed-free are all inexpensive ways to keep your landscape looking neat. You can manage weeds by using pre-emergent herbicides (dependent on what province you’re in) that kill weed seeds before they grow, or by applying mulch and raking it periodically to maintain a fresh, earthy look.
- Planting many trees: The value of trees increases over time. In fact, landscape appraisers claim that a $10 sapling can be worth between $1,000 and $10,000 when mature. This is a huge return on investment, and the more trees you have the greater your ROI. If you plan on staying in your current home for more than five years, plant small trees. But if you plan on selling sooner, buying larger trees will be better so they mature just before selling.
- Adding an outdoor entertainment area: Among the most desired outdoor elements among homebuyers are firepits and permeable paving, along with low-maintenance landscaping, which add the most value to your landscape. You can make your own firepit as a DIY project, or purchase one for a few dollars. Permeable paving is also quite affordable at about $600 per 100-sq.-ft.-area.
- Drought preparedness: Installing an automated sprinkler system promises potential homebuyers a virtually maintenance-free yard. But with longer drought spells, you can have an even bigger impact on potential buyers if you landscape with drought-tolerant plants. Considering that nearly one-third of household water goes to landscaping, opting for environmentally friendly plants can mean a huge reduction in your water bills. Xeriscaping — low-water-use-renovations — is a worthwhile investment that will reduce your water costs in the short term, and pay off with higher home value when you decide to sell.
- Add some seasonal plants for beauty: Although low-maintenance landscape offers the best ROI, you can take advantage of perennial flowering plants to act as a backdrop. Most flowers are annuals, but opting for more perennials will reduce the workload for replanting (redoing the landscape) each spring as they can survive for years. Options for perennials include lavender, rosemary, catmint, and sage, which add colour, scent, and can be used in recipes. Other less thirsty landscaping plant options include succulents, such as aloes and agaves, and vines, such as wisteria, grapes, and honeysuckles.
Safeguard your investment: Hire professional landscape contractors
Quality, low-maintenance residential landscaping projects typically cost about 10 per cent of the home’s value. Assuming that the improvements increase the value of your home by 15 per cent, it means that you get back 1.5 times your investment, or a 150 percent ROI. Seek professional help to identify responsible landscaping choices that will increase your ROI, such as those that add beauty and comfort, require minimal maintenance, and are economical.
When done right, investing in landscaping can make you feel good even in tough economic times. But this requires coherent, sophisticated design that can only be achieved with a skilled and experienced contractor. So, homeowners looking to increase their property’s value should protect their investment by working with the right licensed, professional residential landscape contractors. Otherwise you risk ending up with a disorganized space that detracts from your home’s curb appeal.