Why Invest in your landscape?

Besides the obvious benefits of enjoying your garden, a landscape design can be a significant investment. Like any improvement to your home, it should provide a solid return on your investment, or ROI.

A landscape design project requires meticulous attention to detail while incorporating the client needs and vision. Since it requires considerable time and investment, it helps knowing that landscaping adds proven value to your home and has a significant impact on it’s resale value – even in the middle of a recession. That’s not feel-good sales talk. According to Dr. Charlie Hall, a nationally recognized green industry expert and professor at Texas A&M University, it’s been proven by a wide variety of scientific studies.

For example, landscaping gives a much better return on home-improvement investment than bathroom or kitchen remodeling. In 2009, for every $1 a homeowner put into these improvements, here’s how much his or her home’s value increased:

  • Bathroom: $1 = $0.68
  • Kitchen: $1 = $0.69
  • Landscape: $1 = $1.06 to $1.12

Not All Landscape Designs are Created Equal

Moreover, the difference between bad and good landscaping design (as judged by surveys of Realtors and home buyers) shows up as a 9 increase in home value.

A study also found that every 1 percent increase in a home’s tree canopy over the average canopy in the neighborhood equates to a .2 percent increase in property value. So, a $200,000 house with 20 percent more canopy than the average comparable neighbor may be worth $8,000 more.

This same result was seen for ground cover, be it lawn or flowers. In some cases an increase of 50 percent is conceivable, which for the same $200,000 house results in a $20,000 increase in value.

A well-executed landscaped patio can add more than 12 percent to the value of a home and a well-landscaped curb can increase property value by 4.4 percent.

According to a MONEY magazine story on home renovations, not all improvements will increase the value of a house by the amount they cost to perform.”

How Landscaping Measures Up

Landscaping, however, according to their research, has a recovery value of 100 percent to 200 percent if it is well done and harmonizes with foliage nearby. This compares to a recovery value of:

  • 75 percent to 125 percent for a kitchen remodel,
  • 80 percent to 120 percent for a bathroom, and
  • 20 percent to 50 percent for a swimming pool.

For all of us looking to extend our homes with “outdoor rooms” and to “decorate” them with attractive plants, outdoor furniture, and appealing features and ornaments, it is very reassuring to know that the time and money we invest will not only give us pleasure but also increase the value of our greatest personal asset.

In fact, according to a Gallup poll, homeowners polled feel that a professional landscape design adds almost 15 percent to the value of their property and that landscaping as an investment is one with lasting value. According to the same poll, 95 percent of residential homeowners believe that good landscaping adds value to their homes; 86 percent of commercial property owners feel the same about their commercial properties.

SOURCE: From Quality Landscaping Can Add Value by Behe and Hall. 2006. From Landscaping and House Values: An Empirical Investigation by De Rosiers, Theriault, Kestens, and Villeneuve. 2002. From How Landscaping Affects Your Property Values by Linda Anson