Gardening can be a great way to add value to your property. It's one of the few improvements you can make to the home that not only adds value immediately, but also increases in value as the years go by. Interior design and decoration concepts may go out of style and mechanical systems may wear out, but plants grow fuller and more robust as the years go by. Unfortunately, unless the property is agricultural and the vegetation generates income, there is no way for an appraiser to assess the loss (or addition) of the landscape.
Estimating the cost of extensive and mature landscaping in the cost approach is even more difficult. Landscaping projects can have a positive impact on home values, but agents should urge homeowners not to exceed neighborhood standards. Following the passage of Hurricane Ike here in the greater Houston area, it is clear that landscaping and vegetation on the property can have a significant effect on home values. Putting a number on the contributory value of landscaping is very difficult, but it can be done when comparable sales are available that are included in the landscaping of the property in question.
For example, cutting fresh edges around your planting beds; having a sharp, well-defined edge between grass and mulch or soil gives the landscape a professional look. Dropping plants at random can feed your gardener Jones, but a professionally organized design will take your landscape and retail price to the next level. When valuing a home, the appraiser must look at the landscape of the property in question compared to other properties in the area. A few years ago, during the height of house-changing activity, it was common to see fins at the lower end of the market doing very basic cosmetic landscaping in the front yard doing almost nothing with the backyard (seriously, backyards were sometimes just dirt or skirting sloppy).
Upscale neighborhoods tended to continue to have lush green lawns and manicured gardens throughout the drought. Many of today's shoppers love landscaping, but they don't have the time or inclination to spend the time traditionally needed to maintain it. If the landscaping of the property in question is outdated, sparse, or inappropriate for the geographical location, all of this will be taken into account in the appraiser's opinion on the value. So does landscaping count when you're evaluating your home? Not exactly, we take into consideration landscaping and exterior appeal under the “general condition” of the property. However, there are some ways to make sure your landscaping adds value to your home.
Investing in smart irrigation systems can help keep your garden looking lush without wasting water. Smart irrigation systems can be equipped with sensors that smell the air and water levels in your garden and water only when needed. In conclusion, landscaping can have a positive impact on home values if done correctly. It is important to keep up with neighborhood standards and invest in smart irrigation systems to ensure that your garden looks its best without wasting water.