Outdoor spaces and living landscapes are becoming an increasingly important component of residential real estate.
A recent study carried out by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, or OPEI, indicates the vast majority of Americans (9 out of 10) say it’s important to have a landscape at their home.
According to study results, the vast majority of Americans have a yard made up of grass, 86 %; trees/bushes/shrubs, 80 %; pavers/cement/bricks/patio, 51 %; and landscaping rocks/gravel.
Here are ways family yards and other living landscapes add value to a property:
Curb appeal: Curb appeal is an important factor in deciding overall property value. Studies show that improving overall curb appeal, which includes a beautiful lawn and landscape, can boost property values as much as 17 % (source: Texas Tech University).
Trees are tops: The value of trees goes beyond perception and choice and right into the pocketbook of your clients. According to the International Society of Arboriculture, each front yard tree adds one % to a home’s sale price, while large specimen trees can add as much as 10 % to property values.
Saving money with green: Living landscapes impact monthly electric bills. According to the Urban Forest Coalition, one hundred million mature trees around U.S. residences save approximately $2 billion annually in energy costs. In fact, strategically placed trees can save up to 56 % on annual air conditioning bills. In the wintertime, evergreens that block winter winds can save 3 % on heating costs (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service). Cumulatively, eight average-sized front lawns can provide the cooling equivalent to air-conditioning for 18 homes (source: Alliance for Water Efficiency).
Increasing living space: During warmer months, yards become outdoor family rooms and are increasingly important to families who want a safe, inviting place for their kids and pets to play. Merging indoor and outdoor environments to enhance living space is trending, making outdoor living space important for home buyers.
How much can a seller presume to recover from ensuring a useful outdoor living area? According to the National Association of Realtors’ “2018 Remodeling Impact: Outdoor Features” study, any cost to enhance outdoor living is well worth it.
An overall landscape upgrade, which can include getting flowering shrubs and trees and mulching with landscaping bark, will recover 83 % of the project cost.
Standard lawn care service (something 55 % of Realtors have suggested to sellers) will recover 267 % of its cost.
Tree care, including trimming and pruning, will result in one hundred % value recovered from the project. For adding a wood deck, sellers can presume to recoup 80 % of the project cost, and a new patio offers a 69 % return.