Curb appeal. That’s what it’s all about in residential real estate values. Does a home look good from the street and invite people in? If you can’t get prospects in the front door, you can’t sell the house.
And how do you generate curb appeal? Landscaping is one of the keys. Landscaping that is consistent with the tone of the neighborhood and that creates an aura of owner attention and care provides the best return on investment for the homeowner. Landscaping that is properly done can add 10%-15% to the value of a home (Niemiera 2007 and Behe 2005).
Return on Investment
The greatest return on landscaping investments are those features that increase the utility of the home to the homeowner as well as adding aesthetic appeal. Patios, decks and outdoor kitchens, for example, in scale with the home with a view toward the landscaped area of the yard typically offer a high return on dollars invested.
Residential Energy Savings
But beyond resale value, landscaping, particularly trees, provides other economic benefits as well. Properly placed deciduous trees can reduce the summer heat load on a house by 10% to 30%, cutting air-conditioning costs. Additionally, well-placed evergreens can reduce winter heating requirements by a similar percentage, acting as a break against cold winter winds. And as the trees grow and mature, so do the savings.
Economic Value of Trees
And mature trees have intrinsic economic value. While the appraised value of a tree depends on many variables, the Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers (CTLA) estimates that a mature tree in a residential landscape can have a value of from $1,000 to $10,000.