Landscaping Adds Value to Your Home

If you believe that landscaping adds value to your home, you’re not alone. According to a recent Gallup poll, homeowners answered they believed landscaping adds almost fifteen percent to the value of their home. Other recent studies have backed them up. A 2009 study compared improvements inside and outside the home, and homeowners reaped $1.06 to $1.12 for every dollar they invested in landscaping.

Another study demonstrated that more trees (as compared to other homes in the area) provided a one percent increase in the value of a home, and a two percent increase in property value. As the study explained, a $200,000 home with twenty percent more tree canopy than other homes in the area could be worth as much as $8,000 more. And a MONEY magazine story backed up other researchers with findings that a recovery value of one to two times the initial investment is gained by homeowners when a yard is well-landscaped.

When considering improvements to a yard, one of the least inexpensive methods to determine a landscape design is by viewing other yards and borrowing ideas. A well-landscaped yard is likely to have a mix of trees, evergreens, perennials and shrubs. In terms of following rules – such as only green in front – are out the window. Homeowners can really do whatever they like, as long as the final results are harmonious and appealing. Some landscaping styles include contemporary, traditional, cottage, and formal, Japanese, Mediterranean, tropical and eco-friendly, to name a few. With so many styles to choose from, there is a style that will compliment every home.

For some homeowners, the number of choices can be overwhelming. One place to start is by creating a focal point, from which all other landscaping choices follow. Trees or shrubs can provide an instant focal point. Another way to approach a focal point is to think in terms of something that differs – in either a small or large way – from the rest of the landscaping. This difference can be translated in form, texture, or color. A focal point can be a tree, bench or fountain, but it should have a connection to the rest of the landscaping, rather than jarring the attention. When deciding on a focal point, scale is also important. In a large lot, a mature tree can work, while in a small, urban lot, a focal point might be as simple as a small ornamentation or decorative garden.

Landscaping should attract attention to the front of the home, because that is what visitors see first. Plants placed around the entrance are called foundation plantings for exactly that reason, because they were once used to hide unattractive cement-block foundations. Lining a walkway to the front entrance of a home is visually pleasing and inviting.

When it comes to color, the solution can be as simple as varying shades of green. Within the green palette, a few dollops of bright color can add depth and interest without becoming overpowering.

While the front yard should be completed first, the backyard is receiving plenty of attention from landscape designers as well. The approach they suggest is to think of the back yard as a room or series of rooms – a space for entertaining, grilling or relaxing. The suggestion here is to start with a small area and work outwards. This can mean starting with a patio and placing landscaping around it. Once that area is complete, landscaping can move outward, helping to create an additional outdoor room or rooms.

At Louisville Home Inspections, we are committed to helping you make great decisions.

Posted in Real Estate.