Landscape Improvements Increase Home Value and Resale Odds

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Texas Study Shows Landscape Improvements Net 35% Return on Investment

Landscaping can make a significant difference in the appearance of a home and you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a yard beautiful.

In a crowded and depressed real-estate market, homeowners may be best served to undertake exterior home improvements like landscaping in order to increase the value of their homes and to help their property stand out to prospective buyers, according to the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC).

A study in Lubbock, Texas, published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, evaluated 75 homes and concluded that every dollar invested in landscaping returns $1.35 – or a 35 percent return on investment. The same study found that having high-quality landscape compared to an average home increases the sales price of the home by 5.7 percent. This number jumped to a 10.8 percent increase in the value of a home when comparing an excellent quality landscape to an average landscape.

Landscaping to increase a home’s value is not the only incentive for homeowners to spruce up their front yards. According to the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, curb appeal – how your house looks to people driving by or walking up to the front door – can be critical to getting your house sold. “Landscaping can make a significant difference in the appearance of a home and you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a yard beautiful,” said Amy Dorsey, past president of the Colorado Association of REALTORS.

The importance of a home’s curb appeal is shared by realtors as well. “In my 20-plus years in the Colorado real estate market, I’ve seen that a good first impression can encourage a potential buyer to take a closer look and be more willing to overlook other negatives a property may have,” said Kathy Nelson, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker. “Conversely, a bad first impression may be impossible to overcome no matter how attractive the inside of the house may be,” she added.

According to the ALCC, there are simple things homeowners can do to improve their home’s curb appeal and they offer the following low-cost tips:

  • Add color to your front porch by planting attractive containers with mums or pansies.
  • Make sure plants are in proportion to the home, and not overgrown. In new subdivisions, an investment in trees and shrubs can make a home stand out.
  • Eliminate all weeds by pulling or applying an herbicide. Do not pull thistle or bindweed, as their regenerative root systems cause them to grow more when pulled. When using an herbicide, be sure to follow all application guidelines.
  • Add more outdoor interest through hardscapes including decks, flagstone or patterned concrete patios, pergolas and retaining walls. These projects can be done year around as long as the ground is not frozen.
  • In early fall, aerate and fertilize the lawn so it becomes healthy.
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils in the fall.

With more than 700 members across the state, the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado is the premier professional organization for Colorado’s landscape contractors. ALCC has been at the forefront for more than 40 years helping Colorado’s landscape industry address Colorado’s unique climate, and promoting responsible use of water and other natural resources. ALCC member firms provide a range of landscape services including design, installation, maintenance, consultation and water management. To find a qualified landscape professional with expertise in curb appeal, visit the Web site http://www.alcc.com.

Contact: Chuck Montera
(303) 778-8355

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