PLANTS HAVE A POWERFUL EFFECT ON PEOPLE. We love their scents and textures, the way they move in the wind, their fruits and flowers and the birds and insects they attract. We enjoy the patterns of light and shadow they create, and the way they grow and change with the seasons.
The property values of landscaped homes are 5-20% higher compared to non-landscaped homes! Individual trees and shrubs on a property have value, but value is also added by their variability of species, their size, the condition they're in as well as their function. Remember also that trees and shrubs have direct and indirect economic benefits.
Properly designed and installed, landscaping can also provide practical low-cost solutions to a number of home site problems. Plants can control dust, prevent soil erosion, block the wind, provide shade, attenuate sound and increase privacy. It’s no wonder that gardening is the number one hobby in the United States.
Landscaping is one of the few improvements that adds more value to a real estate property than it costs to install. Landscaping improves “curb appeal,” that important first impression a buyer gets when they see your house.
If you plan to sell your house this year, landscaping is one of the most practical and cost-effective things you can do to prepare your home for the prime selling season which extends from spring through fall.
REMEMBER: Quality landscapes take time. Some of the great gardens in England were designed to mature in 100 years or more – well beyond the lifetime of the owner or designer. Appropriate, well-designed landscaping increases in value over time.
If you're planning on selling in the near future, you probably won't want to install new trees now. HOWEVER, if your plans are to sell in 4 - 5 years, trees can be an ideal investment.
With landscaping, value is directly related to size and permanence. Trees add the most value, followed by long-lived flowering shrubs such as rhododendrons and camellias. Short-lived plants, such as perennials, add less value. Annual bedding plants and vegetable gardens, which have to be replaced every year, add the least value.
A good strategy is to plant a combination of trees, shrubs and perennials, and remove the short-lived plants as the long-lived ones mature. This requires some good planning and judicious spacing. Although we can work in our gardens all year round, fall is generally the best time for planting. The fall rains and cooler temperatures provide an ideal combination for plant growth and establishment. Whatever you plant in the fall has a head start on the spring and summer growing season.
Before attempting any landscape job yourself, seek advice from local nursery people, gardeners and landscapers. They know what to plant, how to plant it and where to find it. Like amateur construction, amateur landscaping adds only a fraction of its potential value. Even for modest landscaping jobs, it pays to seek the advice of local experts. It’s also wise to buy from local retail nurseries and wholesale growers.
Besides consulting with a professional design team, you might also want to consult with a local real estate agent. Invite them to your home and tell them about your plans to sell your property in the near future, but that you want to get an idea of where you should make improvements to help you realize the best return on your investment.