Does Landscaping Increase Property Value? Is It A Good Investment?

Realize the Full Potential – Increased Property Value – Of A Properly Installed Landscape

When you think of the word “Landscape” what comes to your mind? Flowers, trees, palms, shrubs, lots of grass, a mower or weed eater?

Face it… the real estate market bounces around like a ball. Maybe it’s time to look at landscaping your home differently. Why?



There are things a homeowner can do inside a house to increase its value but what about outdoors… mainly landscaping.

Adding landscaping or improvements on a backyard could not only enhance the look of a property but also add value for refinancing or to make selling a home easier.

Usually the ROI – return on investment – for what you put in not only returns in money later but you can gain the benefit of shade and privacy. If you add fruit trees you may also enjoy nature’s foods. Flowers also make backyard landscape design more appealing.

A professionally designed, prepared, installed and maintained landscape using quality plant material is not only a work of art but it is also a property investment.

The benefits of properly executed landscaping plans are:

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Social

How Much Does Landscaping Improve Home Value?

The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association did research and compiled the following statistics for landscaping return on investment:

  • Landscaping can increase the resale value of a property by as much as 14%
  • The sale of a property can go up by as much as six weeks
  • Patio landscaping can raise property value by 12.4%
  • A landscaped curb or kerb can increase home value by 4.4% and hedges can add 3.6%

How Much Of A Landscape Budget?

What is a good landscape budget? By taking 5% of the home value and spending it on a low-maintenance but quality landscape the value of your home can increase in resale value by as much as 15%. Earning you back 150% or more on that landscape budget.

But there is more. When plants are properly selected and placed the results can come in lowering heating and cooling cost by as much as 20%.

Do you see how landscaping can increase the value and safety of your home? However, there are other benefits – environmental.


Environmental Benefits

It’s a know fact that plants improve the quality of our air. Did you know that one tree could remove from the atmosphere around 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per year?

When the proper tree is selected, planted and well maintained it can significantly absorb sounds waves and reduce noise pollution by “eating up” unwanted sound.

Erosion and the flow of pollutants and sediment can be reduced to nearby bodies of water when landscape buffers are planted.

Health and Social Benefits

When workers “catch a view” of natural surroundings like mature trees and flowers they suffered less job stress and “felt” more job satisfaction.

They also reported fewer headaches and ailments than workers with no outside view or those who could only view contracted items from the office windows.

Overall positive feelings increased, fear and anger was reduced when views of plants were possible.

In inner-city neighborhoods where common areas featured more trees and grass the residents used the spaces. This use provided more opportunities for informal conversation and social interaction.

It came down to neighbors building stronger relationships and bonds with one another simply because of the plant environment and vegetation.

The benefits of landscaping can be maximized when certified professionals are involved in all aspects of the landscape including design, site prep, plant selection, landscape lighting – installation and maintenance.

Each phase is important to realize the full potential of any landscape project or design plan.

How and Where To Spend Landscape Money

The University of Michigan did a study and discovered that consumers put more value into a landscaped home. In fact they valued the same home with good landscaping 11.3% percent higher than the same home without good landscaping.

The front yard may provide curb appeal but it is the backyard where the money needs to be spent.

So where and how should you spend the money in the back yard?

Backyard Do’s

As the population continues to grow older – Less is More. As baby boomers begin to retire they have little interest in mowing the lawn or paying someone to lawn the yard. Less lawn means less mowing and more time to do what you want!

Ground covers can provide seasonal color and brighten areas. Potential buyers see landscaping as more sophisticated and polished.

Best Bang for the Buck – Trees

The best money you can spend around the house is to plant trees. If you plan on staying in your house for only 2 or 3 more years consider planting some trees in the 8-foot range. The cost should be in the $50-$75 range.

Dig a nice big hole for the tree to grow, as the tree matures so will the value of your home.


Outdoor Living Spaces

People enjoy the sun and outdoor space. A landscaped patio can raise the value of a home by as much as 12.4%. Anything you can do to incorporate the outdoors with the indoor comes as a buyer premium.

Water is a key feature in a backyard landscape design but that does not mean a pool! A fountain, a small pond or a hot tub can do the trick. The key is to make the area a comfortable place to sit and relax.

Landscape Lighting

Outdoor lighting today is so easy to install because of solar powered lights. Lighting the landscape can silhouette trees, light up the garden, keep visitors safe by lighting their path and provide security from potential burglars.

Check the Soil

Get your soil tested by the state agricultural department. Take a soil sample for testing to see what the soil lacks to make your yard grow!

Backyard Landscaping NO’s

Forget the Pool

As attractive as a swimming pool is, investing in a pool to increase the property value rarely happens.

There are some cases where all the homes in the neighborhood may have an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool and it could be a selling point. However, an in-ground pool costs around $60,000 to $75,000 but it will not give the same return for each dollar spent. Landscaping averages $3 return for every $1 spent.

From a homebuyers perspective, a pool translates into maintenance, additional cost and fencing because of local

ordinances and laws.

If you’re putting in a pool – DO NOT put an in-ground swimming pool in for investment reasons for future money. Put a pool in for you and your families enjoyment but make sure you add landscaping around a pool!

SAY NO to “Sports Courts”

Backyards with a tennis court or basketball court can be like a pool. Do it for your enjoyment not property value. These additions limit who could be interested in buying your property. It would have to be a person or family with the same interest.

Prospective buyers look at a sports court and immediately start to calculate the money it will take to rip it out and replace it!


Concrete Patio is Not an Option

Patios are a great idea – but building a patio and pouring a concrete slab is not. Concrete is viewed as very 1950’s and blue-collar. A wooden deck is better even though it has a limited lifespan.

Concrete cracks, puddles water and does not look as good as a wood deck, landscape brick or pavers, especially for potential buyers.

Not Only Plants – Add A Sprinkler System

Water is becoming more and more of a precious commodity. You never know what can happen in terms of drought. Putting plants in the landscape is good but also consider the long term maintenance in water and care.

Consider putting in a lawn sprinkler systems, the long term benefits is not only watering the plants regularly but also it adds to the “salability” of your home.

From personal experience I’ve watched small landscape jobs of $2500 – $4000 increase the value of a home between $10 -12,000 dollars. Last time I checked that’s a pretty good return on investment!


Many landscapes could use the assistance of a professional landscaping expert. However, the cost for this exterior project can be more than what many can afford. Hiring a professional to design and draw a plan, which is “designed to work”, is money well spent.

The landscape plan can incorporate many of the above elements for installation over a few years.

Homeowners should consider hiring a professional landscaper – not necessarily a landscape architect but a landscape designer to draw a plan for you to execute. The cost should be about $75 per hour.

Take some time to check out their past work to see how their landscape designs have held up over time.

When hiring any landscape professional, make sure they are licensed and insured. You do not need any liability issues.

In both uncertain financial times and times of prosperity – landscaping your property is a wise investment strategy.

Are you ready to increase the value of your property with landscaping?

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