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Landscaping Impacts Property Appraisals
Thursday, July 14, 2016

According to the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, well maintained landscapes can positively impact a property’s appraisal value.

Of course, high quality landscaping begins long before getting the lawnmower out of the garage and attacking the overgrown bushes with hedge trimmers. Really great landscaping is planned in advance and takes the buildings on the property into account.

It’s always a good idea to think long-term when you own property. If you’re at the stage of ownership that involves planning a more pleasant landscape, consider these points:

  • Hire a professional. There are plenty of very talented designers who can help you establish the bones of your landscape design, and most likely save you time, money, and months of frustration.
  • Choose a focal point. The focal point could be a structure, such as your home or a building, or it could be a particularly nice view. Design your landscape to showcase whatever is most spectacular about your property.
  • Think big and small. Really nice landscaping incorporates large and small elements. Choose trees that will add to the structure of your property and smaller plants that will create interest on a more intimate level.

When you have an idea of the overall design, consider the placement of plants and trees (consult a horticulturist for advice) as well as future growth. A small tree may look nice today, but how will it impact your landscape in 10 years or more? Similarly, don’t be discouraged if your budget only allows for immature trees when large, mature trees will fit the scene much better—time will take care of that.

Beyond living elements in your landscape, you can plan to incorporate other things like fire pits, decks, patios, water features, and outdoor lighting. Any of these things could add value to your property.

Always remember to factor in the area or neighborhood of your property as well. It’s fine to stand out, as long as it’s in a positive way. If your property is so different from surrounding homes or buildings, you may accidentally decrease the value instead of increase it with your landscaping efforts.

If you aren’t able to maintain your landscape, hire assistance rather than letting it get overgrown. It’s much easier to maintain a landscape than to have to replenish it or completely replace it when it is time for an appraisal.


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