Why You Should be Investing in Your Landscape

What if we told you that a landscape renovation is a better investment in your home than that kitchen remodel? Or that one mature tree can add thousands of dollars to the value of your property? As landscape professionals, we’re biased- but both of those statements are true. Well designed and managed landscapes provide exceptional economic, environmental, and even social value. This month, we’re bringing you some of the best reasons to be investing in your landscape.

 

Property Value

 

Curb appeal has a significant impact on the value of your property and it’s marketability, and professional landscaping is one of the best investments you can make. A healthy landscape can increase the value of your home by 5-20%.

If you’re thinking about making improvements, budget for landscaping first. The return on investment (ROI) for landscape renovations is frequently over 100%, even reaching 150-200% and higher. Compare this to the ROI estimates for popular projects like kitchen remodels (65-80%) or even new windows (75%). In fact, landscaping is one of the only renovations that appreciates over time.

If you’re building a new home, prioritize your landscape goals. The Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers estimates that a mature tree can add anywhere from $1,000-$10,000 to a home’s value. Keep this in mind when deciding which trees you’re going to remove on site. A few well placed trees can impact the heating and cooling loads of your new home, potentially lowering your utility costs. Well designed outdoor spaces can expand living area and give a new home context. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog article about why your home
builder should be working with a landscape professional from the start of your project.

Environmental Value

Economic value is a great reason to invest in your landscape, but there may be an even more important reason to consider outdoor living. A growing body of research supports the theory that natural spaces, even gardens and designed landscapes, can provide a range of environmental benefits known as “ecosystem services”.

Human development will continue to shape our world, and thoughtfully designed landscapes will be the key to mitigating the environmental effects of that development. Plants can help regulate temperatures, sequester carbon and other greenhouse gases, dramatically reduce air and water pollution, maintain soil health, and prevent erosion. Anyone who has ever stepped under the shade of a tree in mid summer has made use of an ecosystem service. Landscapes can also have a substantial impact on management of stormwater. Many homeowners will cite drainage as one of the biggest challenges in their landscape.

Ecosystem services provided by landscapes will play an important role in our developed environments. The newest research, however, is exploring the role of landscapes in human physiology.

 

Social Value

In general, humans spend more time inside now than we ever have before. Neurologists, sociologist and other researchers are increasingly interested in how this is affecting us. In addition to ecosystem services that benefit our physical environment, there is growing evidence that natural spaces are good for us too. Research suggests that outdoor spaces can encourage recreation, reduce stress, increase attention spans and improve memory. Just 15 minutes in a garden setting can decrease your blood pressure and reduce the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in your bloodstream. If, like us, you’re curious to find out more about the advancements in this field, you’ll find a reference for a great read at the end of this article.

Even at the smallest scale, an investment in your landscape is an investment in your home, your environment, your health and even your happiness. A healthy, functional landscape will provide a return for years to come. To quote the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed our insights this month! The links to our sources (and a fascinating book by Florence Williams) are listed below for further reading. We also highly recommend the “mytree” app (link below) that you can use to get detailed information on the value of existing trees in your landscape.

 

Sources:

“MyTree” app for tree valuation https://mytree.itreetools.org

“How Much Value Does Landscaping Add to Your Home When Selling?”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2015/04/01/how-much-value-does-landscaping-add-to-your-home-when-selling/?utm_term=.767be7bb04b7

“The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative”. Williams, Florence. “Designing the Sustainable Site”. Venhaus, Heather.

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Hannah Bowers

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