I want to redo the landscape in my yard and need help establishing a budget. What percentage of my home’s value should be put into landscaping? What percentage can I expect to get back if I were to sell? How much will my house appreciate due to professional landscaping?
Answer: Real estate studies suggest that you can increase the value of your home 5-15 percent by upgrading your landscape from poor to good. What constitutes a “good” landscape is somewhat arbitrary, and how much of a boost in value you’ll get in a particular instance is impossible to predict, so 5-15 percent is only a rough guideline based on averages. Generally, more expensive homes have greater potential to increase in value from a well-designed and well-installed landscape. Remember that hardscape features-which can cost big bucks-such as pavers, stone walls, decks, and patios are part of the landscape investment.
Strictly going by these numbers, you might figure on spending 5-10 percent or so of the value of your home on a landscape upgrade and expect to get most of it back right away. That would buy a substantial landscape upgrade for most homes. For a $200,000 home, that would mean a $10,000 to $20,000 upgrade; for a $500,000 home, it would be $25,000 to $50,000. Consider, too, that most trees and shrubs will increase in value over time. A few flowers and shrubs to spruce up the front yard may not add much value to your home. But if you’re thinking of selling, the first impression you create with colorful flowers and tidy shrubs could make the difference between an interested buyer and a drive-by missed sale. Reprinted from Better Homes & Garden, December 2014.