In our last blog we discussed how landscaping can increase curb appeal to potential home buyers.  This week we are looking at how landscaping can can even improve your home equity when it is done right!  Let’s examine what home equity is and how an expert landscaping job can increase the numbers for your and your family.

What is Home Equity?

According to Wiki online home equity is the monetary value of a home minus the amount the owner still owes on the property. Equity usually increases over time. To determine the amount of equity in a home subtracting the balance on the mortgage from the current market value of the property. Equity can increase due to appreciation in a healthy economy, or when homeowners add additional funds to monthly mortgage payments or make improvements to the home and landscape.

Does Landscaping Impact Your Property Value?

Landscaping is more than just planting shrubs and flowers.  Upgrades can involve things like patios and decks, flowerbeds, barbecue pits, outdoor kitchens, hardscapes, watering systems and plants of all sorts. While estimates vary by home and lasting effects require some level of maintenance, the experts do agree that landscaping increases property value and thus home equity.  Virginia Tech horticulturist Alex Niemiera concluded that landscaping can add 12.7 percent to the value of a home.  Most other studies show that landscaping can add 12 to 15 percent to the value of your home.  That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home. In extreme cases, property values can more than double, and conversely, they can actually decrease if the landscaping contains undesired features that the local market doesn’t support.

Niemera’s research makes clear that there’s more to landscaping than sticking some flowers and a couple shrubs in the ground. The number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a sophisticated design. Close behind is plant size and maturity. A lesser factor, but one still worth considering, is the diversity of plant life within the landscaping design. This means that, while it is possible to do a landscaping job on your own may not be in your best interest.  Hiring a professional landscaping company that has years of experience designing and executing that design may help boost your return on your investment. In addition, home improvement guru Bob Villa explained in his recent study, that while all landscaping does not need to be done at once, there should be a design that has an ultimate goal.  For example, doing landscaping in  phases due to a tight budget is fine as long as the overall design is kept in in mind when completing each step.

Contact Peace of Mind for ideas, consults and to make sure your ideas become a reality to increase your home’s equity!