What real estate professionals recommend about garden investments

“Bigger plants and increasing sophistication of landscape design (have) a material positive effect on home prices.”

A property with a planned and carefully implemented garden has a large advantage when buyers compare many different properties, and it can give you a decent return on investment. But just how much ROI can you expect? And how to go about it?

United States experts agree on the fact that investing hefty sums in garden design and landscaping definitely are a good decision. On RealEstate.com the following statistics might help you to decide when and how much to invest – and how to proceed:

 Garden investment raises the property value as much as 12%.
Garden investments increases your resale value 14%.
If you spend only 5% of your house’s value on garden design you may get an ROI of as much as 150%.
Landscaping and proper gardens decrease the time your property will be on the market – by up to 6 weeks.
About 90% of real estate agents nationwide encourage owners to invest in landscaping prior to selling.
The “2011 HomeGain ROI survey found that an investment in landscaping generated an average return on investment of some 258 percent, in terms of the increase in value of the home.” (RealEstate.Com)

Also RealEstate.Com reports that a

“2005 survey, published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, found that an investment in landscaping into unlandscaped properties increased property values from between 5.5 percent (…) to 11.4 percent (…). However, very small landscapes didn’t seem to be effective. You have to go big. The study found that bigger plants and increasing sophistication of landscape design had a material positive effect on home prices.”

Another survey, published by the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, conducted in Greenville, South Carolina showed

“a significant positive effect as well: Improving a landscape from “average” (as defined by the study) to “good” increased home values by 10 to 12 percent.”

So, obviously investing in your garden is a sure bet. But what do the pros of RealEstate.Com recommend when it comes to realising your new garden?

  1. “(…)  Select a property that can really benefit from an investment in landscaping. If the property is already looking beautiful, that’s very nice. But it’s not much of an opportunity for you to add value as an investor. Look for an ugly duckling you can turn into a swan.”
2. “(…) Keep one eye on the calendar. (…) If flowerscapes are part of your strategy, look for these properties in late winter. Otherwise, you may need to adjust your strategy. (…)”
3. “Synchronize. If you dig up a lot of dirt, it can take a while before the grass grows back over it. Start your landscaping projects early in your renovation plan. It may be the first project you launch. (!!!) Then concentrate on interior projects while your landscaping matures into a finished product and your plants settle in.”
4. “Use a pro! Using reputable contractors may be a bit more expensive than using fly-by-nighters. But it protects you in a lot of ways, between their liability insurance and workers compensation. They are also less likely to use illegal laborers.”
5. “Think about lighting. Daytime isn’t the only time a buyer might notice your house (…). Nighttime lighting can be an important part of your landscape and home staging plan. What’s more, adequate lighting is an important security measure – and therefore a selling point for the home.”
6. “Pay attention to drainage. If you don’t ensure you have adequate drainage, or your land is draining toward your house, you have a problem!”