Mystical Landscapes is a Marin Design and Build company for all aspects of landscaping.
How much should I spend? While every home-buyer is a unique individual, as a statistic 80% of the market will pay between 5%-15% more for a home that is tastefully and functionally landscaped. You will also get the most value for your home when the home, location and neighborhood are in balance. If your landscape is already nicer than your home you will get a greater return by renovating the home than you will spending more on your landscape, and vice versa. If your home and/or landscape is nicer than your neighborhood already investing more in your home or landscape may not be a good idea from an investment standpoint.
What kinds of returns can I expect from landscape investments? This depends largely on three things:
The quality of your design.
Whether or not the landscape is currently the most underdeveloped of your home, neighborhood and landscape.
How easy it is for a buyer to imagine landscaping an area or solving a landscape challenge.
Design is the most important aspect of your landscape. You can spend the exact same amount of money implementing a poor design as you do implementing an exceptional design. Poor designs often cost even more by overlooking site-opportunities and imposing an expensive plan that does not fit the site. When a home-buyer pays more for a nice landscape they don’t do it based on what that landscape cost you to build it. They do it based on the value it brings to them, relative to what else is on the market.
If you have a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood and a sloppy or non-existent landscape, installing a tasteful design could instantly bring twice as much value to your home as the cost of the landscape, while simultaneously making your home more attractive to buy. Realtors and appraisers agree that on similar homes with similar prices, the emotional impact of seeing the house in the first 30 seconds often determines which home is purchased. If your house is purchased one, two or six months earlier it will save thousands and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars in staging, mortgage and maintenance costs as a home sits on the market, not to mention the cost of needing to discount the price as it earns the reputation of being a “slow-seller.”
This last part of the equation (How easy is it for a buyer to imagine landscaping the area in question) provides the potential for the most profit per dollar invested. If you have an area of your landscape or home that causes anxiety and uncertainty about how to address it for the typical buyer, fixing it will often increase the value of your home significantly more than the cost of doing so.
This is particularly the case when a problem can be fixed in a creatively cost-effective and attractive way that the average buyer could not have imagined. Terracing and planting an intimidating slope might be one example of this. Reducing the hazard from a precariously placed tree above the house would be another. Creatively leveling an area for lawn in a family house with steep hills might be a third. Having a creative, practical designer on your team to brainstorm in this area can be priceless.
This does not mean that if you have a landscape that is already nicer than most in your neighborhood that investing more money in it purely for your own pleasure will have NO real-estate return on investment. It merely means that either a smaller percentage of buyers will be willing to buy your house for the price you want, which means it may take longer to find someone willing to pay your price. Or if you want to sell quickly you may only get fifty, sixty or seventy cents on the dollar rather than one to three dollars of return for each dollar you invest.
Another thing to consider that affects real-estate value includes creating a landscape that is consistent with the profile of the typical buyer for your home. If you have a three to five bedroom house the typical buyer will have children and want some level lawn for their kids to play on. Putting that lawn in might make the difference between your house being purchased quickly by such a family, who could not imagine creating an area for lawn on a hillside themselves. Similarly, if your home fits the profile of a second home for retirees, low maintenance and landscape simplicity might be selling points.
"After trying to install our own garden for two years and getting nowhere, you came onto the scene with the vision and ability to make it happen.
It is a pure joy to wander the paths, sit on the benches and know that our garden is a quiet place of beauty for our family."
Jack and Marilyn Hoover