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Our homes are traditionally the biggest and most productive investment we ever make.
Not only do they provide us with basic shelter they also contribute hugely to our net worth. Investing in a property ensures a secure place to live which you can also customise over time.
Even though the proportion of income deployed to housing is rising, this can be offset by rising home prices. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your investment rise in price. This is especially so if you are planning projects to enhance the existing value.
One potential project is the garden, but does landscaping add value to your home? We will investigate this subject further to see how much value landscaping actually adds to your home.
Landscapes always increase value
The value placed upon gardens and landscapes has been undervalued for many years. However this mindset is beginning to change. This has somewhat been fuelled by a concern for the natural environment and global biodiversity loss.
There is now a greater understanding of green spaces beneficial effect on our mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that gardens enhance our mood and improve our overall health.
Therefore, beautifully landscaped gardens and functional naturalistic spaces do add value. It has been pointed out by landscape architects for decades just how valuable gardens are.
Some of the most expensive real estate in the USA is within viewing distance of a golf course. Furthermore the most expensive properties within cities are adjacent to parks and garden squares.
Therefore even subconsciously, quality landscaping increases both nominal prices and perceived value.
There have been many studies conducted on the psychology behind the visual perception of a spatial environment. Many studies suggest that if a place is designed aesthetically and maintained well it will have a higher perceived value.
If a place is dirty, has broken amenities and has antisocial behaviour it will encourage more of the same. This perceived value can actually affect people’s behaviour in a space and how they interact with it.
This idea is supported by the broken windows theory which is a criminological theory.
This theory was put into practice in New York City during the 1990s with dramatic results.
Down town districts of high crime were fixed up and made to look good. There was a zero tolerance to antisocial behaviour and the landscape was upgraded.
Crime fell dramatically which brought in outside investment and further improvement. Therefore by investing in your surrounding environment you will increase its value.
Perception of a person can be formed within the first few seconds of meeting them. This is exactly the same with places including homes and gardens.
Typically the first impression of a home is from the outside and within its immediate setting. This provides the very first impressions for the home and therefore also its perceived value.
This is extremely important in terms of resale value and the ability to sell quickly. Contrary to common belief the housing market is not always booming.
Consequently for a home to hold its value it must sell even in a sluggish market. Therefore the landscaping at the front of your home is some of the most important.
For landscaping ideas for the front of your home read our article on the subject here.
Can landscaping sell a house?
When making such an expensive and important purchase there are so many factors to consider. However, occasionally there are a few elements which can decisively clinch a sale.
Gardens are more important to some buyers than others. However First impressions combined with an immaculate garden can make all of the difference.
Even if the garden does not sell the home directly it contributes to the whole package.
Selling the dream
If a lot of care and investment goes into a properties garden design its impact can be dramatic.
Creating a garden with wow factor that looks like something out of a magazine can dramatically increase its value. There is a moment in any homes viewing when a subconscious sale is made.
This is usually evoked by a specific space or feature. By treating the garden as an opportunity to wow a prospective buyer this will systematically increase its value.
World class garden design can also sell a specific lifestyle image or social aspiration.
A return on investment
Prospectus home buyers are constantly weighing up the cost implications of any given property. The asking price is always offset against the amount of work the property needs.
A property requiring a lot of work will naturally sell for less than a home not requiring work.
This consideration is also projected to the landscaping of the property.
If the garden is an overgrown jungle then the price of garden clearance services will be factored in.
Therefore whatever you spend on your gardens landscaping will simultaneously be compensated by the enhanced value of your home.
Homes which require less work and upheaval are more attractive propositions to potential buyers. Therefore an investment in quality landscaping always generates a comparative and enhanced return in increased value and saleability.
10 landscaping projects that increase property value
1. Low maintenance landscaping
A common theme among many is the desire for low maintenance landscaping. Most households simply no longer have the time for continuous garden maintenance tasks.
If you want to landscape your garden in a way which increases values, plan for low maintenance. Artificial lawn, gravels and paved surfaces are just some examples of how maintenance can be incorporated.
2. Contemporary landscaping
Contemporary and modern landscape design consists of strong visual textures and clean finishes. Such modern landscaping has an emphasis on simplicity and minimalistic decoration.
This allows for an appreciation of the qualities of materials used. Consequently contemporary landscaping lends itself to functionality and low maintenance.
3. Spacious patios
Patios are extremely effective and usable spaces within any garden design. High quality paving provides outdoor spaces which bring the inside living outside.
Patios allow rigid and even surfaces to host garden furniture including dining facilities. This makes them perfect for transitioning from inside to outside.
With a wide range of paving available it is easy to transition the interior design theme of the home. If installed correctly paving provides maintenance free surfaces which are both functional and beautiful.
4. Level lawns
Even though the most desirable landscaping is low maintenance lawns are still very popular. Although grass needs continuous cutting it is also a simplistic way to manage gardens.
Mowing requires no weeding or pruning and provides a multiuse surface. Lawns are also perfect for playing games and relaxing during the summer months.
They also look particularly effective when perfectly flush with surrounding garden levels. Many homebuyers still like lawn as it provides play space for children.
5. Outside storage
Outside storage is a valuable commodity for both the garden and the home. This typically comes in the form of a well positioned and constructed shed space.
There are also many other ways of designing in extra storage. A good example of this is under raised decks and decorative summer houses.
These can be integrated into the design of the garden and house tools and furniture. Garden storage is an attractive commodity for all prospective homebuyers.
6. Robust fencing
When buying a new property broken boundaries and leaning fences are not an attractive proposition. Hence a strong and robust boundary fence is essential when selling your home.
There is a broad recognition that a strong and sturdy fence will add some extra value to your home. This is especially so if sturdy and modern panels are installed with posts that do not rot.
7. Raised beds
Raised beds are a fantastic way to install growing areas within a garden design scheme. The height of raised beds allows for an increased depth of soil and well drained growing beds.
This makes them easy to maintain with no need for keeling on the ground. Raised beds can also add elevation to a garden bringing visual interest and spatial proportion.
8. Seasonal interest
Gardens always look better with some diverse planting with seasonal interest. Although low maintenance landscaping is always desirable planting softens boundaries and provides greenery.
With a careful selection of planting species a low maintenance planting scheme can still be beautiful. A combination of spring bulbs, summer blooms, decorative foliage and autumn colour are always popular.
A well designed planting scheme adds value to both the garden and the home.
9. Water features
Successful gardens are those which invigorate the senses and provide focal points. This is probably why water features have always been so popular in gardens.
Water features provide movement, sound and reflection to an outside space. These can also be illuminated with lights for added effect during the darker hours.
A very important element of a successful garden is a level of privacy. Overlooking buildings and balconies are never a welcome sight for any garden lover.
Therefore a certain level of privacy is always desired and will always enhance a property’s value. However, tall fences and garden screening such as trellises can always add extra privacy.
Garden accessories which add value to your home
There are a number of garden accessories which can enhance a gardens landscaping even further. Below we have listed some which can further enhance the value of your home and garden.
Planning on creating the perfect garden? Why not visit our resources page?
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Paul Nicolaides has over 30 years of recreational gardening and 20 years of professional landscaping experience. He has worked for landscape contractors including design and build practices across London and the South East. In 2006 he qualified with a BA Hons degree and post graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture. In 2009 he founded Ecospaces an ecological landscaping practice which aims to improve social cohesion and reduce climate change through landscaping. In 2016 he founded Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners which designs and builds gardens across Buckinghamshire and the South East. This blog aims to provide easy problem solving information to its audience and encourage others to take up the joy of landscaping and gardening.