As an investment, landscaping can increase the value of your property
by as much as 20 percent--if it is done well.
This Old House magazine
Spending 5 percent of the total value of your home on landscaping,
and doing it wisely, you can add 15 percent or more to the value of your
Smart Money magazine
According to a joint study by Clemson University and the University
of Maryland, potential home buyers will pay up to 11.3 percent above the
asking price for homes with thoughtfully-designed landscaping.
Mid-Valley Sunday (Corvallis,
April 13, 2003
Homes with nice landscaping are likely to see sale prices that are
4 percent to 5 percent higher compared to similar properties in the neighborhood,
according to the Guide for Plant Appraisal, published by the International
Society of Arboriculture. And homes with landscapes that are not as nice
as others in the neighborhood could see sales prices that are 8 percent
to 10 percent lower.
Eighty-four percent of the real estate agents interviewed for the
study said a house with trees would be as much as 20 percent more salable
than a house without trees.
According to Money magazine (May 2003), spending on landscape design
and installation has more than tripled in the past five years, hitting $14.3
billion in 2002. And no wonder—it offers the best return on investment
of any home improvement you can make. Many savvy homeowners are hiring landscape
architects to help them realize their dreams. Here are some tips to help
you make an educated choice:
April 20, 2003
Think about what you want and how you will use your landscape. Formal
entertaining, herb gardens, and children’s playgrounds are all
possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to plants and trees; maybe
you would like a fence, a fountain, a deck, a patio, or other outdoor
Make a realistic budget. One rule of thumb is to invest 5 to 10
percent of your house’s worth. If this seems steep, consider
that appropriate landscape improvements are estimated to return 100
to 200 percent of their cost when a house is sold.
Look at books and magazines for ideas and start a file of plants,
trees, gardens, yards, pools, patios, decks, fences, etc., that you
like--or dislike--to show your landscape architect. This will help
you communicate what you want to achieve—or avoid.
To find residential landscape architects in your area, go to Firm
Finder. Credentials are important. Landscape architects are licensed
to practice in 47 states and must pass a rigorous exam. Members of
the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) have met their
membership requirements and keep up with the latest technology and
trends through ASLA publications and continuing education programs.
Interview a few landscape architects and ask for references. A good
designer will walk around the home and ask a lot of questions about
your lifestyle, what you want to accomplish, and your budget. They
will not hesitate to provide references for you to call or to answer
questions you may have about their services and fees.
Ask about maintenance. Some homeowners enjoy working in their yards
and gardens, some hire a service to do it, and others don’t
want to bother with it at all. Be sure to let your landscape architect
know how you feel about the upkeep of your investment.
All images from Architecture
in the Garden
by James Van Sweden, FASLA