Is Landscaping a Good Investment?

transplanting a small plant

Experts say a well-landscaped home may have a 5% to 20% increase in value.

Landscaping and maintaining our yards creates outdoor living spaces that encourage us to spend more time outdoors and giving us the features to enjoy nature more fully. The benefits of a well-designed and built landscape, with features that enhance our outdoor living, is that it enriches our lives and boosts our pride of ownership. That alone is worth the expense.

But, is it just an expense that makes us feel better about ourselves, like a newly purchased car may, or can it also make a worthwhile investment? How much of our landscape expense will we get back? Is it possible to generate more than we spend?

These questions often are not considered, but should be. The answer is that it depends on the design, quality of the work, and how well it is maintained. Can you expect to recoup the cost of every landscape feature? Unlikely, but when you consider your landscape as a whole, if it is well-designed and constructed, the answer is a resounding, YES! 

A well-designed landscape will not only include popular features, but will consider your properties typography and size to determine the best use of space, walkways, and stairways will provide easy access throughout your property, and plants will be selected to flourish based on soil type, amount of sun and shade, growth rate and maturity size, all tied together to create something that is aesthetically gorgeous.

A study by Virginia State University revealed that the three most significant requirements to increase the chance of a higher ROI (return on investment) for landscaping expenses are: 

  1. Design sophistication
  2. Plant size
  3. Plant diversity

It sounds complex because it is. What can you do to create your dream outdoor living space while ensuring the highest return on your investment? The answer is to hire a professional! 

Home experts recommend an all-inclusive design plan that determines the most effective use of space, useful and attractive outdoor features, the right plants planted in the right places, and the use of materials that compliment your home's architecture. In addition, increased landscape spending often means greater returns because it significantly increases the perceived home value. In other words, don't cut corners. If you want to do it, spend the money to do it right.

What are the top landscape features that will provide the highest return on investment?

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Trees  Money may not grow on trees, but trees can earn you money. Young trees will grow in size and value each year. A dogwood tree that costs $500 in 5 years may add $2,000 – $3,000 to your home's value. The ROI will depend on the type, health, and location of a tree. A horticultural expert is imperative. The right trees planted in the right places will flourish and enhance your whole yard. It’s like putting money in a high-yield, low-risk investment account.

Outdoor Kitchens  Outdoor kitchens are one of the most desired features! They have become a must for outdoor entertaining, however, in the northwest because of all the rain, covering them is vital.

Hardscaping  Due to the many options of shape and color in the hardscape materials, professionally designed patios, walkways, and driveways that fit your taste can be flat-out stunning. Today, patio size does matter. Large patios, often that distinctly divide your outdoor space into specific rooms, allow for entertaining large groups as well as cozy conversation areas for intimate gatherings. Driveways built with paving stones or stamped and stained concrete are the welcome mats to your landscape. Walkways that lead into and around everything give direction and connect all areas of your yard.

Fire Pits  There is something primordial about how fire touches the human spirit. It draws us in. Opens us up. Burns away life burdens. Whether gas or wood (charcoal and gel fuel are other less common options) a well-designed and built fire pit that blends into the general landscape design is a win, win. When you live in your home, you win. You win later when you sell.

Water Features  Fountains, ponds, and waterfalls offer huge aesthetic value. They should be professionally designed and installed and should complement the rest of the landscape. They also must be immaculately maintained as they could be a negative feature rather than a value.

So, how much should you spend on a major landscape project? Typically, most experts suggest that around 10% of your home’s value should be expended on landscaping. If your home is valued at $500,000, a $50,000 landscaping budget is a suitable starting point. Of course, you could spend much more or less. Many elements should be considered while determining your budget. 

Designing and building a landscape creates a living growing habitat. Caring for and maintaining that habitat is the homeowner’s responsibility. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, a well-cared-for and maintained landscape is critical to recouping the cost of building it. In a recent survey by NAR (National Association of Realtors), 99% of NAR members believe curb appeal is significant in attracting buyers. 94% suggest that sellers improve the curb appeal of their homes before listing them. In addition, Realtors said that the expense of landscape maintenance and lawn care services before selling will earn a return of more than 200% of the cost. 

The reason is simple, if your home is more appealing to a buyer, they will be willing to pay more. How much more? Independent studies, Realtors, and home experts estimate a well-landscaped property compared to a poorly landscaped property can increase your home’s value from 5% to 20%. In contrast, more than 60% of real estate agents say that if a home lacks appealing landscaping, its value can decrease by 10% to 30%. That’s a massive amount of equity to lose. The key takeaway is to maintain your yard and hire professionals to help. Your efforts will be rewarded by the way it looks and through financial gains when you sell.

We don’t do yard maintenance, but if you are considering a landscape desing/build, contact us. We can help you determine an appropriate budget and estimate the landscape elements that will meet your dreams. Submit our website landscape consultation form or give us a call at 425.487.6641. We are here to help. Request A Consultation

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Eight years and our garden looks wonderful. We would not hesitate to recommend Reynolds Landscape and team.

Nelson & Cheryl – Kirkland

Delivers a quality product on time, on budget. Would not hesitate to call upon them in the future or recommend to others.

Charlie & Lori Ann – Seattle

They were excellent and were great in communication at all times. The end result was perfect and we would highly recommend them. We would definitely hire them again.

Kathleen - Woodinville

Jim's team graded my side yard, put down a patio, added a rockery and landscaping, and also added a flagstone patio in the front of the house. Every day the site was clean when they left. Everything ...

Danielle – Seattle

The whole project went beautifully, and was practically flawless. The crew arrived as scheduled, and worked hard all day. They worked a total of eight days. They cleaned the work area daily, and left ...

Kristina – Bellevue

We have used Reynold’s Landscaping for outdoor projects since we bought our first home in Redmond in 1996. Now we live in Woodinville, and we keep going back because not only is Jim and his team ...

Kim – Woodinville

Jim and his team finished the landscaping today, and it is truly spectacular.  Thanks again for your landscaping ideas, design and patience.  It was a pleasure working with you and your ...

Ed & Laverne – Sammamish

They did the entire landscaping for our yard. They are excellent, prompt, efficient and all around very good. We would use them again and we have called them for smaller projects.

Sandra – Sammamish

We have been very pleased with the work done by Reynolds Landscape.  We love the layout of our backyard and the selection of plants.

Don & Linda – Redmond

I would like to say that I had a great experience with the time your crew was here working. They were good natured and courteous and very professional. They respected my property and did a fantastic ...

Ron & Rita – Everett

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