Property value hinges on many factors, like building age, size, condition, and more.
However, few of these factors have a clearer, more measurable effect on overall property value than landscaping and curb appeal – especially here in Vancouver.
Why Landscapes are Important to Us Historically
Outside of Vancouver, when you examine humanity’s long-standing historical need to spend time in nature, it’s no wonder that houses with properly designed, installed, and maintained landscapes have higher values on the real estate market.
Everyone enjoys nature for different reasons. For many, it provides a sense of peace and tranquility, offering a calm environment to help de-stress. Biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans throughout recorded history, even as far back as ancient Egypt, have an innate need to associate with nature on a regular basis.
The inability to do so can have negative social and mental consequences, so people have always tried to find ways to bring nature into their homes and yards. A human’s inate need to be around nature is suported further by trending topics of urban forestry and interiorscaping.
Landscapes (which include plants, topography, water, stone, and more) is one of our most important visual needs. Configuring and designing a landscape in a way that works for residents creates a sense of place, a sense of being, and a sense of community, thereby making people more comfortable and positive.
From our experience, some of the more popular elements included in our clients designs that have improved property value are paver/slab patios, wooden structural features, water features, lighting, and plant installations. These are popular because bigger spending leads directly into bigger returns for homeowners when selling!
So, while some are certainly more outdoorsy than others, the presence of natural beauty and vegetation can have a huge positive effect on virtually all individuals; therefore, communities are positively affected as well.
The Relationship Between Landscaping and Property Value
For many, landscaping seems like a needless luxury – especially if you live in a large strata or apartment complex. Landscaping can be easy to take for granted in our climate, when our mild, wet weather seems to allow many plants to take care of themselves.
Hiring a weekly landscaping company is often seen as a frivolous expense. In reality, however, it’s a huge, important investment when you consider all that it affords you.
Proper maintenance is much more in-depth than simply keeping plants alive – native plants usually do that for themselves! Rather, it’s a concerted effort to keep all elements of your landscape (including roads, sidewalks, trees, water, and more) looking healthy, pristine, and spatially configured in a way that draws the eye like little else can.
Research shows that residential strata complexes that are well-maintained nearly always have higher property values. In fact, homes with larger trees increase property value by up to 15%, whereas homes containing (or adjacent to) green space are up to 20% more valuable. Studies have also indicated that nearly 70% of people looking to buy a house agree that landscape design influences their decisions, while 90% agreed that landscape design can (and should) increase the value of a property.
It is common knowledge that renovating a home before selling it can significantly improve its return on investment. However, people tend to focus heavily on interior renovations while undervaluing the effects of landscape modifications outdoors.
According to the Appraisal Institute of America, homeowners, “improving their property’s landscaping can result in significant return on investment when selling the home.” As mentioned earlier, bigger spending leads directly into bigger returns for homeowners.
With so many ways to improve a front or backyard, the plant options and price range of solutions can fit a variety of budgets. For example, simply implementing a lawn care service can increase your investment by 267%. On the other hand, a well planned and executed outdoor space like an all season patio can increase the entire property’s value by 10% to 15% according to the director of content at real estate website Zolo.ca.
Keep in mind that when it comes to quality, finding the right team to help you is crucial. According to Money Magazine, properties with “excellent” landscaping can expect a 6-7% higher sale price than properties with “good” landscaping.
Maximize Curb Appeal When Selling
Curb appeal is what gives homebuyers their first impression of a property. It refers to the level of attractiveness one may feel when viewing a property from the street or in listing photos. A home’s exterior tells you what to expect on the inside and whether it’s even worth looking.
Even more, the pandemic-related restrictions have presented home sellers with new, unexpected challenges like open houses requiring buyers to spend longer periods of time (up to 30 minutes) outside before stepping inside! Therefore, the first impression of your property and its landscape has never been more important.
If you think of a property as an asset, not leveraging the outside means you’re not maximizing its potential profit. Taking action to renovate a tired landscape before your next open house could be the difference between selling at listing price or above asking.
On the other hand, if you have just bought a new property and want to make a smart long term investment, landscaping will increase property value over time.
Standing Out and Attracting More Potential Buyers
With the Metro Vancouver housing market heating up along with the weather, you can make a current listing price more competitive with landscaping.
Over 90% of homebuyers view house listings online before considering a property. If a yard is lacking, it means that its listing photos are likely in a similar condition. Simply improving your curb appeal and listing photos could be enough to draw in more buyers, which means more opportunities to sell!
Since everyone seems to be selling, standing out with a sharp landscape can separate you from the competition. It can make homebuyers dream of living in your space and the selling process a lot simpler. Landscaping services offer a convenient method to rejuvenate a property to be more competitive at its current listing price. A quick makeover with impactful results that don’t require much effort from the homeowner or realtor is a great way to stand out.
What Can You Do?
The importance of proper landscape design and maintenance cannot be overstated when considering buying or selling a home! You can use our checklist for how to plan your outdoor living space. Not only does good landscape design and maintenance help increase property value, it also:
- Improves quality of life for residents
- Reduces stress
- Increases comfort and sense of community
- Reduces noise pollution
- Collects and filters stormwater runoff
- Provides shade and privacy, if desired
- Helps keep buildings and houses cool in the summer
If you’d like some help with a great landscape design and installation, consider getting in touch with us! Our Landscape Services division specializes in residential yard overhauls, and we love tackling new and exciting projects that can help you get your property looking as it should.