Lawn care, landscape maintenance and tree care services, in addition to irigation system installations, produce substantial payouts at resale. This according to the 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features, by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and NALP.
The report examines 13 outdoor residential projects and 10 commercial property projects, highlighting the reasons why property owners complete them. It also covers the value—both financial and emotional—that these remodels bring, and the increased happiness the finished projects create.
“Realtors understand that a home’s first impression is its curb appeal. When it comes time to selling a home, a well-manicured yard can be just as important as any indoor remodel,” explains NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “Even homeowners with no immediate plans to sell can gain more enjoyment and satisfaction from their homes by taking on projects to revive their outdoor spaces.”
Value Boost: Outdoor Projects that Bring the Most Value
When asked which outdoor projects produce the most substantial financial payouts at resale, realtors ranked standard lawn mowing services at the top, which recovers 267 percent of the project cost at resale. Next, realtors named landscape maintenance and tree care, both recovering 100 percent of the cost at resale. Installing an irrigation system recoups 86 percent of the project cost at resale.
When it comes to the enjoyment homeowners gain from these projects, a fire feature and irrigation system tied for first, both receiving a perfect Joy Score of 10 (Joy Scores range between 1 and 10; higher figures indicate greater joy from the project). Eighty-three percent of homeowners who installed fire features say they have a greater desire to be home since project completion. Sixty-nine percent of homeowners with an irrigation system say they feel a sense of accomplishment when thinking of the project. The next most appealing projects were a new wood deck (Joy Score of 9.8), a water feature (Joy Score of 9.8), statement landscaping (Joy Score of 9.7), and an overall landscape upgrade (Joy Score of 9.6).
“This report validates landscaping is an investment worth making, offering immediate benefits of increased property enjoyment,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president, public affairs, NALP. “Landscaping also increases desirable long-term value that holds if or when it comes time to sell. From lawn and tree care to installing a fire or water feature, there’s no shortage of landscape enhancement opportunities.”
Value Boost: Commercial Sites Benefit from Outdoor Care/Enhancements, Too
This year, the report also covers outdoor projects for commercial properties. The report says 43 percent of realtors suggest a commercial client improve property curb appeal before listing it for sale. The most frequently recommended projects are standard lawn care (39%), landscape management services (27%), and overall landscape upgrades (26%).
“It is not just homeowners who need to think about curb appeal when it comes time to sell; a beautiful exterior is just as important for commercial property owners. In fact, 81 percent of realtors say they believe curb appeal is important in attracting a buyer,” Mendenhall says.