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UW, Virginia Tech studies show payoff for landscaping

You might want to take a closer look at your home’s curb appeal.

Upgrading a home’s landscape from average to excellent can raise its overall value by 10 percent to 12 percent, according to research from the University of Washington and Virginia Tech.

One UW study revealed properties with mature trees showed an average price increase of 7 percent. Street trees appear to add value even to adjacent properties, up to 100 feet away. Greater increments of value are seen for tree planting and landscape improvements in lower-quality neighborhoods.

Alex X. Niemiera with the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech found that a $150,000 home with no landscaping could fetch an additional $8,300 to $19,000 by adding a landscape with color and large plants.

The value of landscaping differed greatly from state to state.

“The most preferred landscape included a sophisticated design with large deciduous, evergreen, and annual color plants and colored hardscape,” Niemiera said.

He added that different plant sizes to a front yard, for example, can boost curb appeal, as well as mixing fruit trees and flowers for added color.

“Survey results showed that relatively large landscape expenditures significantly increase perceived home value and will result in a higher selling price than homes with a minimal landscape,” Niemiera wrote. “The resulting increase in curb appeal of the property may also help differentiate a home in a subdivision where house styles are similar and thereby attract potential buyers into a home. This advantage is especially important in a competitive housing market.”

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