Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Be sure not to neglect landscaping, Appraisal Institute advises


Whether it's because they truly enjoy it or do it out of necessity, mowing the lawn and maintain plants are two components of landscaping. But there's more to improving the exterior grounds of a home than simply adding to a residence's aesthetic appeal. It can also have an impact on what their home is ultimately worth.

According to the Appraisal Institute, homeowners should try to stay on top of their landscaping tasks as much as possible, as it can have a significant effect on the value of their home.

Richard Borges, president of the AI, indicated that there's a lot riding on what homeowners do to maintain the overall upkeep of their properties, especially as it relates to how quickly they can sell it should they be interested in putting it up for auction.

"If a landscaping change is positive, it can often enhance price and reduce a home's time on the market," said Borges. "But if the change is negative, it can lower the price and lengthen the time a home remains for sale."

He added that first impressions are everything when it comes to selling a property, as if the landscaping job is lackluster or looks like it needs to undergo a major makeover, prospective homebuyers will be few and far between.

In addition, Borges pointed out that landscaping can come in a variety of forms - not simply cutting the lawns or paring back tree branches and shrubbery. Adding a deck, patio, swimming pool or fire pit can all have a material and financial impact on the value of a home and whether sellers will be able to cash in on the price they list it as.

Important questions to ask
Before doing something to enhance the curb appeal of a residence as it relates to landscaping, Borges said that homeowners should ask themselves some questions first. For example, is the intended landscaping design one that makes the prospective buyer more likely to walk through the door? Homeowners may be able to answer this question by asking friends or acquaintances to give their honest opinion about a landscape redesign.

They should ask if the landscaping is cost-effective. In other words, does it require a lot of effort to effectively maintain, such as a sprinkler system. The best designs are those that don't need 'round-the-clock care.

It's not unusual for people to confuse a home inspection with a home appraisal. As noted by the Independent Home Inspectors of America, home inspection services provide information to the homebuyer that pertain to the physical chemistry and structure of a house, ensuring that it's up to code and safe to live in. A home appraisal, meanwhile, involves similar inspection work, but is primarily focused on the market value of the home.