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Top 5 Yard Upgrades To Increase Home Value?

Nov 6, 2007
There are plenty of research on the influence of city trees and open spaces on property values especially in residential settings. With proper landscape improvements, the economic value of a home can be increased immensely. This article focuses on the hedonic valuation of city trees which would not only benefit developers and home buyers but also play a vital role in a city's revitalization project. Read on to know how natural capital such as trees and open spaces can add value to a property, although intangibly so.

The following are the top 5 landscape improvements to increase home value, based on the results of various studies on trees and residential property values.

1. Advantages of homes with trees. Single-family homes with trees are generally preferred to those without. Homes with trees and those located in neighborhoods with good tree cover have a higher property value than homes without trees. The following results are from a selection of studies done on yard and street trees.

Mature trees in your home's yard can increase the value of your property by 2%.
Having trees in the front yard can augment a property's value by 3 to 5%.
Neighborhoods that boast of a good tree cover can increase a home's value by 6 to 9%.
Homes located in high-income neighborhoods that grow mature trees can increment in value by 10 to 15%.

2. Benefits of preserving trees on lots. Retaining trees and forest cover while developing residential sites can boost market value. Tree preservation in untreed lots has added value to the property in the range of 18 to 37%, depending on the extent of tree cover. Besides this advantage, homes on wooded lots are known to sell faster. The following is the result of studies made on market prices of treed and untreed lots.

Lots with a substantial cover of mature trees increase in value by 18%.
Underdeveloped acreages with tree covering have a 22 % hike in property value.
Lots that sit on the hems of wooded preserves have a market price increase of 19 to 35%.
Open land with a two-third forest cover have a price increase of 37%.

It can be noted that the cost of preserving trees is more than compensated by the higher sales price of the property.

3. Proximity to parks and open spaces. The results of more than 30 studies show that people prefer homes that are located close to parks and open spaces and are willing to shell out more money for them. The value of homes located in proximity to naturalistic parks and open space are typically about 8 to 20% more, and increase with the proximity.

Inner city homes located within a quarter mile of a park have a market price increase of 10%.
Homes that are 2 or 3 blocks from a heavily-used park have a market price increase of 10%.
The value of homes located near cleaned-up vacant lots increases by 10%.
Homes that are adjacent to a park area or with a view of it have a value increase of 20%.
Greenbelts located next to residential developments augment property value by 32%.

4. Forest View. Homes that have a view of the forests and parks have better market value due to the aesthetic element. According to some studies the value increase to homes that have a view of forested open space and parks range from 5% to 8%.

5. Commercial properties. Non-residential sites have also known to benefit from trees in terms of better rental rates at commercial offices that have a good green view and increased consumer spending in forested business districts.

Source: Arborist News, Kathleen L. Wolf (Aug 2007).
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