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Low-cost Landscaping Can Boost Home Values: Appraisal Institute

May 11, 2017 08:00 AM

CHICAGO (May 11, 2017) – The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today reminded homeowners that inexpensive landscaping improvements can add to home values and help increase salability.

As spring arrives and homeowners spiff up their landscaping, they will spend an average of $1,766 to $3,227 per landscaping project, according to Besides beauty and pleasure, these projects can bring homeowners a return on investment. A survey conducted by Turf magazine found that landscaping upgrades can increase property values by 10 to 12 percent.

“Curb appeal is important to both appraisers and potential buyers, and homeowners don’t have to spend a lot of money to get it,” said Appraisal Institute President Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS. “In fact, it’s important that upgrades don’t exceed neighborhood norms.”

The Appraisal Institute recommends that homeowners consider these four low-cost landscaping improvements:

Clean up. Tidying up is one of the simplest and least expensive landscape makeovers, and a clean yard can make a major impact on a property’s first impression. Replacing tired-looking flower pots, power washing sidewalks and raking grass clippings cost little and can take just a few hours.

Maintain the lawn.  Proper lawn maintenance can cost as little as a few hundred dollars annually, and can have more thana 300 percent return on investment, according to a 2016 survey by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and the National Association of Realtors. Lawn care can be particularly important for homes going up for sale within a year. 

Seal driveways, decks and patios. When properly maintained and protected, expensive investments like driveways, decks and patios can provide enjoyment and add value to a home. Sealing wood can reduce rotting and insect infestation, and a sealed driveway is less likely to have unsightly weeds growing through cracks.

Pick perennials. Perennials can add an appealing pop of color to landscaping. Although initially more expensive than one-season-and-done annuals, their varying sizes and textures add visual interest and with proper care can bloom for many years.

Homeowners can learn more about how landscaping may influence property values by contacting a local Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute in the organization’s Find an Appraiser directory.



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The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 19,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Individuals of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA, SRA, AI-GRS and AI-RRS designations. Learn more at




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