Landscaping Mistakes that Decrease a Home's Resale Value
Photo: © HannamariaH - iStockPhoto
A home's resale value is not just about the house itself, but also takes into consideration the property. Your property's landscaping or lack thereof can increase or diminish your home's value. Here are the top five landscaping mistakes:
1. No Landscaping
If a for-sale home lacks landscaping, a credit or allowance is typically given to the buyer. This provision will decrease the resale value. A little bit of planning and time to establish the landscaping not only increases the house's value but also increases the home's curb appeal.
2. Over-planting and Overgrowth
Too many plants obscuring the home view doesn't help curb appeal. Remove heavy foliage and vegetation and plan your landscaping around ease of maintenance. Homeowners and property owners are responsible for landscaping maintenance and must comply with any local regulations. Unkempt landscaping can result, at the very least, in an allowance or credit given at the time of the property's sale or, at the very worst, in county or city fines.
3. Large Trees
Large trees that are planted in the wrong spot or that have outgrown the space can destroy plumbing, sewer, and other underground utilities. They can also uproot sidewalks and patios and cause damage to pools, ponds, and foundations. Large trees are a tricky topic as they are often governed by city and county regulations. Homeowners may find that they need to obtain a permit for large tree removal. On the other end of the spectrum, some cities enforce regulations to protect large trees of a specific age and species. Other tree issues deal with extremely tall trees as they may provide a hazard to neighboring properties. Check local codes and rules to identify any potential issues.
4. Non-Permitted Structures
Non-permitted structures such as gazebos, arbors, lanais, or overheads will often bring the lot coverage over or to the maximum limit that is allowed. If the property is at the maximum lot-coverage limit, certain types of additions or expansions will be prohibited. Just like the lot coverage, many counties and cities also have a maximum limit of allowable impermeable-surface coverage. This includes cement patios, walkways, paths, and even water features like pools, fountains, or ponds. If the impermeable-surface coverage is found to exceed the allowable amount, homeowners may find themselves ripping out some of the hardscape or reducing the price of their home to accommodate the need for compliance.
5. Improper Drainage
Improper drainage can cause water damage to a home and its property, including erosion and flooding. The number one cause of improper drainage is often an inadvertent change in the property's grading. Changes in the grading's elevation are generally due to after-market, do-it-yourself improvements such as decks, walkways, and paths. Water drainage should flow away from the house in a planned and controlled fashion.
These common landscaping mistakes have a negative impact on a home's resale value. However, some planning and proper maintenance can easily reverse or minimize these issues.