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What Studies Show About Landscaping and Real Estate
The information below is still important for all homeowners to know. You may need or want to refinance your home someday to fund that dream vacation or start a business, or maybe even get that DIY landscaping project off the ground that you’ve been dreaming of for years.
So, before we get to the fun stuff, let me share some very important statistics with you. You need to understand the research behind the answer to the common question of, ‘Is landscaping worth the money?’
These stats show how landscaping brings monetary value to your home. Let’s get past that part, then I will show you the ‘non-monetary’ value a finished landscape will bring to your life. Because in the end, it’s all about enjoyment!
Statistics on Landscaping and Home Values
According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), a professionally landscaped home can sell for 15% to 20% more than homes with unfinished or unattractive landscapes. Because of this, the 15,000-member professional organization recommends that homeowners spend 10% of the home’s value on landscaping.
A cooperative study was conducted by Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. Here are some interesting numbers:
- Change in Value - They studied homes with no landscaping and professionally landscaped homes across the country. The change in value ranged from 5.5% to 11.4%.
- Increase in Equity – Therefore, an unmanicured home valued at $450,000 could end up worth $24,750 to $51,300 more with a professional-looking landscape even if it’s a DIY job.
Homelight conducted a survey of the top real estate agents across the country. These people know what sells and for how much in their sales areas. According to 94% of them, great curb appeal is the most important factor when trying to get top dollar for your home, or a refinance for that matter.
And many of them said that it doesn’t take a lot. You don’t have to spend thousands on landscaping. Just maintaining a healthy lawn, keeping it mowed, controlling weeds and fertilizing regularly is all it takes to create great curb appeal.
Moreover, the National Association of Realtors estimates that the maintenance and upkeep will give you an ROI of 267% at the time of sale. Now, that’s a pretty big claim!
5 Tips to Living a Better Lifestyle Through Landscaping and Gardening
Now, let’s get to the fun stuff! Gardening is amazing because it allows you to grow your own foods. But for some reason, a lot of homeowners don’t consider their gardens as parts of their landscapes.
Well, that raised bed you grow in? That’s a hardscape. And those plants you care for every day? Those are softscapes. They both work together to help you feed your family healthy foods. Together, they make up part of your overall landscape.
So, the ‘is landscaping worth it’ tips below will address some benefits of creating a visually appealing landscape:
- On a gardening level
- On a personal level
- On a business level
- On an overall landscaping level
Now, let’s get to it! Here are five tips to help you live a better overall lifestyle through gardening and landscaping:
1. Economic Benefits of Landscaping for Businesses
Businesses benefit greatly from customer-friendly, beautiful landscapes. If your business is lucky enough to have outdoor space, why not spruce it up? You’ll boost the company’s curb appeal, giving potential customers positive feelings about the brand itself.
Did you know that bare soil, cement and asphalt all radiate more heat than grass? Replace it with a lawn and watch your customers enjoy the cooler space during hot summer months. Then, add some hedges and flowers to add pops of colors and textures. Or you can create a garden practicing the xeriscaping method, which requires little to no watering.
Businesses with awesome landscapes tend to find more success than those with cement and pavement hardscapes. Customers claim they prefer spending on services and goods when the commercial location provides canopy-sized trees that give off shade. They even claim they will travel far just to shop with vendors with peaceful landscapes and will actually stay longer when they get there.
2. Helps Improve Air and Water Quality
Simply put, humans breathe in the oxygen produced by trees and grass, which they produce by taking in the carbon dioxide we breathe out. But the work they put in each day to keep the cycle of photosynthesis going goes far beyond just that.
Grass and trees remove the carbon dioxide that we breathe out from the air by capturing tiny smoke and dust particles. One tree alone can remove up to 26 pounds of it each year. This helps remove about 11,000 miles of emissions produced by a car. Also, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), one tree can provide four people with an entire day’s supply of oxygen.
Lush landscapes provide storm runoffs for both businesses and residents. This helps reduce the number of pollutants and residues that end up in local water sources. In the end, softscapes help reduce erosion, downstream flooding and the amount of pollution that enters local drinking water.
3. Physical and Psychological Benefits of Landscaping
There are numerous cases of people reporting physical benefits of having a peaceful, tranquil landscape. Here are just three of those reasons:
As noted above, greenery helps improve air quality overall. That means it provides physical health benefits for those suffering from asthma, congenital heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc. Improving overall air quality is beneficial to healthy people as well.
Studies show that just by viewing nature, you can lower your blood pressure and produce less cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. High cortisol levels have been linked to memory, learning, heart diseases and weight gain issues.
Spending time outside helps reduce cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and autoimmune disorders by reducing inflammation within your body. Boosting your immune system helps your body fight off the flu, common colds and other routine illnesses.
Nature is both inviting and delighting. It helps soothe and calm the soul, mind, body and spirit. Whether you’re a gardener, hire a professional landscaper or just like looking at landscapes, you are essentially reducing stress by engaging with the outdoors around you. Even people who garden in community spaces insist that their stress levels are lower than ever before.
4. Physical and Psychological Benefits of Gardening & DIY Landscaping
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, you need Vitamin D to live a healthy lifestyle. Humans absorb Vitamin D naturally by spending time in the sun. It strengthens your immune system and your bones, along with literally hundreds of other bodily benefits.
Studies show that these factors help lower your risk of:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Prostate Cancer
- Psoriasis Flares
- Type II Diabetes
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), horticulture therapy has been a trend in addiction recovery programs since the 1940s. Studies show that working with plants triggers positive feelings. This is exactly what addicts recovering from drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex or any other addiction need.
Creating a therapeutic garden is a very effective way to stay sober after going home from rehab or a sober living home. This is a garden created specifically for the purpose of promoting healing through engagement with nature. According to AHTA, this includes both active (gardening and DIY landscaping) and passive (just enjoying the outdoors even if from a window) interactions.
Some subtypes of therapeutic gardens include:
- Enabling Gardens
- Healing Gardens
- Rehabilitation Gardens
- Restorative Gardens
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study on the Relationship between School Gardens, Food Literacy and Mental Well-Being in Youth Using Photovoice. They found that students who participated in school gardens took pride in sharing photos of their work and experiences online.
These same students said that they not only gained some valuable skills, but they established relationships that they will always treasure. The experts involved believe these human interactions with people of different backgrounds, abilities, skill levels and ages were key factors.
5. Overall Enjoyment Benefits of Gardening and Landscaping
There is something about sunshine that makes enjoying the outdoors both rejuvenating and relaxing. That’s why when California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home orders back in March 2020, he also told our state residents to, “enjoy your gardens.”
He understood the value of using gardening to maintain healthy mental health as well as its physical health benefits. This includes soaking in sights like animals, pretty, beneficial insects, beautiful flowers, sweet fragrances and green grass.
Every person needs an outdoor space to use as a go-to sanctuary whether it's at home, at work or somewhere within the local community. Even employees benefit from taking breaks and lunches in outdoor commercial spaces filled with water structures, hardscapes and singing birds. Such outdoor commercial landscapes promote healthy living for both families and customers by generating positive feelings.
For home gardeners, DIY landscapers and small business owners, it’s all about diverse landscaping. You want to help mimic functioning ecosystems by using native plants to recreate them.
Most people employ a small number of plants for enhancing fields and landscapes. This hampers the universe’s ability to give back to the ecosystem. However, plant diversity helps bring on a larger variety of native pollinators.
A Work of Art
When you create a landscaping plan, you are essentially starting with a blank canvas. Including both hardscaping and softscaping gets you on your way to creating a work of art. The goal is to take a dull landscape and transform it into something creative and attractive.
Just like an artist working on a canvas, use your landscape to showcase your personal creativity. Make it aesthetically pleasing by adding visual appeal and amazing focal points. Some ideas include:
- Colorful Mulch
- Plants Flowers
- Water Fountains
- Garden Edges
- Terrain Manipulation
- Garden Beds
If you spend time outdoors or even looking out a window, you are engaging with nature. Just looking at greenery for a small period of time each day helps refresh your spirit. Enjoying nature helps you recover from the stress and hectic schedules life throws your way.
So, be sure to spend time jogging, walking or even driving within areas where lush green lawns and finished landscapes exist. Well-designed landscapes are definite mood enhancers, which help improve your well-being while giving your senses a jump start.
People who live in communities that prioritize greenery and gorgeous landscapes spend less money on healthcare expenses. Spending just a few moments enjoying the early morning sunrise helps strengthen your lungs. It allows you to breathe in the fresh morning air while promoting relaxation through fragrances and magnificent views, which helps you start your day off in a good mood.