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Thinking about your next big home project? According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), homeowners looking for enhanced enjoyment of their home – and those planning for resale – should think outside the box of the home and explore outdoor lawn and landscape enhancements.

The associations’ 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features takes a deep dive into 14 outdoor residential projects exploring why property owners complete such enhancements, the value - both financial and emotional - these remodels bring, and the increased happiness the finished projects bring homeowners.

Some of the key take-aways?

  • Lawn care service ranked at the top of the list for the enhancement offering the most substantial financial payout at resale. Landscape maintenance and tree care, both recovering 100 percent of the cost at resale, and installing an irrigation system, recouping 86 percent, followed closely behind.
  • The projects reported to provide the most enjoyment to homeowners? A fire feature and irrigation system tied for first, both receiving a perfect Joy Score of 10. If you have ever enjoyed the relaxation and entertainment offerings of an outdoor fire pit or fireplace, it’s no surprise to you these features sit atop the list. And all those who have turned to smart irrigation to take the guesswork – and legwork – out of watering are nodding in agreement with the technology’s ranking. Not only do irrigation systems save time, they save water which, in turn, saves money.
  • Wood decks (Joy Score of 9.8), water features (9.8), statement landscaping (9.7) and an overall landscape upgrade (9.6) were also reported to be strong performers in the return they offer homeowners, igniting their desire to be at home more to enjoy their outdoor living spaces.                                 

“Realtors® understand that a home’s first impression is its curb appeal, so when it comes time to sell, a well-manicured yard can be just as important as any indoor remodel,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “Even homeowners with no immediate plans to sell can gain more enjoyment and satisfaction from their home by taking on a project to revive their outdoor spaces.”

The report validates that landscaping is an investment worth making, offering the immediate benefits of increased enjoyment of your property, as well as desirable long-term value that holds if or when it comes time to sell. From lawn and tree care to installing a new fire or water feature or landscape lighting, there’s no shortage of opportunities to enhance your landscape and to reap the benefits these upgrades provide.

See the full report, which also includes projects for commercial properties, here.

To begin your consideration of how to make the most of your outdoor living space, talk with a landscape professional about bringing your dreams to life.

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