Imagine you are searching for a new Florida home. You have narrowed your search and found two properties that are in your desired neighborhood, have the right amount of square footage, and are in your price range. One home has a slightly higher asking price, but it has lush landscaping that features beautiful shade trees, colorful plants and flowers, and a garden-like feel. The other may cost less, but it sits on a lot with very little landscaping, or worse yet, is filled with cheap plants and trees, low-quality, browning grass, and has a stark feel.
Which home do you choose? For many Florida home buyers, the answer is simple. They would choose the house with the higher asking price. Why? Because first impressions are lasting. You may not realize it, but when you see a home that is beautifully landscaped, it projects an image of care and quality. Most people assume that a home owner who takes good care of their property also takes good care of their home. Plus, a well-landscaped lot is aesthetically pleasing and leaves prospective buyers with a positive impression of a home.
Landscaping for the current Florida home owner
Today's real estate market is extremely competitive. To say that the current surplus of listings combined with rising interest rates have created a buyer's market is an understatement. It would be more appropriate to call the current real estate market a buyer's heaven. The average listing is sitting on the market for a much longer period of time than what has been seen in past years. Many home sellers are taking offers that are much lower than their asking price because they can't afford to wait for better contracts to come in.
Spending money on high quality landscaping is no longer just a matter of aesthetics or personal preference. In today's real estate market, sellers need any edge they can get over the competition. A recent study by Arbor National Mortgage found that a home situated on a treed lot can fetch up to 20% more than a home on a lot without trees. If you are a current Florida home owner and you want to sell your home for a good price, landscaping is an improvement option that you should definitely consider.
To spend or not to spend
Some homeowners may think that shelling out big bucks for landscaping is a waste of money. In an effort to improve the look of their home, they purchase inexpensive trees and shrubs that they hope with "spruce up" the overall appearance of their lot. This is a mistake!
In another survey conducted by Arbor National Mortgage, results indicated that cheap landscaping not only fails to increase the value of a home, it can actually decrease the value. Overall curb appeal is not improved by cheap trees and shrubs. These things can, in fact, turn buyers off, thus decreasing the amount they are willing to pay for your home.
The lesson of this study? If you want to spend money on improving the curb appeal of your home before placing it on the market, choose high quality trees, shrubs, and other landscaping items. Even if it means you can't afford as many improvements overall, it is better to spend the money on a few high quality items than a lot of cheap trees and shrubs.
Landscaping for the Florida real estate buyer
So what does all of this mean to the Florida home buyer? First, it is a suggestion that when you are searching for Florida real estate, properties with high-quality landscaping features should top your wish list. You may not be thinking about the re-sale value of the homes you are targeting, but this is a very important factor. The current buyer's market may extend for some time into the future. Be mindful in your search that finding a Florida home that will hold a high re-sale value means a greater return on your investment down the road.
If you are having a custom home built, be sure and ask your builder about landscaping options. Are they using high quality sod and grass for your lawn? Do they build on treed lots or do they raze all of the trees before construction? Do they offer a landscaping package that includes high-quality plants and shrubs? Do your research now to get the most for your money.
Copyright 2006 All Right reserved by Tom Beaty