Homeowners looking to tackle a remodeling project should head outside, according to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS® and National Association of Landscape Professionals. The 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features shows that not only can outdoor remodeling projects add value to a home on resale, but they can also bring advantages to homeowners planning to stay in their homes in the form of increased happiness.
“Realtors® understand the importance of curb appeal because when it is time to sell, a home’s exterior is its first impression to potential buyers,” says NAR President Tom Salomone. “Realtors® also know that these projects—from flowerbeds to fire pits—can bring homeowners who have no plans to sell even more enjoyment and satisfaction in their home.”
According to the report, which analyzes the reasons why homeowners complete outdoor remodeling projects and the value—both financially and emotionally—the finished projects bring to the homeowner, taking care of your home’s lawn will bring the most bang for the buck. Looking at the outdoor projects that produce the largest financial windfalls at resale, Realtors® ranked seeding lawn the highest, recovering 417 percent of the project cost at resale. Seeding lawn is followed by implementing a standard lawn care program (303 percent of cost recovered) and updating landscaping with sod lawn (143 percent recovered) as the most cost-effective projects.
When it comes to the enjoyment homeowner’s gain from these projects, a new pool comes in at No. 1, receiving a perfect Joy Score of 10; Joy Scores range between 1 and 10 and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project. Ninety-five percent of homeowners who completed a pool project said they have a greater desire to be at home, 90 percent felt a major sense of accomplishment, and 80 percent have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home. However, Realtors® estimate that homeowners will only recoup 50 percent of the cost on resale, making it one of the least profitable projects in the report.
The next most appealing project is an overall landscape upgrade—with a Joy Score of 9.8— followed by a new wood deck, with a Joy Score of 9.7. When asked why homeowners took on these projects, the most common response was to add features to their home and improve livability.
“Homeowners looking to take on large, expensive outdoor projects should do so for themselves, for the enjoyment they and their family will gain from the finished results, and not only to improve the value of their home for when they sell. Smaller projects will bring potential sellers the most value back upon resale—and have the benefit of costing less up front,” says Salomone.
“This report validates that outdoor remodeling and landscaping improvements are a necessity when it comes to improving your home’s resale value,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president, public affairs, NALP. “Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations—whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, rehauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features, like patios and exterior fireplaces—can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment. Further, that investment is coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless.”
The National Association of Landscape Professionals is the trade association for the landscape industry, which employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment. Member companies specialize in lawn care, landscape design and installation, landscape maintenance, tree care, irrigation and water management, and interior plantscaping.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.