Whether it’s a
small garden, a big yard or a tropical retreat, the outdoor botanical experience is a huge part of why many people buy homes in Hawaii. Our unique climate offers the opportunity to create exquisite gardens that potentially bring value to the sale. While appraisers generally agree about the value of a new kitchen or a remodeled bathroom, there’s seems to be no set standard on how to quantify the true value of the one thing that makes that all important first impression.
At the same time, the value of quality landscaping can’t be under-estimated. Take for instance, Leilani Estates. It’s an area that epitomizes the value that quality landscaping can add. Drive up Luana to Malama, cruise Kupono, Nohea or Moku Streets. Pick any street, it doesn’t matter. You’ll find one enchanting property after another. It’s indisputably a garden seekers paradise.
So, how do appraisers assign value in situations where landscaping is as integral to the package as the dwelling itself? I asked several trusted local appraisers. Each provided a different response. Most agreed there is no hard and fast rule about how value ought to be assigned. Because it’s not a required field on an appraisal report, it’s fair to assume that most loan underwriters (those responsible for scrutinizing appraisal reports for lenders) don’t consider it a core consideration when it comes to value. Obviously however, quality landscaping can’t be easily ignored.
For the most part, local appraisers felt a reasonable adjustment would be 5-7% of overall value. In researching the topic on-line, estimates reached 15%. I examined several recent appraisal reports, including one with very elaborate landscaping where the appraiser noted that the landscaping was “good” yet made no value adjustment. There’s no question that the botanical garden setting was integral to that sale and yet the appraiser took a conservative approach and assigned no additional value.
A few cautions about landscaping: Plantings located too close to the home promote moisture retention, which in turn becomes a conduit for termites. And while albezias can be beautiful, they don’t require fertilizer and you don’t want them close to your house. Tree removal can be expensive and is certainly best left to the pros (call us for our totally biased recommendation).
Be careful what you plant. There are a number of agencies willing to advise regarding invasive species. Seems we’ve had a bumper crop of pigs of late so be sure to protect your landscaping investment from critters. Remember, just as a fresh clean home with new flooring, fresh paint and updated kitchens and baths insures a faster sale, quality landscaping will make a huge difference in marketing time and to a lesser extent that all important eventual bottom line.Team NakanishiHilo, HI Real EstateHilo, HI Community Informationwww.HawaiianRealty.comTeam Nakanishi, Proudly providing superior real estate services to Hilo, Hi.