Home Selling in Jackson>Question Details

Callie, Other/Just Looking in Tennessee

How much return can we expect on putting $8K in landscaping for trees in the backyard if we sell in 2010?

Asked by Callie, Tennessee Sun Jun 8, 2008

Our house was custom built in 2006 on 3/4 acre and is 4000 sq. ft. We paid $440,000.

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If your neighborhood is like many these days, trees in the backyard and privacy is a rare amenity as is also mature landscaping, especially in newer subdivisions. It used to be said that you usually get landscaping dollars back in the sale of your home more so than many other investments. However, I don't know if that still holds true today. Since your home is new already, you should have to worry about updating it too much on the inside unless it's just to upgrade some things that you didn't have put in. So it only makes sense for you to invest in your curb appeal both front and back. Don't go crazy, but $8,000 sounds reasonable for the type of home you have. With it being 2 years off, I think there's a good chance you'll get it dollar for dollar back. I wouldn't expect a return that exceeds 100% though.

You want to be differentiated, which will help it sell better. However, curb appeal is huge on either increasing or decreasing value to buyers. More and more buyers I work with have a high priority requirement on the type of lot they select. So I say, go for it.
Web Reference: http://homenashvilletn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
That's great your trees worked out.

It's a toss up here on what's worse, houses or stocks. Im from Jackson and have been a little envious of the extremely affordable houses my friends live in compared to here. Here a $600K house is a 4BR 2.5BA house built in the 60s or 70s and carries a $5,500 annual tax bill. There are more and more for sale signs that actually say "Reduced 100,000". Hard to believe. So, the housing crash is bringing things somewhat back to reality here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
We did put in the trees and they look great! A few did die because last summer was really hot and we will replace them in the spring. Home values are slightly decreased and there is a ton of inventory. However, there is always a ton of inventory here because the land is so cheap. We decided to stay here until 2011/2012 and most likely our value should be up by then. Also, there is a new development adjacent to our house where there are only custom built 5000 sq. ft + homes starting in the $600's. So now, our house will look like a bargain! Sorry your values are tanking! It will pick up eventually. I still feel more confident in my future home value than my stocks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
So, did you do the landscaping project?

How are high end home values in Jackson holding up? They are collapsing here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
If there is an economic way to landscape and keep those costs below $8K, that is definitely smart, especially in light of the price points in your area. You have 2 years for that vegetation to grow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Thanks for all the advice! Our front yard is nicely landscaped with grass, trees, flower beds and shrubs. Our backyard is also landscaped with 10 mature shady trees and grass. We have a large covered back porch with Belgian block pavers and columns.

The $8K would be for 30 Leland Cypress evergreen trees in a staggered row along the back perimeter (about 200 ft. across) of our property line. They will be on a burm of mulch and be 5-6 ft. in height. and 3 ft. in width. We want to restore the privacy and shade we had when we first moved in. Originally, we had total privacy of mature trees and a cotton field just beyond our property line. After 1 year, a new subdivision was planned and they cut down every single tree just past our property line and beyond. Now our view is dirt, houses, construction, and new roads.

Our total lot is 3/4 acre and our 4000 sq. ft. house has numerous upgraded amenities making it one of the most expensive in our sub. However, new construction has just been started on a new phase of our sub. which will be comparable or more expensive than ours. The house next door to us just sold for $441K. Most houses in Jackson sell in the $150-300K range with about a 5-10 on the market now in the $400-500K range. Then there a few in the $750K+ range. So we will definitely need a higher end buyer when we go to sell. We would like to just break even after closing costs.

So would putting in these trees be worth it or should we just go for a smaller arborvitae version at 3 ft. tall and spend $1000-2000?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Outdoor living is a hot trend to to watching the coming years with gas price prices. I'm with Dena, I'd expect the return on great landscaping will pay off. When buyers have a plethora of choice on the market, every detail can make the difference. I'd make that $8,000 difference if I were you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 9, 2008
It depends on how the back yard looks now. If it's just mud, it'll help a lot. If it's already decently landscaped, it'll help less.

Good landscaping versus poor (or no) landscaping does help sell a house. But as for adding value, that's very uncertain. Probably $1,000-$2,000 if your backyard already looks acceptable. (Few home improvements come close to returning 100% of value. Even good ones may return perhaps 60%-70% of value.)

Also, just be careful. If it was built in 2006, the price likely has declined or remained flat. If you're selling in 2010, you'll probably be lucky to break even. Is $8,000 the best investment you can make in the property?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
The first Impression is tmost important. I think having great landscaping will put money in your pocket.
Lilo Clacher
Cookeville, TN 38501
Cell 931-397-1991
Web Reference: http://www.LiloRealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
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