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VCE Report on Landscaping Effects on Home Values

The general rule of thumb is that the right landscaping can improve a home's value by 15%. But how do we know if this is true and what constitutes "good" landscaping.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension conducted a survey in 2019 to determine how consumers viewed landscape with regard to a home's value by showing them a series of photos of homes with varying degrees of landscaping. The results were not surprising, and emphasize the need to carefully landscape your home for curb appeal.

How the Survey Was Conducted

The survey, conducted by a group of Cooperative Extensions throughout the country, presented participants with a photo of a newly built, suburban house with only a lawn and concrete path. They were then shown sixteen (16) photos of the same house with different plantings that varied in size, type, and sophistication.

The plant types included varieties and sizes of perennials, shrubs, and trees, and the three (3) sophistication levels were: 1) foundation planting only, 2) foundation planting with one large, oblong island planting and one or two single specimen trees in the lawn, and 3) a foundation planting with adjoining beds and two or three large island plantings, all incorporating curved bed lines.

The Results

The most important factor in effective landscape design was sophistication (42%) followed by plant size (26%), and then diversity of plant material type (22%).

The preferred landscape included large deciduous, evergreen, and annual color plants in a colored hardscape with a sophisticated design. This differs from a 1999 study using the same methodology that had plant size as the most important factor, with design sophistication a close second.