When Gary’s parents moved into their home in Austin, Texas, he wanted to give them the ultimate housewarming gift. He planted a tree, something he has always advised his buyers to do.
While not the most traditional welcome to the neighborhood, trees are one of the most valuable investments a homeowner can make.
Why? Trees are vitally important to us. Not only do they provide oxygen, shade and scenery; apparently money really does grow on trees!
So what better time to get planting than the first week of spring? What you – or your clients – may not realize is how much adding to your tree line will also add to your bottom line.
One tip we always give new homeowners is to plant trees. Green Your Home, plants the idea that homeowners need to think of their home’s green space as a great investment. It’s not only a way to spruce up your curb appeal, but also a way to save money and add value.
Trees not only up your neighborhood status – it’s true, looks matter – which has a direct effect on your property’s value, but they can also keep your utility bills down and personal energy up. Check out a few benefits you may not have considered that will leave more than your yard green.
1. Curb Appeal – Trees in the front yard add character and appeal to your home and neighborhood while increasing their value.
2. Shade – Carefully positioned trees on the east and west sides of your home can save you money by reducing summertime electric bills.
3. Winter Wind Block – Trees planted on the north and northwest sides of your home can protect your house from the cold winter winds and reduce heating bills.
4. Environment – The trees around your house filter the air, trap carbon dioxide and produce oxygen in return.
And, if you’re more of a direct results person, a study published in the New York Economic Review, says mature trees are found to add an average of 3.1% to home prices and reduce their time on the market by 7.3%. That means, if you follow NAR’s 2011 existing home sales data, trees increase the average home’s listing price by as much as $6,634, or from $214,000 to $220,634. They also shave off close to four days from the average selling time of eight weeks.
Taking it a step further, the study says general landscaping, on average, reduces the time a house sits by 21% – more than a week off market time – and ups the selling price by 2.5% – an increase of more than $5,000.
And, maybe the most astonishing number: Trees along three of four property lines cut a home’s time on the market in half. That can save more than a month or an entire mortgage payment at the old digs.
So, when you’re making that “spring cleaning” list, don’t forget money is made in the shade. And, if you’re not sure where to start, plug your ZIP code in on the Arbor Day Foundation’s Hardiness Zone map to find out which species will help grow your green this spring.