How Valuable is Quality Landscaping to the Sale of a Hawaii Home?
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.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/rakratchada torsap
While appraisers generally agree about the value of a new kitchen or a remodeled bathroom, there 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 seeker’s paradise.
So, How Do Appraisers Assign Value to Landscaping?
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 feel a reasonable adjustment would be 5-7% of overall value. In researching the topic online, 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.
- Albezias can be beautiful, but 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.
- Be sure to protect your landscaping investment from the recent proliferation of pigs.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
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.