General Real Estate Investing

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Justin Shelton
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Landscaping's Impact on Appraisal

Justin Shelton
Posted Aug 1 2019, 13:00

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could speak on the impact of landscaping on getting a home appraisal? My house does need some landscaping updating, like some weed pulling and some new mulch. Nothing major like removing old tree stumps, digging out boulders, digging out hills, etc. 

I'm basically house hacking, and I want to get my house appraised so I can cash out refinance to get a down payment for another house, as well as wipe my credit slate clean. But I digress...I basically want to know if I should landscape my house more professionally before the appraisal. (New mulch, some light weeding, some new plants/bushes).

Anyone have experience in this sort of thing? And again, this is only for the appraisal, not to sell. I know that I would need it to look nice and pretty before selling, which I don't intend to do anytime soon. And I'm living in Farmington Hills Michigan if that matters.

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Account Closed
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cleveland, OH
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Account Closed
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cleveland, OH
Replied Aug 1 2019, 14:09

@Justin Shelton I wouldnt have it run down looking or anything like that on the exterior but the cost to landscape versus the dollar return on the appraisal, it typically isnt worth it BUT if you have very bad curb appeal in comparison to the other homes around you, they can make an adjustment. Appraisals are opinionated so it can swing either way.

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Jason Savino
  • Farmington Hills, MI
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Jason Savino
  • Farmington Hills, MI
Replied Aug 2 2019, 06:38

@Justin Shelton You are definitely going to want it to look clean (curb appeal). If it were me I would look into getting a lawn service at the very least. Spending $50 - 100 to clean up the yard is a pretty good investment. As @Account Closed said, "Appraisals are opinionated" and a little effort goes a long way. I was informed by an appraiser recently that if the outside look unkept then there is a belief that the house itself was not maintained so it appraises for less. 

Best of luck!

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Justin Shelton
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Justin Shelton
Replied Aug 3 2019, 14:57


@Jason Savino and @Account Closed

Thank you both for the feedback. And yeah the yard hasn't overgrown or anything. I have a mowing service and the property still has it's curb appeal to my eye. I just feel it's probably best to get the feedback from others more experienced, as I don't want to pay for another appraisal. 

And I've definitely maintained and updated this house with a lot of my own sweat equity and cash...so I don't want someone to just jump to that conclusion. I'll push the appraisal back so I can spend a couple days in the yard.