Landscaping; to professionally design or not to design, that is the question

9 Replies

Hello, I'm a Landscaper for a company in Tucson that will soon be doing my first deal. 

I always wonder. when doing a fixing a house for rehabb or to rent it out. Would it be wise to invest in a landscape architect and budget in a good landscape design. Not only can it increse your property value 15- 20%. Its also a very good selling point. Yes we all know the wife loves a good kitchen, Bath and sometimes closet. But I don't know how many times I have heard "we didn't know about the house but the beautiful landscape did it for us" or "This house was way above our price range but we got it anyways because of the landscape." so my question is, to professionally or not to design?

You can probably have someone at the local nursery do a design for you for free, if you 're buying plants from them.  There's also several different software programs you can buy that allows you to design landscaping. Unless you are doing a pretty high end house, I don't see where hiring a landscape architect is worth it. I do however agree that curb appeal has a lot to do with selling homes. As they say, you never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression!

@Karen Margrave excellent advice! I was just wondering about this myself. 

@Monica Corbett  for future reference, when doing the @mention, wait until the name pops up on the menu bottom left, then click onto it. Make sure the name is highlighted in the post and you will know it worked! 

I dont see landscaping adding 15% to 20%  to the value of a house .  Nicely trimmed bushes , fresh mulch , and a clean uncluttered lawn make a good first impression .  Clean and simple .     On a  $ 200K house it would have to be some pretty good landscaping to raise the price 30 to 40 thousand .

Originally posted by @Christian Alcaraz :

... budget in a good landscape design. Not only can it increse your property value 15- 20%. ...

 Anybody whose BS detector didn't go off upon reading that snippet should learn to be more skeptical. 

So now that I've called BS, can you provide a link to a reliable source to support that claim?

As others said, I don't think hiring a LA makes much sense unless you are in a higher end neighborhood.  It doesn't take a lot of creativity to spruce up a small house in an urban environment and give a little curb appeal.  

In a rental, landscaping is not going to provide any ROI unless, you the owner, want to keep it up. Most renters are not going to pay the upkeep on landscaping they do not own.

In rehabs, landscaping hits diminishing returns very quickly and has the potential to turn away buyers (i.e. if I saw a water feature that I would have to pay to maintain, I'd move on to the next place.) Plus, landscaping is a very personal and specific section of a property and better left to the buyer to take care of. 

Do the minimum amount of landscaping to get the curb appeal you need and either spend the money inside or put it in another project.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.