The 3 outdoor Landscaping Projects with Highest ROI

by The CE Shop Team

99% of REALTORS® Believe That Curb Appeal Is Important in Attracting a Buyer 

Many homeowners dream of having a lush, beautiful yard, but anyone who’s taken on a large landscaping project knows that it can be an expensive and time-consuming process. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and carefully select landscaping projects that will be worthwhile. 

Whether you’re working with a buyer who’s considering a fixer-upper or advising a homeowner who’s planning to list their home, your clients are likely to be interested in which outdoor projects will deliver the highest return on investment (ROI). 

Outdoor Home Improvements That Pay Off 

When it comes to landscaping projects, homeowners’ motivations can vary — some complete landscaping projects simply for their own enjoyment, while others put in the work in the hopes of boosting the resale value of their homes. 

A report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, analyzed 13 outdoor residential projects to determine which have the highest ROI at resale and which bring homeowners the most enjoyment. 

Many outdoor projects increase a home’s curb appeal, which is extremely important when it’s time to sell a home. 94% of REALTORS® say that they have encouraged sellers to improve their home’s curb appeal before listing their home, and 99% believe that curb appeal is important in attracting a buyer, the report says. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the three projects with the highest ROI. 

Standard Lawn Care Service 

The project: Standard lawn care service, including six applications of fertilizer and weed control, on 2,835 square feet of lawn 

Cost estimate: $375 

Estimated ROI: $1,000 

The homeowner is expected to recover an astounding 267% of the cost of this project at resale. 

Landscape Maintenance 

The project: Annual mulch application, mowing of 2,835 square feet of lawn, pruning of shrubs, and planting of approximately 60 perennials or annuals 

Cost estimate: $3,000 

Estimated ROI: $3,000 

With this project, the homeowner can expect to recover 100% of their investment at resale. 

Tree Care 

The project: Three applications of tree fertilizer; regular spraying, trimming, and pruning; and the removal of one 30-foot tree by professional 

Cost estimate: $2,000 

Estimated ROI: $2,000 

The homeowner is expected to recover 100% of the cost of this project at resale. 

Homeowner Enjoyment 

Of the 13 outdoor projects analyzed in the report, standard lawn care service, landscape maintenance, and tree care are the only projects that allow homeowners to recover the entirety of the cost upon resale. 

However, the report found that many of the other projects have emotional value. All 13 projects were also ranked on a “joy score” from 1-10 to indicate the amount of enjoyment that homeowners gained from the projects.  

Two projects — a fire feature and an irrigation system — received a perfect joy score of 10. 

Resources for Further Reading 

Do you want to read more about home improvement projects and increasing a home’s resale value? We have lots of content created just for you. 

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