One Virginia Cooperative Extension survey found that landscape expenditures — especially large ones — “significantly increase perceived home value.” That leads to a higher selling price than homes with minimal landscaping. Bigger landscaping spending means a bigger return, according to the study.

The Appraisal Institute, America’s biggest association of real estate appraisers, advises homeowners that “improving their property’s landscaping can result in a significant return on investment when selling the home.”

But not all landscaping investments are created equal. Consider these numbers from the 2018 Modeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features by the National Association of Realtors:

  • Lawn care services return 267% of the investment, That’s the No. 1 landscaping item, yielding the most money on the investment.
  • Landscape maintenance and tree care are a break-even proposition, returning 100% of the investment.
  • On the other hand, a new pool is far underwater when it comes to return on investment. According to NAR, it may bring joy, but recovers just 43% of the average $57,500 cost of installation.

So when you have a limited budget for improving your exterior and want the most bang for your buck, which features do you choose? Our research found which lawn, garden, and landscape items help your home value, and which don’t return the investment, or decrease value.

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Landscaping that helps, hurts home value