Americans are always looking for ways to increase the value of their home, and according to new research, it may be as simple as adding a touch of nature. In fact, looking to nature can not only add value to your assets, but it can also help save on related costs in the future, saving energy and helping regulate temperature. That’s right, by harnessing the power of nature, rather than destroying it, there is not only beautifying to be done, but value to be stowed away.
According to Tom Barlow, a contributing writer for consumer bargain website DealNews, “a healthy, mature tree can add between $1,000 and $10,000 to the value of a home.” That factoid comes by way of a study from the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, put together with the Department of Horticulture from Purdue University. A release from Purdue says that not only can trees and other flora add to the value of a home, but the loss of which can actually depreciate a property’s value as well. In order to find out exactly how much, there is actually a formula homeowners can use to determine what kind of bang they’ll get for their buck.
Basically, by looking at the amount of space homeowners are dealing with, and figuring in factors like specific plant species and their conditions, you can end up with a dollar figure that can be used to better appraise property values.
What this tells us is that there isn’t just an aesthetic value to keeping up with your home’s appearance, but it can actually end up netting homeowners some serious money in appraisals. Particularly if you’re headed to the market to see what else is out there, what the Purdue study shows is that there is an actual, workable formula to tacking on significant value simply by working with the natural elements on your property.
So, while you’ve been avoiding mowing the lawn all weekend, you could, in theory, be letting money slip through your fingers.
But there’s more to it than just adding direct value to your assets through landscaping and horticulture techniques, as plants and trees also provide other advantages that you may not have even thought about. Just consider the savings on heating and cooling, for example. According to the Center for Urban Horticulture at The University of Washington, the benefits that trees provide in regulating temperature can be spread across entire cities, not just individual homes and properties.
“A 25 foot tree reduces annual heating and cooling costs of a typical residence by 8 to 12%, producing an average $10 savings per American household,” a release from the university says. “Also, buildings and paving in city centers create a heat-island effect. A mature tree canopy reduces air temperatures by about 5 to 10° F, influencing the internal temperatures of nearby buildings.”
The university also found corresponding spikes in home values along with the presence of trees on the property, as we’ve discussed. “In one area a 6% increase in value was found to be associated with the presence of trees; an increase of 3.5 to 4.5% was reported in another study.”
The federal government has also put a lot of stock in the idea that trees and plants add to both cities and homes, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture really putting the amount of energy savings into perspective by comparing a tree to your standard electric cooling device.
“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day,” they’ve said.
For home and property owners, it’s obvious that adding plants and trees can lead to some big savings, and also save big-time on energy costs. It’s an easy way to bolster value, and show the planet’s flora that you’re one with nature — and have no interest in a The Happening-esque ending.
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