How to Green-Up Your Home’s Value

Want a good way to help protect the value of your home?Remember these two words: green matters. Not green paint, mind you, but greenspace. It’s an umbrella term for the trees, lawn, shrubs and other plantingsthat can affect not only the salability of your home, but your utility bills aswell.


Which is why Project EverGreen, a national non-profitorganization, is leading the charge to educate consumers about the many valuesof green space — especially as it affects their pocketbooks.

According to Den Gardner, executive director of ProjectEverGreen, “research shows that improving the green space around your homecan have real economic benefits.”

Protecting Home Value

Gardner cites a number of studies which show that sprucingup your green space can help protect and, depending on market conditions,bolster home value. For example: a study cited in Smart Money magazineindicated that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3 percent higher thanits base price. In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported that landscapinginvestment is normally recovered fully and sometimes doubled by its ability toincrease home value.

That sounds good, but Gardner adds this important caution:”It’s wise to plan before you plant. Make sure you begin landscapeimprovement or renovation with well-thought-out ideas for maintaining and/orimproving your green space. You may want to do the work yourself — and that’sgood exercise; however, it’s always wise to seek professional advice to get theright balance and placement of trees, shrubs, grass and other plantings.”

As evidence of this he cited a research project conducted bythe Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). This showed that a sophisticatedlandscape design with trees and large, colorful bedding plants can raise theperceived value of a home between 5 and 11 percent. On the other hand, consumerreaction was that minimalist landscapes (i.e. with small plant size and lowsophistication) actually decreased the perception of home value.

Saving Energy Costs

Planning the right mix of trees, grass and other plantingscan also make a difference in a home’s energy consumption. One study hasestimated that when properly placed to shade your home, trees can reduce airconditioning demand by 10 to 30 percent. Another study found attic temperaturescould be up to 40 degrees lower when adequate shade was present.

“There are two ways you take advantage of this naturalcooling effect,” Gardner says. “First, if you have mature trees makesure they’re pruned properly to maximize shade benefits, and second, inplanning for future shade, seek professional advice as to the type and locationof the trees you should plant. Both steps can help lower your electrical bill.”

Also, don’t overlook how maintaining a thick, healthy lawnand other plants also provides cooling benefits. “This is due to a processknown as evapotranspiration.  Gardnersays. “When vegetation is warmed by the sun it gives up water which thenevaporates to cool not only the plant itself but the surrounding area as well.The result is one of nature’s most overlooked, and yet most efficient coolingsystems. In fact, researchers have calculated that evapotranspiration from thefront lawns in a block of eight houses, produces cooling equivalent to 70 tonsof air conditioning.”

You can find more information about these and other benefitsof green space by accessing


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