Nope. You might appraise higher. Or lower. Appraisals are hyper-local: An appraisal in Santa Maria, Calif., where the Smiths live, has nothing to do with the outcome of an appraisal in MacLean, Va., or even nearby San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Appraisers give their best opinion of value based on how a home’s features stack up against those of similar homes recently sold nearby. In addition, appraisal values shift with market changes. A home appraised at $150,000 today might appraise higher or lower two months from now.
So is a landscape makeover worthwhile? You bet!
Like any home improvement, it enhances qualify of life. “Having a usable yard is huge” especially for Aaron, who uses a wheelchair, says Sandy MacCuish, who appraised the Smiths’ home before and after the makeover. “The Smiths can now use the entire backyard, and it’s accessible from the dining room. The traffic flow is good, and the door brings in more light than the window did.”
And when it comes time to sell, landscaping is the first thing people will notice. In fact, many people make up their minds about a property within the first few seconds.
Other exterior projects — yea curb appeal! — that typically offer a good recovery of initial project costs, according to “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, are:
- Entry door replacements. A steel entry door replacement returned 75% of its cost in the 2015 “Report.”
- Garage door replacements, which recoup 87% of their cost.
- New vinyl siding, which recovers 83% of its cost.