Landscaping can add a significant amount of value to a property from the aesthetics perspective. Everyone can appreciate a beautifully landscaped lawn and perfectly cut tree hedges. And I’ve seen some truly gorgeous gardens in clients’ homes in Remuera and St Heliers, and learnt lots about gardening (thank you!).
But you should know that there may not be a direct relationship between value spent and value added. The added value of well-presented landscaping is generally on the overall saleability of a home through increased street appeal/utility.
It is a great way to get potential purchasers through your home on open homes, or to even look at your listing – obviously this assumes you have a stellar marketing plan (again, not correlated with amount spent) and great agents. This is especially critical in a buyer’s market.
So to answer the question on how much you should be spending on landscaping, again it does depend on the overall value level and type of property. The market expectation of the level of landscaping in a high value home is significantly greater than that of a lower value suburb.
For more expensive homes (i.e. more than $2.5 million), landscaping starts becoming important to potential buyers who are looking for the X-factor. If you are cash-constrained and thinking about where to spend your money on, I would generally suggest that landscaping is on the lower end of your priority list.
The style of the property can also dictate the nature of the landscaping and site development utilised. For example if you own a high end character villa, you really want to keep that picket fence (you can repaint or restain it) rather than replace it with something more modern.
Replacing timber joinery in a villa/character bungalow with modern aluminium joinery should also be reconsidered – this typically does not enhance the character and can detract from the value (although it obviously adds better insulation to the home).