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As a homeowner hoping to sell your house—today or in the future—you have probably thought about the ways to increase your property value, as well as the features that actually bring the value down. Curb appeal is an obvious factor, but it turns out that a property with trees, specifically, may be especially attractive to prospective buyers. Homes that have trees may carry 3.5%–15% more value than those that don’t.
If you’ve got a lot of trees in your yard, or if you’re considering updating your landscaping, here’s what you should know about the potential effects on your home value.
Which trees increase home value?
There is a formula to appraise trees, but trees that increase home value may depend on what’s desirable to a specific buyer. It’s also important to note that the “value” of a tree, which is based on the type, size, and condition, does not translate directly into an increase in list price.
That said, there are a handful of species that may be especially “valuable.”
- Live oak
- White oak
- Magnolia cucumbertree
- Sugar maple
- Red maple
- Southern magnolia
- Black tupelo
- Black cherry
Ultimately, a healthy tree adds more value than a sick one. A mature tree is generally more valuable than a sapling. A tree that thrives in your local climate is probably more desirable than a species not meant for local conditions. The Arbor Day Foundation has a tool to help you find trees native to your area.
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There are other ways in which trees can boost the appeal of your home. Well-placed trees can reduce energy bills anywhere from 3–12% over time in hotter areas, and trees may improve air quality. Trees also just look nice—though of course there are exceptions.
Can trees do more harm than good?
Not all trees are good trees, at least when it comes to buyer appeal. Here are a few that could hurt instead of help:
- Trees that require a lot of care or upkeep, including added yard maintenance or cleaning of sap, needles, or fruit
- Trees with roots that could grow into and damage underground pipes or home foundations
- Trees that are planted too close to buildings or roofs
- Trees that are poorly managed, unhealthy, or dying
- Invasive species of trees
While you or a future owner can certainly cut down unwanted trees, it’ll cost you: anywhere from $200 to $2,000 per tree, depending on the size. If you’re going to plant anything new, be aware of the above to save yourself the headache and cash down the road.
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