Best Way To Boost Your Home's Value Overnight

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ShutterstockBig-ticket landscaping items such as mature trees can not only boost the value of you home but of the neighborhood.
Want to boost the value of your home up to 28 percent overnight? Beef up the landscaping in front of your house. Big-ticket landscaping items -- mature trees, well-formed shrubs and a green lawn -- can increase the value of your home up to 28 percent and decrease the time it sits on the housing market by 10 to 15 percent, says Florida landscape economist John Harris.

Beautiful trees, which add the bulk of the value, not only add to your home's bottom line, but they'll boost the value of your neighbor's houses, too -- and vice versa. A Portland, Oregon, study found that a large-canopy tree, like a maple, planted in the front yard of an urban house increased the sale price on average by nearly $9,000 (the equivalent of adding almost 130 square feet of finished space) and shaved almost two days off its time on the market. Plus, the tree added almost $13,000 to the value of the 7.6 houses lying within the tree's 100-foot radius.

How much are your trees worth?

The National Tree Benefit Calculator on the Arbor Day Foundation site can give you a rough idea of how much your street-side trees can add to your property's value. For instance, a mature red maple planted in McLean, Virginia, would add $123 to the home's property value, while the same tree planted in Beverly Hills, California, would add $107, according to the calculator.

Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service in Indiana has a formula for estimating the dollar value of an individual tree, which includes the tree's size, cost, health and position in the yard.
According to Purdue, a 16-inch diameter silver maple, in good health and form, planted in the yard of a single-family home is worth $2,562.

Of course, trees and other healthy landscaping only add value if they're healthy, well maintained, and fit in with the landscaping on your block.

Fall, by the way, is a good time in most areas of the country -- zones 4 to 8 -- to plant trees, because they don't have to combat heat and drought before they become established.

"During the winter months in many parts of the U.S., roots are still active," Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia told HouseLogic. "The tree starts to acclimatize itself to your soil. So in the spring, it bursts forth with leaves and flowers."
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