Lara Hermanson is co-founder and principal at Farmscape
Gardens, one of the largest urban-farming companies in
America. She has overseen the design and installation of
more than 600 urban-farming projects, including farms
at AT&T Park, Levi’s Stadium and the Getty Center.
Hermanson’s company maintains the largest rooftop
gardens in California and provides consulting nationwide
on agrihoods and rooftop-farm design. Reach her at
Planting the Seeds of Prosperity
Smart, sustainable landscaping enhances the value of a property
By Lara Hermanson
Excellent landscaping can increase a proper- ty’s value by as much as 28 percent, accord- ing to a report in the National Association of Realtors’ online publication HouseLogic.
Even good landscaping can boost a property’s value
by 6 percent to 7 percent, the same report notes.
For mortgage originators, that information can be
invaluable in telling the story of a property to a prospective lender. That, in turn, can help the originator
line up the best possible financing deal for a borrower.
The main landscaping ingredients necessary for
boosting a property’s value are trees, native vegetation and edible gardens. Of course, plenty of water
and attention assure the investment produces the
Mature trees are the cornerstone of home sustainability. They cool homes during the summer and offer
a natural wind break during harsh winter months.
In addition, they filter pollutants out of the air.
A single large oak tree in Southern California can add
up to $410 to a home’s overall property value, according to the National Tree Benefit Calculator. A tree-filled
lot can add thousands of dollars to the asking price.
Not all trees are created equal, however. Even a
small silver maple could be worth an impressive
$2,562, HouseLogic reports. In addition, market-listed
properties located on mature tree-lined streets tend
to sell faster.
As droughts have parched vast areas of the country,
many cities have implemented water restrictions on
homeowners that make lawn upkeep difficult, if not
impossible. In response, landscaping trends have
eschewed exotic plants in favor of practical native
vegetation that can thrive in local climates — without
needing a lot of water or maintenance.
Landscaping that includes native shrubs, flowers
and grasses saves money on maintenance and also
increases a home’s value. The effects are multiplied
by combining this native vegetation with an eye-
appealing pathway to a home, solid aesthetic fencing
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