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How to Raise Home's Value: Plant Some Shrubs or Trees

September 13, 1987

What's the easiest way to add 15% to the value of your own home? According to a recent Gallup Poll, your best bet may be to forget about adding a swimming pool and plant a few shrubs, instead.

Buyers of new and previously owned homes alike believe that attractive landscaping adds nearly 15% to the value of their property, the survey says.

But don't bother with bonsai; old-fashioned shade trees, common shrubs and top-quality lawns are the most sensible landscaping investment for a suburban home, says Jamie Gibbs, a landscape architect and editor-in-chief of Landscaping Homes & Gardens magazine.

Although garden flowers are nice, Gibbs adds, trees and shrubs are better because flowers are perceived as being difficult to maintain and costly to replace. And, as any 8-year-old will attest, you just can't hang a tire-swing on a daffodil.

Homeowners who are thinking of moving should be willing to get some dirt under their nails to make the property move faster and look better.

"There is nothing more unappealing than overgrown shrubbery directly in front of a house, particularly if foliage blocks a window," he says. Owners adverse to yard work should pay to have it done, he adds, because front-yard vegetation "is prominent enough to set the tone for an entire home and landscape."

Ross Daniels Inc., a company that sells gardening equipment and supplies, offers a free booklet on tree and shrub care. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Landscaping, 386 Park Avenue South, suite 508, New York, NY 10016.

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