Trees and property value

Don’t forget your trees.

Order and care sells and adds value to your house. Disorder and lack of care reduces the value of your property. That’s a universal principal and it applies to trees and property value too.

Increasing the value of your home with a de-cluttering, rubbish clearance and coat of paint is not a new idea. Property makeover TV programmes and house buying and selling programmes run 24/7 – you can’t avoid them, and they tend to repeat the same easily doable things over and over.

What gets less coverage is the potential value impact of the trees on your property.

So, before you put your house on the market, or hunt for your next house here’s our list of tree related benefits and problems to consider.

Sometimes you need to plant, Sometimes you need to cut back. Sometimes you need to use trees to show off other features.

How can trees increase your home and property value?

Any estate agent will tell you that healthy, well maintained and pruned trees planted in the right place will contribute to:

  • Uniqueness – a street or housing estate with rows of identical houses turns your house into a commodity, that’s not good – it’s hard to stand out. Original, well planted, sculpted and maintained trees can catch the eye of potential buyers and make your property memorable – that’s what you want.
  • Privacy – we all need a bit of seclusion now and again. A house with built in privacy, provided by trees, is worth more to many buyers – consider this when you’re buying or selling.
  • Curb appeal – a tree in bloom in the spring can be an elegant head turner. It might be the tipping point for the decision to buy your house at the asking price. In that case the return on investment for simply planting a tree can be enormous.
  • Versatility through container trees– changing the layout of a garden to suit a prospective buyer by using container trees is a simple way to tailor the appeal of your house. Container trees are low maintenance and it’s easy to store exotic species away over the winter.

How can trees decrease your home and property value?

This is where what should be an asset becomes a liability. Ouch.

Trees blocking sunlight

This is probably the most common house hunter’s complaint about un-maintained trees.  Large trees in south facing gardens can rob us of the little sunshine we get in the UK. Dense leaf coverage is as effective at blocking out light as a brick wall.

Overstocking with trees and plants can put buyers off – less is more

Most estate agents report that space outdoors, especially in towns and cities, is at a premium for 2 main reasons:

  • Family homes function best when there’s room for children to get outside, with space to play on the lawn and room for adults to enjoy the barbecue
  • Gardening maintenance is just not everybody’s cup of tea!

The bottom line is that less is usually more.

Un-maintained trees

It’s your responsibility (and common sense) to make sure that your trees are the right size and condition for the property. Tall un-pruned trees tend to make a mess with falling leaves, twigs and branches – not many house buyers will be excited at that prospect.

Older buyers particularly are not looking for extra work in retirement – keep the potential work to a minimum if you want to attract this part of the market.

Trees and insurance premiums

Subsidence, proximity to houses, damage from falling trees and potential damage to the soil balance from heave are all issues that can be covered under the assumptions of an insurance policy. They may also be treated as separate questions when you apply for home insurance.

Insurance usually covers subsidence and heave but premiums in the future may reflect past problems. The main message is to check with your insurer first and make sure you use a reputable tree surgeon, especially if you plan to remove mature trees. Savvy home buyers are aware of all this and may reject any property with a potential for liability.

If you’re a seller then you know what to expect.

Nightmare neighbours

Overgrown hedges and nuisance trees from neighbouring gardens or adjoining properties are a big turn off for prospective buyers. The message is, sort it out with your neighbours if you can, before you come to market.

So, how much is a tree worth?

Money doesn’t really grow on trees but a well maintained healthy tree stock brings financial benefits, can increase property value and can reduce uncertainty with house insurance.

Before you put your house on the market, or before you consider buying your next property, it might be a good idea to check the condition of the tree stock.

A bit of simple tidying and pruning could make the difference between a sale or not. Likewise, understanding the long term implications of potentially nuisance trees could help you move on in your house hunt to a more attractive property.

As qualified tree surgeons we can help with the practical side of things and, importantly, experience has given us an eye for what buyers like. Get in touch with Ashley Tree Services for a consultation.