Wed | Dec 2, 2020

Growth & Jobs | Fix up! - Mortgage sales head says landscaping increases the value of one’s property

Published:Tuesday | August 6, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Repainting your home, installing granite or marble countertops, or upgrading a bathroom are some of the ways homeowners can add value to their property.

However, Petal James, head of mortgage sales at JN Bank, says many homeowners sometimes overlook having a well-maintained garden with trees and shrubs, which also help to increase property value.

“A garden beautifies a home and makes it look more appealing. When someone is purchasing a house, he or she looks at everything. What’s on the outside of house, is the first thing that a purchaser or valuator will see, therefore, a well-maintained landscape helps to create that first impression of a home that is well taken care of. A house with a nice landscape is a stark contrast to a house without one,” James stressed.

She further elaborated that if all homeowners in a community establish a garden, then it will not only improve the aesthetic appeal of their respective house, but also the overall appearance of the community.

Errol Moore, quality director of VB Williams Realty, agrees with James.

“The aesthetics and curb appeal naturally affect the property value in a positive way,” he concurred.

He outlined that some homeowners go to the extent of adding a lawn, decorative interlocking brick walkways, lighting, water features, gazebos and lawn furniture.

“All these inputs involve money and careful planning, which will bring value to the home,” he added.

Other useful purposes of shrubs

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, plants and shrubs serve other useful purposes to homeowners as Locksley Waites Snr, agronomist for the National Fruit Tree Crop Programme at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) points out.

 

“Ornamental plants such as poorman’s orchids, yellow poui, and bottle brush provide shade,thus helping to keep the house and yard cool. Plant roots hold the soil together to prevent soil erosion and help to increase water infiltration in the soil. Plants such as bougainvillea, durranta gold, Texas sage, aralia and croton, can be used as hedges to border property. Ornamentals that have thorns such as bougainvillea, agarve and opuntiacan be used to keep out animals and humans.”

 

Waites Snr further added that having fruit trees can become a source of income to homeowners, a point that Colin Burton, a retired agriculturist from Portmore, St Catherine, readily relates to. Anaseberry tree growing in his yard has turned out to be a major income earner for him, over the past five years.

 

“I make more than $40,000 every year selling naseberries, part of which I use to pay my property tax annually,” Mr Burton disclosed.

 

“When the tree started to bear, I gave the fruits away and a lot went to waste. However, when I discovered how much they were being sold for in the supermarket, I decided to start selling some of them.”

 

Burton said the tree produces two crops annually, and that the only care he provides for it is occasional watering.

 

Setting up a garden requires careful thought such as the types of plants that will be used.

 

Sheldon Jackson, managing director of Exceptional Maintenance, a Kingston-based landscaping company, advises that a good garden starts with having quality soil. He further outlined five basic gardening tips for homeowners who are starting a garden, or who already has an established one:

 

Basic Gardening Tips

- Add top soil to existing soil. Alternatively, Macro Grow nutrient, which can be purchased from a farm store may be used.

- When purchasing plants, find out if they need full sun or shade. Also, find out what kind of soil they grow best in.

- Read labels of sprays and plant food carefully and follow the instructions.

- Don’t water plants at nights as the extended moisture during the night will encourage insects. Instead, water plants early in morning

- Don’t plant trees, such as Ficus near to the house as they have the potential to get big resulting the roots can damage the walls. Also they pose a danger to the house during a hurricane.