By John Voket
Curb appeal is one thing, but healthy green lawns also contribute to the amount of green homeowners might command when selling a home.
A recent post from Grass Seed USA—a national coalition of grass seed farmers and academic turf specialists (weseedamerica.com)—reveals how homes and homeowners in neighborhoods flush with lush lawns enjoy significant benefits, as do their communities.
According to the site:
- Homeowners with lawns spend more time in their yards and interact more with neighbors - a lush green lawn provides the perfect location for casual community gatherings.
- For communities adjacent to woodland or brush areas, green grass cover can serve as a firebreak. Due to its low fuel value, turfgrass retards wildfires. Lawns also serve as defensible spaces from which firefighters work to protect homes.
- Turfgrass effectively absorbs rainfall, decreasing storm flow and flooding and protecting homes from flooding. The excellent water retention contributes to groundwater recharge, keeps pollutants from reaching waterways and reduces the need for man-made water-control structures in urban areas. Grass cover is also an extremely efficient method of stabilizing soil and preventing erosion.
- A well-maintained lawn can increase a home’s value by up to 15 percent – providing a boost to the entire neighborhood. Potential buyers find lawns aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable to use and environmentally friendly. According to a Gallup survey, attractive landscaping can provide a 100–200 percent return on investment – much higher than the return provided by many other home improvement projects.
Well-maintained grass also reduces crime and discourages littering. In 2009, teams from the Michigan State University turfgrass science program began planting and maintaining grass around abandoned homes and in vacant lots and parks in Flint, Michigan.
After three years of the program, residents were asked, among other things, whether they felt safer in the neighborhood. And 47 percent strongly agreed, 21 percent agreed and only 5 percent disagreed.
More than two-thirds of the Flint residents surveyed also agreed that there was less trash in the neighborhood as a result of the newly planted and maintained lawns.