I’ve talked about homeowner’s maintenance responsibilities before and how that affects a homes value when you are ready to sell. But often ignored is the lot outside the home and that can sometimes lead to issues. I’ve mentioned before how it’s important to maintain your home. It can be for your own safety and security that everything works inside your home such as the furnace, water heater, electrical system, etc. But recently we’ve been running into issues with dead and dying trees, and that can lead to some expensive issues if not addressed, especially if they fall on your home.
Newer homes in neighborhoods often have very few if any large trees around them. Sometimes a few are left by the developer to maintain some sort of natural look in easements, common areas, and nature parks, depending on the type of development and requirements by the local zoning laws. But as neighborhoods mature we see landscaping that’s been ignored for way too long.
In homes older than 20 years previous landscaping can often grow beyond what was needed when originally planted (think large bushes hiding the front of the home). The decorative Bradford Pear was very popular back then and now we’re seeing them topple over in windy conditions as they don’t mature well without proper pruning. And any large tree close to the home should be looked at closely to make sure it’s healthy and won’t be falling on the home any time soon. It’s becoming a more common issue that some of the older trees are dying due to extreme weather, changing local conditions, and most commonly bug infestations such as the Ash borer killing Ash trees here in central Indiana.
For the larger mature trees over 30 years old it’s a good idea to have an arborist or qualified tree trimmer examine the tree. Once the trees reach 30 – 40 tall you need to understand what could happen if it topples in a storm. Most of the time you’ll find they recommend a good pruning will help ‘storm proof’ a tree. They thin out the branches and remove unhealthy or dead branches, so the tree will fill in with younger branches and you’ll end up with a safer & shadier tree.
Another item to pay attention to is plants and trees too close to the home. Bushes and thick plantings up against the home can cause moisture and insect issues. Large trees too close to the home can damage the foundation and basement walls with their roots, not to mention clog up underground drainage pipes & septic systems.
So as a seller you’ll want to look at your landscaping before listing your home, so you can remove problem landscaping yourself or have it done professionally (highly recommended for large trees).
As a buyer, be sure and look around at any tall trees. Any more you should assume if there is an Ash tree, or large Bradford Pear around, it will have to be removed in the near future. Sometimes your home inspector will point out landscaping issues but most the time they focus on the house, so you’ll want to do your own scouting as well.
If you have any questions on this topic or any others on buying or selling your home don’t hesitate to contact The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110.