How to Evaluate Trees before Purchasing a Home

How to Evaluate Trees before Purchasing a Home

When it comes to purchasing new homes, most people usually just focus on the house or building itself. What you miss by doing this, however, is the opportunity to get a more accurate appraisal of the property. That’s because a property’s surrounding landscape can either increase or decrease its market value. Any required tree and landscape maintenance (eg. pruning, root barrier, etc.), meanwhile, can also play a role in how valuable a property actually is.
 
Trees, after all, are more than just decorative pieces. More often than not, their as much a part of the property as the house itself. Trees also provide several benefits that make them valuable additions to any property, especially if it’s a home. Large trees, for example, are remarkable energy savers, providing effective shade and cooling effects during the day. Not to mention trees can also provide a more homely and relaxing atmosphere.
 
Evaluating the value of trees, therefore, is a valuable skill when you’re canvassing for a new home. If you’re not familiar with how to do this effectively, then start by considering the following key factors.
 

Type / Species

As great as trees are to most properties, the fact remains that not all trees provide the same influence on a property’s market value. Some trees are simply more valuable than others, at least when it comes to making a property more appealing to buyers.
 
Those that mature into large, sprawling trees are generally valued more than smaller trees, mostly because they have a higher potential to provide shade to the property. These types of trees, often referred to as shade trees, include species like Acacia, Elm, and Oak that are renowned for their size and shading capabilities. These trees also normally take decades to grow to full maturity, making them even more highly regarded than other tree species.
 
Some trees are also inherently more (or less) valuable than others when it comes to its market value. Trees that look beautiful or feature quality hardwoods, for example, are naturally valued higher than those that look “ordinary” or are difficult to maintain.
 
The key here is knowing exactly what type of trees are present in the property and determining how its type affects its overall value.
 

Condition

Another key factor to consider is the condition of the trees. In practically every case, you want trees that are strong, healthy, and well-maintained. Trees that look sickly or have incurred substantial damage from storms or other elements are obviously less valuable than healthy ones. After all, no matter how valuable a tree’s species may be, it won’t matter much if the tree itself isn’t healthy.
 
When you’re evaluating the condition of trees on a property, you should also determine any required maintenance work to keep it healthy.
 
Are there any major issues with the trees’ health? Are they high-maintenance trees that require constant care by an arborist? Are any sick or damaged trees worth saving? Or is it easier (and cheaper) to start from scratch by removing them and planting new ones? Questions like these will help you get a better and more accurate appraisal of the trees’ true value to the property.
 

Location

Unlike in the wild, the location of trees in a property plays a major role in its overall value. This has to do with its aesthetic and functional benefits more than anything else.
 
Well-placed trees, for example, can frame a house or building in a way that makes it look more appealing. A line of trees, meanwhile, can also be used as a natural guide for a pathway or even as a boundary. Conversely, trees that obstruct a structure’s design and aesthetics may be a liability more than an asset. Some poorly placed trees may also need to be relocated or require a root barrier or intensive pruning to fix troublesome parts.
 
The location of a tree, meanwhile, also affects its function. The benefit of tree shade, for example, largely depends on where it’s located. No matter how much shade a tree may provide, you won’t benefit as much from it if it’s set in an area that you hardly access or located far away from the house itself. That’s why properties with plenty of trees in its immediate surroundings are typically valued higher than those whose trees are scattered at the edges.
 
Remember, however, that these key factors are merely starting points for evaluating the value of trees in properties. You also have to consider your personal preferences and how you envision the property to be. No matter how much value a tree may be perceived to have, its true value ultimately depends on your needs.
 
You should also keep in mind that there’s more to the value of trees than how they look today or what they are right now. Much of the value of trees, in fact, stems from their potential benefits. In the same way, however, you also have to consider any activities that you have to implement in the future. These could include activities like a doing a root barrier, introducing a pruning routine, or, in extreme cases, even transplanting trees. By analysing any required maintenance activities both now and in the future, you’re able to weigh its pros and cons better.
 
As always, don’t be afraid to consult with an arborist or any tree specialist if you need help. A qualified and knowledgeable professional will be able to help you determine its true market value, providing valuable information that can influence your decision on the property. Read this blog post for further information on the difference between arborists and tree loppers in Brisbane.
 
If you have any questions about evaluating trees in properties, feel free to contact us to enquire with one of our specialists using the form below.

 







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