Portland Area Real Estate Appraisal Discussion

Does Landscaping Increase Home Appraisal Value
June 17th, 2014 12:09 PM

Portland Appraiser Landscape Value

When I call Portland, Oregon homeowners to schedule an appraisal inspection, I usually ask a list of questions about their home, including changes or upgrades that have been made. Homeowners frequently have questions of their own to ask me. One of the most common questions is if landscaping is considered in the appraisal. The quick answer is, “Yes, landscaping adds value to a home and is part of the appraisal value opinion.”

Real estate appraisers typically evaluate only real property and not personal property. Real property includes the land, the things that might be buried in the land, the air above the land (with restrictions), anything permanently fixed to the land, and any rights, interests, or benefits that come with the land. Landscaping is almost always considered real property and is an important part of Maximizing Real Estate Appraisal Value.

Portland Home Appraisal Landscape Value


This Portland home has a deck, lawn, concrete paths, and steps that would be included in the home appraisal value. The potted plants are not part of the appraisal.

Residential real estate appraisers do not typically place a value on personal property. Personal property can usually be moved. Trees, shrubs, and grass in the yard of a home are typically considered real property unless they are potted. Crops on a farm are usually considered personal property. Residential tool sheds are typically considered real property if they have a permanent foundation like a concrete slab or block and pier. Hot tubs that are just sitting on a patio are personal property. Aboveground pools can become real property if they have been made permanent, like building a deck around them. Courts decide when a fixture is considered personal or real property by looking at how it is connected to the property, the intent of the installation, the adaptability of the fixture, and any agreements regarding the fixture (common in commercial leases). To avoid any misunderstandings, appraisers should be clear in the appraisal report about what is included in the opinion of value.

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Posted by Gary Kristensen on June 17th, 2014 12:09 PMPost a Comment

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I always find your comments about Portland, OR real estate appraising thoughtful, concise, and well-written. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Greenburch on June 17th, 2014 4:56 PM
Thank you Frank for your kind comments and support. We love to appraise Portland, Oregon homes and we love to talk about appraisals around Portland.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on June 17th, 2014 9:25 PM
I do not believe building a deck around an above ground pool makes it real property. As I inspected a home that had a deck around the above ground pool and the pool was removed and leaving a pretty much a useless deck. So no matter how fancy the deck is around an above ground pool I do not believe it will ever be considered real property

Posted by Tellez on June 18th, 2014 10:23 AM
Thank you for your comment Dennis. I too am not a fan of decks around above ground pools and I also do not believe there is much value in that. To determine if it is real property, the courts will look at how customized it is to the property (with a deck, it is highly customized), if it can be moved to another property (I do not think it would be cost feasible to move a pool), and if the installer ever had an intent to move the item (I don't think most owners in Portland, Oregon ever plan to move the pool unless it is no longer usable). Given these tests, I think it is clear that a court would decide that it is real property. Even if the aboveground pool with a deck is determined not to be real property, the appraiser would need to analyze if there is any negative value due to removal costs. In the end Dennis, I do not think an appraiser can go wrong if they clearly state if the pool is or is not included in the appraisal value opinion.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on June 18th, 2014 10:41 AM
Great post Gary. It is very helpful in understanding the difference between personal and real property and what adds value! You are the Portland Appraiser Expert, keep it up!

Posted by Jeff Hamric on June 18th, 2014 11:12 AM
Thank you for the comment Jeff. We're trying to be a useful resource for appraisers and people who seek appraisals in Portland, Oregon.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on June 18th, 2014 3:49 PM
Great points Gary, thanks again.

Posted by lucaswarren@comcast.net on June 23rd, 2014 12:24 AM
Thank you for your comments Luke. Homeowners are often unsure about where they can make landscape improvements that will add appraisal value to their home.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on June 23rd, 2014 12:38 AM
While on the subject of landscaping, I recently appraised a property that had been re-landscaped by a reality TV show. It was nice.

Posted by http://www.SacramentoAppraisalBlog.com on July 1st, 2014 3:54 PM
Thank you for the comment Ryan. I bet that was a nice landscape. It is always fun to try and measure the market reaction to such a unique feature.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on July 1st, 2014 4:01 PM
So what if a private botanical garden came in the market? If there were thousands of feet of stonework in hardscaping etc. How would that be appraised ?

Thank you for the comment Natchez. The exotic plants and stone work in botanical gardens would all be considered part of the real property unless they were somehow made mobile and temporary (like if the plants were in posts).

Posted by Gary Kristensen on April 1st, 2015 10:30 AM
This is nice. Interesting post. It will help me soon

Posted by Sandy @ cubao condo on May 10th, 2015 10:38 PM


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