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In order to answer this question, we need our audience to keep in mind that landscaping should be viewed in the same light as any form of art: how does one quantify the value of art? The value is not in the sum of its parts, but in the experience it creates with those who interact with it.

We didn’t mean to get too philosophical on you, but water features truly are outdoor, living, moving, and significant pieces of art, so unfortunately, it is hard to discuss the value of landscaping in a black-and-white matter. However, we have done our best to collect research and data that can elaborate upon the true value of water features.

The value of a water feature is extremely dependent on the socio-economic status of a neighborhood. John Bredemeyer, spokesman for The Appraisal Institute, says that landscaping doesn’t necessarily add significant value to a home. In a higher-end neighborhood, landscaping is a norm, and therefore would simply put the home at the top of the area’s price range. On the lower end of the housing market, however, water features may look like extra work for potential buyers and an added maintenance expense. Some families would rather have interactive outdoor spaces, like a play set, rather than a water feature.

Many may not know that water features can be a great investment for families as children can still interact and play with a water feature the way they could in a swimming pool. If anything, a water feature provides children with the opportunity to appreciate and interact with nature more so than a swimming pool, especially in the Midwest where there are limited days to go swimming.

The housing market slump meant that homeowners are seeking ways to make their homes stand out to increase resale value, and water features are a way to add an original flair of creativity to a home. Landscaping is also a less expensive alternative to enhancing a backyard.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value report 2007,” a deck addition on average equates to more than $10,300 and a sun-room addition around $70,000. Water features are less expensive while also providing a serene environment that is both enjoyable for a family home and can add value in its originality.

Like art, and like any other form of consumerism, it’s dependent on the buyer and what they look for in their product. However, if you’re not thinking about selling your home just yet or are not currently concerned with the value of your property, invest in yourself and your well being. Spending time in the presence of nature can boost self-esteem and mood, as well as many other benefits.

Does a water feature and landscaping add value to a home? It depends on who you’re asking. Does it add value to your life and well-being? Absolutely. Now that’s the kind of prioritizing we like to see.