Installing artificial grass is a little like Mondays: you either love them or hate them. Few people hold the middle ground.
The supporters of synthetic turf cite many attractions — water conservation, annual cost-savings, low maintenance (more free time at weekends) and so on. Those who consider artificial grass worth the money may also point to the potential payback in increased home value.
But those who are anti-artificial grass often highlight the increased upfront costs and claim that it actually hurts the value of a home.
So, what’s the true story here? Does artificial grass increase home value — or lower it?
It may depend on your location as well as your level of interest in the fine art of gardening…
Home value and artificial grass
What influences home value the most?
According to OpenDoor, there are eight key factors influencing home value:
- Comparable neighborhood sales
- Home size and usable space
- Age and condition
- Upgrades and updates
- The local market
- Economic indicators
- Interest rates
Despite what some synthetic turf companies might have you believe, there’s nothing there about artificial grass!
Whether you have a natural grass or artificial grass lawn is unlikely to be a “deal breaker” when it comes to selling your home. That said, it should be a factor you consider before going ahead with an installation…
Why does artificial grass matter to your home’s value?
When potential buyers weigh up the pros and cons of buying a home, many of the major details between properties may be quite similar: location, home size/usable space, age and condition, etc.But home buyers are often making one of the biggest (if not the biggest) financial decisions of their lives. They want to get it right. So, the fine details of a home can influence the decision of whether or not to buy— and the curb appeal of your home cannot be ignored. That’s where your artificial grass front lawn or backyard swimming pool area can pay good dividends.
Home improvement TV show host Bob Vila says this about curb appeal:
“Never underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Not only does your home exterior give a first impression to guests, it can also influence real estate transactions by attracting potential buyers.”
- An overgrown lawn
- Decrepit decorations
- Bad lighting
- Shoddy garage doors
- Ugly garbage bins
- Dirty windows
- Dying trees
- Unkempt birdbaths
- Clogged gutters
- Unsightly front door
Leading the way with curb appeal is the appearance of the lawn. A well-kept front lawn is attractive and vibrant — and potential homebuyers assume that the inside of the home is equally as well-kept. This can exert a positive influence on the home’s potential value.
The American Society of Landscape Architects claims that professional landscaping can add up to 15 percent to 20 percent to the resale value of a home. While landscaping usually involves a lot more than a well-kept lawn, this is another good indication of the importance of curb appeal.
If you’re a keen gardener, who loves to get out there at weekends to mow the lawn, trim and prune the hedges and trees, tend to the flower beds and so on, you’ll probably take great pride in how your natural grass lawn looks. More power to you!
If, on the other hand, you’re like many homeowners who make every excuse under the sun NOT to crank up the mower, the attractions of artificial lawn turf might seem hard to ignore. Artificial turf makes your immaculate lawn look like you spent hours tending to its every need. The truth is you achieved this with next to no effort!
If a non-gardening-lover is a potential buyer of your home, the perceived value of a home with a pristine lawn that requires very little maintenance may be more attractive than another similar home with a real grass lawn that requires a lot of love and attention. Its perceived value effectively goes up.
Benefits of artificial grass (summary)
If you can communicate the many benefits of synthetic turf to buyers, they too will see the power of artificial grass:
- Easy to maintain: only occasional brushing and debris clearing means more free time
- Saves water: an occasional sprinkle with the hose is all that’s necessary
- Saves monthly garden maintenance costs: no mowing, fertilizing, weedkilling, aerating, etc.
- Durability: artificial grass can last well more than 15 years
- Pet-friendly: dogs can run around, play and even pee on antimicrobial artificial grass
- Kid-safe: artificial grass is ideal for kids’ play areas
- Swimming-pool-ready: pool turf can handle areas that need excellent drainage
The argument for artificial grass in Texas
Home hunters in Texas and the surrounding states may view the question of whether artificial grass increases home value a little differently than those in other areas of the country.
According to the United State Department of Agriculture, the following states experience the most severe drought conditions in the country:
- New Mexico
The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) has reported recently that more than 32 percent of land in western states was “classified as experiencing extreme or exceptional drought” and that “droughts in the summer of 2021 exceeded all past droughts in the region since 2000”.
So, the situation seems to be getting worse. Texans and those in bordering states need to take this seriously as water shortages and water use restrictions continue to bite.
The resale value of properties in Texas that are impacted by persistent drought conditions — or might be in the future — can, therefore, be boosted by installing artificial grass.
Water conservation in Texas
Real grass sucks water resources in our climate. The EPA estimates that around one-third of residential water is used for lawn irrigation nationwide (over nine billion gallons of water a day).
The standard advice for natural lawn irrigation. is as follows:
“Water your yard early in the morning and soak the ground thoroughly so that it penetrates to a depth of at least 3″. While the amount of water needed will vary depending on your climate, the weather, and the time of year; the general rule of thumb is to make sure your lawn receives 1″ of water to your lawn per week during dry conditions.”
Keeping your lawn well-watered requires 0.623 gallons per square foot. For a 1,000-square-foot lawn, that’s 623 gallons! Without this water, the lawn will start looking very thirsty, dry out, go brown and die:
The same area of artificial grass requires less than a tenth of this amount each watering — and water is only required for cleaning purposes (so, much less frequently). If it doesn’t get the water, it still looks quite pristine.
The water-saving advantages of an artificial lawn are, therefore, clear for most Texans who are buying properties.
Before deciding whether to switch to fake grass, however, you’ll need to consider the cost of artificial grass. The economics of real grass and artificial grass are different: with real grass, the bulk of the costs come post-installation with all of the maintenance required while artificial grass has a significantly higher installation cost but usually pays for itself within a few years of very low maintenance.
Golf lovers in Texas
Texas is ranked the eighteenth most “golfy” state in the country — with many enthusiasts heading out to the courses each weekend. Here’s what golf.com says:
“Few states are so drenched in golf lore…the tournament pedigree is rock solid, from the Byron Nelson, in Dallas, to the Colonial, in Fort Worth, to old-timey events in Houston and San Antonio. Texas is the only southern state to host the U.S. Open, Ryder Cup and PGA.”
An artificial backyard putting green saves many golf lovers the trip to the local course to work on their short game. If a fellow golf lover sees your pristine backyard putting green and chipping area, the curb appeal of your home goes through the roof… and likewise the perceived value of your home.
When will artificial grass hurt your home value?
An appropriate quality artificial grass professionally installed and project managed from start to finish by a reliable artificial turf supplier in Texas should increase the value of your home — it will look immaculate for years with barely any maintenance.
Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. A poor-quality synthetic turf installed as a DIY job is likely to look like an eyesore within a few short years. The curb appeal probably nosedives more than with an unkempt real grass backyard lawn — which can, at least, be mown into shape.
So, the key to increasing home value from an artificial turf installation is to work with the right people from the start…
How to install artificial grass that increases home value
Installing artificial grass simply to boost home value before you sell it is not necessary. If the new buyers want to go ahead, leave it to them to arrange.
But if you’re confident that you’ll be in your home for many years yet, biting the bullet and switching from natural grass to artificial grass can save time, work, and money — as well as water — in the long run. It should be seen as a very worthwhile investment.
At Artificial Grass Pros, we install only high-quality artificial grass that looks immaculate for many years and is ideal for the climate around Austin. We can look after your project from start to finish. Reach out to our helpful team by calling 512.296.1500 and we’ll be happy to provide a quote.