Landscape and Real Estate in Los Cabos

by christopher anderson

I have worked as a landscape architect and contractor for over 26 years both here in Los Cabos and in the United States. This is my professional perspective on how landscaping can influence your property and possibly get that sale you are looking for.  We all know the “term curb” appeal, but, do you know the impact a home’s landscaping has on curb appeal?  It affects the first impression a perspective buyer has of the home. Landscaping is the first thing that potential buyers see, and it reflects well or poorly in comparison to the other homes in the neighborhood. “Good landscaping can add up to 28% to overall home value”, says landscape economist John Harris.  Even taking you’re landscaping from “good” to “excellent,” in terms of design, condition, and placement, can add 6% to 7% to a home’s value, according to a Clemson University study. Homes on the market featuring quality landscaping, on average sell faster and for more money than similar properties with unkempt landscaping. The landscaping can be a general reflection of the homeowner’s attention to care of the home overall.

The landscaping of a property is the easiest and most cost effective way to improve the exterior look of a property.  Plants are cheap and installing them is even cheaper. But, the first step is to clean up and beautify the existing landscaping.  Nothing is worse than arriving to a property to show you’re a potential buyer and having there be a huge dead tree or bush in the front yard.  My suggestions: Prune up or remove all dead or dying vegetation from the property. This alone can greatly improve the look of a home.  Watering is very important.  Plants need water.  Los Cabos is a desert environment and there are very few plants that will thrive without regular watering.  If there is not an irrigation system be sure the plants are getting watered regularly. (A drip system is an effective way to water in desert environments). Another challenge is weeds. During the spring and into the summer weeds grow prolifically in this area. Regular landscape maintenance is required. But, this is all information most of you are familiar with.

How can we use landscaping to help sell that home or property that gets looked at often but just can’t seem to be sold?  Researcher Alex X. Niemiera with the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech found that a $150,000 home with no landscaping could fetch an additional $8,300 to $19,000 by adding a landscape with color and large plants. Money Magazine did an extensive investigation into the value that landscaping can add to a property and determined that well-done landscaping enhances sales appeal, increasing the actual speed of the sale.  A Clemson University study found that homes with "excellent" landscaping can expect a sale price about six to seven per cent higher than an equivalent house with "good" landscaping.  

There are three essentials in landscape that impact a home’s curb appeal: Trees, flowering plants and landscape lighting.  

Trees, besides looking great, provide needed shade, soil retention and clean air. Here in Los Cabos, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.  Everything from palm trees to native to spectacularly flowering species. Though prices will vary from nursery to nursery, I will bet that you will be surprised how little it will cost to plant a tree in front of your property and how much of a change it will create.

Flowering plants give color and warmth to the property. Nothing is more impressive than a bougainvillea in full bloom when you introduce a home to a client. Though we live in a desert climate, there are a variety of flowering plants that do very well here and add a beautiful tropical feel to the property.  Some plants even bloom year round like oleander, hibiscus and red bird of paradise.

 Outdoor landscape lighting consistently tops the National Association of Home Builders list of most wanted outdoor features in its annual “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey: 41% rate it “essential;” 49% say it is “desirable.” Tasteful lighting, paints your home at night, highlighting your other great landscaping selections and directing guests to your home’s focal point ‐ the front door.  It protects against slips and falls.  It makes a property a more difficult target for intruders and thieves. It makes your home feel “homier”.  Soft lighting on an entryway or just a front stoop feels warm and inviting.

 Landscaping for a property is often forgotten, overlooked or misused when it comes to real estate sales. A well place tree or flowering shrub along with focal point outdoor lighting can make a world of difference. In my opinion it is one of the simplest and most cost effective ways to improve upon and give your property that needed edge over the competition.

 By Christopher Anderson, Agent at Baja Realty and Investment and Licensed Landscape Architect. Contact Christopher at (624) 139-1112, Fax - (624) 139-1112,,