ways trees benefit homeowners

Trees are an integral part of the environment, providing habitat, cover, cooling effect, and oxygen. However, did you also know that trees benefit homeowners who plant them in their yards? The following 5 points are reasons why homeowners should consider planting another tree, or two, in their yards. 


Landscaping is a large part of curb appeal, and trees can be a large part of landscaping. They’ve been found to have an impact on property value, with mature trees adding to a property’s value (the percentage can vary from 2 to 15% depending on other factors). The study found that the most significant increase will likely be seen in high-income areas compared to less affluent regions. These mature trees give a real character to the property and can help it to stand out amongst the competition on the market.


If choosing the proper trees, trees can offer a green screen or natural privacy barrier from neighbors – allowing for visual blocking and a sound barrier. 


In Lake County, and beyond, runoff and soil erosion can be a real issue with all the water bodies. Although many think these issues are relevant only to developments or agricultural land, this is a misconception.

Storm water management is an essential aspect of urbanization and residential neighborhoods. When rain falls on impervious surfaces, it does not allow the water to be taken into the ground; it then runs into the areas’ streams, creeks, wetlands, lakes, and rivers. This runoff can carry pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorous, metals, and bacteria, to name a few. Although cities typically have storm water management in place to deal with most of these issues, it is vital to be a responsible citizen and attempt to do one’s part in reducing this impact. Trees help to decrease the amount of storm water runoff and pollutants that reach the local waters in a few ways: 


Did you know that trees can help you save money on energy? In fact, properly positioned trees can “reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25%.” Planting trees can quickly become an energy saver with respect to three areas: shading, windbreaks, and dead space. Deciduous trees, or ones that lose their leaves, are ideal for energy conservation as they provide shade during the summer months and minimal cover during the winter; meanwhile, evergreen trees are best for providing a windbreak. But, of course, there are more planting rules than just the type of tree when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck. 

When choosing trees for energy savings, things to keep in mind are insect/disease resistance (especially if planting multiple trees of the same species in one small area), wind tolerance, height and width maturity, and timeline of growing (faster-growing trees are typically weaker than slower growing ones). 


A healthy lawn needs good soil to thrive, and organic matter and water are a significant part of good soil. Trees provide these two aspects by bringing in rainwater, roots breaking up the ground, and leaf litter providing organic matter. So, by planting trees, soil health will be improved, thereby, improving the overall look of your lawn. 


Picking out the right tree depends on what you’re looking for, as different trees can provide different benefits, so if you’re looking for privacy barrier, then you’ll want . . . 

However, if shade and cover is what you’re after, you would do better to choose something like. . .

Some individuals just want a colorful backyard, with flowers or fall leaves, which makes the following ideal choices. . .

Meanwhile, for those who want to attract wildlife to their yard, they’ll want to go for a . . .

No matter the reason for planting trees, it’s an important aspect of homeownership to consider. With early spring here, it’s a great time to consider adding a new tree, or two, to the yard. 

are "green homes" worth it

In today’s society, things are evolving to become more sustainable to reduce carbon footprints and the effects of climate change. This includes the construction and remodeling of homes.  

Some of the new elements included when building “greener” homes are:

The popularity of these initiatives has boomed as people begin to “greenify” their lives due to news on climate change; in addition, environmentally friendly homes cut down on total energy costs. Although there are new construction practices to create more eco-friendly homes, there are also plenty of renovations or improvements that can be done to an existing home to improve their impact on the environment. 

However, the big question is: are “green” homes worth it? To determine an answer to this question, there are a few other questions to consider. . .


Yes, environmentally friendly building practices do make a difference. In fact, new construction is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases, “accounting for almost 40% of emissions globally,” in a 2021 report done by the UN Environment Program. This, alongside using natural resources, could make traditional new construction an environmental threat. 

Certified green projects are environmentally friendly, using fewer resources and recycling protocols. They can also work to create a cleaner building space with the material used being less taxing on the environment. These changes make the home more environmentally friendly and reduce carbon emissions. They can also make the home less expensive to operate due to its energy efficiency, reducing total energy use, which is also eco-friendly. 


Buyers searching for homes do consider environmental impact when searching for a new home; to what extent it boosts resale value is debatable. 

A 2019 study found that homes rated energy efficient sold for 2.7% more than unrated homes. But, of course, one must consider that homes rated energy efficient are likely newer, and newer real estate typically demands higher prices. 

In terms of buyer desires, a survey sent to 1,000 agents in 2022 found that 48% said their buyers prioritize energy efficiency in their home search. They also estimated that the value it adds to a home has increased from $6,556 to $8,246. However, buyers are likely only willing to pay more for these environmentally friendly upgrades when they understand the benefits of it, specifically in regards to cost-savings, and even then, it is not guaranteed. 

Some environmentally-friendly features are considered more desirable amongst buyers, which may boost the potential for consideration of higher sales prices. The following percentages from the National Association of Home Builders show that:

Therefore, these may be the best to consider when pursuing eco-friendly improvements. 

Overall, may it increase resale value? Yes, it very well may, but it also may have no impact. Therefore, if resale value is your only motivating factor for making changes on an environmental level, then it may be best to reconsider. Alternatively, if you are doing it for many reasons like personal choice, energy cost-savings, AND the potential to raise property value, then it is likely a good path for you.


Yes, absolutely! Even if your home may not be built with or have these new environmental advances, it is still possible to create a more eco-friendly home. This doesn’t mean you have to get solar panels, there are plenty of lower costs options available. Some ways to do so include: 

And so many more! Check out this resource for additional ways to make your existing home greener. 

Additionally, if you ever decide to renovate or demolish an older home to build new, consider doing so in an eco-friendly way. Deconstruction, rather than demolition, is a green alternative, sending 85% less materials to landfills. The deconstruction industry is still an up-and-coming one, but a quick Internet search should provide you with some local options in your area.  


Did you know that the state of Wisconsin is going to be offsetting the cost of making your home greener? The estimated launch for the program is sometime in 2023; however, the current plan is as follows. . .

The HOME Rebates program will provide up to $4,000 per household and up to $400,000 to multi-family buildings for energy-efficient retrofits. The rebates will be provided on a sliding scale, dependent on the impact of energy use: 

There is also the home electrification program which will offer the opportunity to improve your home with all costs covered if your income is 80% of the median or below in your area. The cap would be $14,000 per household, with the following breakdown:

The most rebated item is heat pumps, although other things like electric stoves, clothes dryers, and insulation are also eligible.

Are you interested in either of these programs? The best first step is to connect with an energy assessor company that can determine ways to make the home energy efficient and let you know if you qualify for certain rebates. Also, be sure to follow the news to be up-to-date with everything concerning this new and upcoming program.  


Eco-friendly is the future of many industries, and real estate is no exception. “Green” advancements are being made in the building industry and will continue to be made, according to the experts, as it becomes more mainstream.

As to the question, are “green” homes worth it? The answer depends on the viewpoint from which it is being asked. If it is a personal question, and resale is the only consideration of the person, making their home more eco-friendly, may not be worth it for them; if there are other considerations, like environmental impact, it may well be worth it.

However, on a general scale, making homes more green is worth it in the long run, as people seek to reduce carbon footprints and ensure that the World is a cleaner place for the current generations, and future. 


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