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Old 10-10-2013, 12:15 PM
 
11 posts, read 24,076 times
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Our small back yard buts up to a loblolly pine forest. We would like to enlarge the yard, and are considering removing a number of the trees and regrading to expand the grass lot. We've pretty much made up our minds to do this out of safety concerns (we don't want trees to come down on the house, and we don't want the pines shedding branches on the kids as they play in the yard).

I am wondering if there is any equity gained from expanding the usable lot, or is this money just lost? It will improve our quality of life, so there is value there. We're going from about 800 sq ft usable lawn to about 2500 sq feet (and yes, plenty of trees will remain in the back lot away from the house, we're not clearcutting).

Also, any tips from people who have taken on a project like this? Since the trees are live, can I use that to negotiate with the tree service (who may sell them for lumber)? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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It won't add any value $ wise, but can help in the curb appeal and sell the home quicker going forward.

Trust me, I just debated this same thing. I spent $4,200 getting 10 loblolly pines cut down (all 70-100 foot and about 2 feet in diameter) all around our house and we are in downtown Durham. I then spent another $3,000 regrading the entire backyard and bringing in fill dirt. Thus, about $8,000 when all is said in done just getting trees cut and the yard built up. Bottom line is I knew that no $ would be coming back to me in the form of equity, but its purely a personal decision to do it. Also, loblolly pine is pretty much worthless in the scheme of "negotiating" with the company to reduce price. I did negotiate from $450 a tree to $420 a tree and it included all stumps being grinded. Go with Gonzalez tree care (highest rating on Angieslist). I got about 8 tree quotes and they were by far the cheapest quickest.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:33 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
15,723 posts, read 23,957,202 times
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We did exactly what you did and expanded our usable lot to 4000 square feet. I believe it is a selling point if people have kids because large, flat, clear lots are pretty rare around where I live in western Cary. The lots are large but this was the only one we looked at where we said "we can do something with this". Kids and the dog love it. And, it just looks nice.

If you plan on staying there and will use it, it's a good decision. I don't think you'll regret it.

I've never heard of negotiating with a tree company for live trees. We used JD Tree Pros and found them very reasonable to take out about 30 trees.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:54 PM
 
2,280 posts, read 2,224,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twingles View Post
We did exactly what you did and expanded our usable lot to 4000 square feet. I believe it is a selling point if people have kids because large, flat, clear lots are pretty rare around where I live in western Cary. The lots are large but this was the only one we looked at where we said "we can do something with this". Kids and the dog love it. And, it just looks nice.

If you plan on staying there and will use it, it's a good decision. I don't think you'll regret it.

I've never heard of negotiating with a tree company for live trees. We used JD Tree Pros and found them very reasonable to take out about 30 trees.

I agree with twingles, I believe it is a selling point to people with kids. We looked at many homes and the lots were a deal breaker in many cases because they lacked usable space and could not be changed. It also sounds like you will enjoy this change and get good use out it which is important.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:32 PM
 
982 posts, read 2,144,497 times
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If a family is more likely to buy your home rather than a single or retired couple or person, yep, people want a "yard for the kids."

I know a lady on our block though who bought her house because it had a huge yard just because that's what she was used to having while her husband and kids were still around. Now she's alone there and says it's "too much work."

Another person who's single purchased in our neighborhood and loves her yard because the back is all natural, with trees, and no mowing needed. This was a smaller one-story home.

So it depends on who would be likely to purchase.

Best,
toodie
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