Natural landscaping and home values

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Hi everybody,
We live near the downtown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, though actually, it's an old "suburb." Back in the 1920's, the lots were platted as "farmettes" 50' wide and 250' deep, the idea being that everyone would have a produce garden.
Over the years most people eventually converted their yards to nothing but lawn, but when we purchased the home 20 years ago, we decided to convert half of the backyard to an urban habitat with natural landscaping. The result has been not only a lovely wooded and secluded lot full of flowers from early spring through fall, but we haven't needed to water or use any chemicals. What little lawn we have (because we've kept it mowed away from neighbors' properties) is only a 30 minute task with a reel mower.
The problem is, we now have the home up for sale and what to us has been an asset is a liability in the eyes of prospective buyers! They want us to knock off thousands of dollars from our asking price for their cost of "cutting down those trees and clearing out all those weeds in back." They want the big rectangular lawn.
Has anyone else experienced this situation and if so, what did you do? Are there any networks we could plug into where we might find an appreciative owner for this beautiful landscape? We would gladly knock off a few thousand to someone who said "This is lovely! I want to keep it." But we've already rejected an offer from somebody who wants to destroy it. (Yes, I know...we're crazy.)
Thanks for any advice or suggestions you might have to offer.
:-) Tommy
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Well the short answer for me is I intend to live here till I die so does better half. We plant for our needs and design interests. If you like designing your environment and consider it fun than do it . But you seem to be considering a move. You have your reasons.
Below site may address some of your issues. Thorny.
<http://www.plant-care.com/blog/110/landscaping-plants-and-property-value s/>
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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<http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=xfkeMi%2BJ48Mh27Mfh9K75w%3D%3D
Meant to post this earlier.
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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I'm no expert on the matter, but it might be possible to put some sort of conservation easement on a portion of your lot. Just as gas or mineral rights can be sold seperately from actual land ownership, so can development rights, logging rights etc. You would be reducing the value of your property somewhat, but the entire reduction in value can be written off of your income taxes.
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On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 06:30:42 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

We have this problem as well. Our backyard is a native wildlife habitat. If you are patient, you will find the person who loves what you've done and will buy the house. Just be patient. Put up a cheese wedge and a life sized Favre! My husand is from Manitowoc. If it wasn't so cold up there we'd move up in a second. We are Packer lovers. Tidy up your natural area and wait. Someone will love it.
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IMO the right buyer has simply not seen the home yet. I sold last year in a very tough South Florida market, and the entire front yard was mulched and planted- photos available http://www.cearbhaill.com /
I have NO doubt that my home sold on curb appeal alone- my buyers just fell in love with it and had to have it. It couldn't have been the interior of the home as it still had its original avocado green and harvest gold bathrooms! Many areas needed work, some substantial.
I had spoken to several people about the situation prior to putting the home on the market, and the general consensus was that some folks will find a non-lawn yard a liability and some folks will love it. I just happened to luck into a couple who loved it after only 30 days on the market, and they paid full asking.
I realize that this is little help to someone sitting wondering why their home won't sell. But you asked for experiences and this is mine :)
Good luck- someone will find it charming, I'm sure.
--
Toni
Hills of Kentucky
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On 7/27/2008 6:30 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This past May, we visited Winterthur in Delaware. For about 150 years, this was an estate of the Du Pont family. See <http://www.winterthur.org/ .
The gardens were outstanding. Our tour guide described them as natural gardens but then went on to explain the term "natural". The gardens were planned and planted, not left to nature. They were planted to resemble what nature might do but contained a significant number of non-native plants. The gardens are maintained, including pruning and occasionally replacing plants.
If you allowed nature to plant your garden, you should at least groom it. Trim shrubs to open a vista. Remove dead tree limbs. Add some plants that are well adapted to your climate and that are compatible with the natives (e.g., ferns, spring bulbs). Provide paths through it, perhaps paved with bark chips, decomposed granite, or recycled concrete (broken up sidewalks) as stepping stones. A bench within the native plants would be a nice place to sit and listen to birds singing.
A natural garden can be much more attractive than a weed lot. Some even resemble classic English perennial country gardens.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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[cuts]
Provide paths through it,

Great advice! We already have some seating areas in our gardens, and if ours goes on the market someday, I'll try to remember to keep the bench areas very tidy to enhance the feeling that it's usable space rather than used-up space.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
visit my temperate gardening website:
http://www.paghat.com
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wrote:

That's the craziest thing, buyers wanting you to pay in advance for their purported landscaping... sounds like a cheap shot to me, what if after they close they decide to leave it as is... then you're a sucker. Sell it as is at the price you set. And why are you concerned with what the next owners do, what if they said they want you to pay to repaint your freshly painted house some other color, are you in any way obligated, of course not, and they probably wont paint, they'll put the money towards a vacation or some such. If you're selling the place move on and don't look back... if you truly were so concerned about your landscaping you'd not be selling, yours is a "control from the grave" mentality.
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On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 06:30:42 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

Very few people appreciate a "natural" lot, but it only takes one buyer. Improve street appeal and brighten your front door with color. This is a bad time to sell so it might take more time and/or a lower asking price. It's in your best interest to set emotions aside. Good luck.
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(paghat) wrote:

If you move to a *real* rural woodland setting you won't need to landscape, you'll have the real deal... any parking out will look absolutely fake. And unless you first build a sturdy fenced area most any plant you bring will be devoured by deer (and rabbits).
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wrote:

I live in the middle of the city and deer have destroyed over 50% of what I planted. The deer killed the neighbors fruit trees by peeling off the bark. I either use the electric fence or cover the plant with chicken wire. In my case it doesn't look like there is any difference living in the city or country.
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wrote:

Mother Nature has perhaps had enough of our encroachment and is showing her bitchy side. Pushback, blowback, whatever you want.
We deal, they deal. Nature is tooth and nail.
Cheers and Smiles Charlie
Murphy's Laws
1. If anything can go wrong, it will. 2. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the first one to go wrong. 3. If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway. 4. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop. 5. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. 6. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. 7. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. 8. Mother nature is a bitch.
And furthermore........
"In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything is going right ... something is wrong."
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In which city do you live that there's a deer population. I doubt there are deer in most populous cities (to survive deer need many acres of forest and meadow to browse), sounds more like the outskirts of a small rural town/village.
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wrote:

Bullshit.
Heard of Burnsville. MN? Heard of horned urban rats? Heard of google?
Quit being an ass, Sheldon.
Charlie
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The cemetery here in Bremerton isn't "downtown" but pretty close, smack dab in the middle of the first level of housing neighborhoods along a major thoroughfare. Deer and elk graze there. They tramp through dense housing neighborhoods going and coming. We just cross our fingers they never decide to use our neighborhood as their corridor.
A friend who did once upon a time live in the "country" now lives in the densely populated suburbs. She never moved; the suburbs just came & surrounded her. There's a lot more conflict with the deer than there used to be, as they persist in using their old paths even when the paths have become the front yards of house beside house beside house. Some of these deer can actually climb trees, too. Now that there are fewer really wild pickins in the area, Pauline says the deer get up in her apple trees to get fruit from higher than can be reached from the ground.
-paghat the ratgirl
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visit my temperate gardening website:
http://www.paghat.com
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wrote:

Oak Ridge, TN, pop. 28,000. On average one car and one deer collide daily in our town. We have "mule deer," the ones with the huge ears. Some will get within a few feet of a human and they have been known to charge if provoked. Hunting season is too short and not enough people are eating deer for Thanksgiving.
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I seriously doubt those deer are wandering about the downtown portion of your town... I live within a town of only 3,500, but I'm located almost four miles from the town center, there are plenty of deer where I live and technically I live in town but one would never know it. Very occasionally deer will wander within a quarter mile of the downtown center... and even in the yards of the village homes the rabbits will wreak havoc on shrubs, perennials, annuals, and vegetable gardens unless well fenced. When I moved here I brought many of the plants I had growing in my surburban yard, Within a a week of planting them here every one was eaten roots and all... I had a nice hosta collection I brought, deer and rabbits love hosta salad... the only evergreen they don't seem to eat is spruce, they just love juniper. I learned the hard way, within a few days those critters ate all my original landscape plantings. Now unless I'm willing to fence it I don't plant it.
Yesterday, a typical afternoon scene in my yard:
http://i34.tinypic.com/ngpuab.jpg
Plant it and they will come, don't fence it and they will eat it:
http://i34.tinypic.com/2cmm1aa.jpg
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Sheldon wrote:

eating part especially. I want the critters, so I'd better be prepared for unintended consequences.
--
Jean B.

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it depends on the whole local ecosystem. i have a huge garden, plus beds of annuals & perennials around the house. i don't have *any* problem with deer eating any of my plants. yes, there are deer. i do my best to keep them out of the pasture because they are an alternate host to meningeal worm (fatal to ruminants), but there are lots of them in my woodlot & swamp. i allow one neighbor to hunt deer on my property & the local coyote population also keeps the numbers down. deer only get to be a big problem where Bambi-lovers don't allow hunting & there are no other natural predators. Sheldon lives near Albany. city folk tend to be anti-hunting without understanding that population explosions & the resulting deaths by starvation and disease are a lot more horrific than being culled by hunters. if you really like the 'critters' & you own a good size property, do consider allowing hunting. as a landowner, you *can* choose who to allow to hunt. you don't have to make it a free-for-all or nothing. post your property, but mention to locals that you are open to hunting if asked first. it's not too much to request a chunk of the take either. mmmm, venison.
lee
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Last night while sitting in my chair
I pinged a host that wasn't there
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