Does real really make a difference?

Do artificial lawns impact home values?

Realtor.com | April 12, 2013 | link

We were recently asked whether artificial lawns impact residential home values, and, based on our research, there have been no studies published in trade or academic journals that offer a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

From a review of articles and reports on this topic, some homeowners and buyers may have stigmas against artificial lawns, but there is actually quite a bit of positive literature out there—though no reliable studies specifically discuss return-on-investment or impact on property values.

Some of the results of our literature search on this topic are found below, along with a list of pros and cons of using artificial lawns, summarized from all the sources we reviewed.

Pros:

  • Many articles discuss the “green” or “eco” perspective of artificial lawns, due to water conservation concerns and regulations in many cities
  • Eliminates need for lawn chemicals and pesticides
  • Low maintenance
  • Color stays green year-round
  • Major improvements in artificial turf look over the last several years

Cons:

  • Heat (Lawn temperatures can be much higher than the air temperature)
  • Some concern that artificial turf can contain lead or other harmful chemicals, though the CPSC and EPA have both conducted studies on artificial turf and found no cause for concern
  • Stigma that artificial lawns are “tacky”
  • Some homeowner associations have bans on artificial lawns
  • Increased risk of injury is commonly discussed in cases where artificial turf is used in sports stadiums
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