When buying a house, don’t overlook the property. And we’re not just talking about aesthetics.
The landscape is responsible for protecting your investment from its single greatest threat: water. And it is this exterior – the slope, soil, trees and plants – that could also cause damage, to the house or to your health.
While home inspectors should evaluate the yard, some consider only a narrow perimeter, and most are neither required nor qualified to assess more complicated engineering or air-quality issues. You can, however, hire a landscape architect or engineer to do a preliminary assessment, at a cost of $150 and up, depending on the size of the yard and the time involved.
“That can bring up all these problems,” says Robert Schweitzer, a landscape architect in New York. “It could save thousands and thousands of dollars later.”
To get an idea of potential problems, click through to see a few examples of landscape hazards.