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The Importance of Landscaping and Irrigation

When buying or selling a home, landscaping can be a major factor in the decision-making process. Depending on location, irrigation may be the only method of procuring the water necessary to properly engage in landscaping. Even more, understanding how irrigation impacts landscaping and what rights regarding water are extended to property owners is essential. Not all properties rely on irrigation, but for those that do, it is important to do some homework on how irrigation works in relation to landscaping.

Water Rights
Planning out a well-irrigated landscaping design can be a pain. Not only does the design have to be aesthetically pleasing and functional as an outdoor space, concessions often have to be made in order to implement irrigation properly. Certain species of plant can be quite finicky when it comes to how much or how little water they get, after all, and knowing what water rights a property has can help to avoid plants wilting due to the fact that they just aren't able to get the right amount of water when they need it.

Water rights can vary depending on what side of the United States any given property is on. In the eastern parts of the US where surface water is more plentiful, for example, the Riparian Doctrine is used wherein landowners whose property forms the banks of the water have the right to make reasonable use of the water as it flows across and through their property. Further west the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation is used, where water rights are afforded first to the person who first uses the water, second to the second person who uses the water and so forth, creating a system of seniority.

Knowing Where Your Water Goes
It is incredibly important for anyone looking to purchase or sell a home know exactly where irrigated water is draining. Improperly graded landscapes can lead to damage being caused to the foundation of the home or the gradually seeping away of vital nutrients found in the soil around the home. As vital as irrigation can be to a beautifully landscaped outdoor space, if improperly implemented, it can lead to lasting damage that can have serious adverse effects on the value of a property.

Before purchasing or selling a home, it is wise to have a professional inspector come in to evaluate the property inside and out. This mitigates risks for potential homebuyers by notifying them of any potential long-term issues regarding irrigation and landscaping and can maximize profits for sellers if they know that everything about the property is in good working condition.

Proper Maintenance
While it might seem obvious that improperly maintained landscaping irrigation systems can cause damage to the land and any structures upon it, there are other less obvious ways that a poorly maintained irrigation system can wreak havoc on a home. For instance, if a home has a bad smell emanating from its drains it could be from bacteria growing in a partially clogged irrigation drain somewhere on the property if the systems are connected. While this is a relatively easy fix, avoiding it in the first place can save those trying to sell their homes a huge headache as air quality can be quite important to prospective buyers.

No one wants to purchase an improperly maintained home, especially one that has issues with its plumbing or irrigation as they can, depending on the extent of the damage, be quite costly to repair. Homebuyers don't want to deal with the hassle of making major repairs as soon as they purchase their home.

At the end of the day, a beautifully landscaped home has a much higher resale value than a property without any landscaping. If irrigation is involved with the landscaping of a property, it is important to understand just how it might affect the ability of the property to sell and exactly what water rights are attached to the property itself.