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.
- 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
- 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
Reports & Papers
- A Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds, (US Environmental Protection Agency, Nov. 2009).
- CPSC Staff Analysis and Assessment of Synthetic Turf “Grass Blades”, (US Consumer Products Safety Commission, 2008).
- See the Synthetic Turf: Health and Environmental Impacts page on Penn State’s Center for Sport Surface Research website for many scientific and state-focused studies on health and environmental concerns relating to artificial turf.
- Can You Tell When Grass Is Fake? (Smart Money, March 19, 2010).
- On Greener Turf, (Dwell, March 30, 2009).
- Just How Green Is Faux Grass? (Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2008).
- Suburbanites Are Installing Faux Grass That Fools Pets, (Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2001).