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California Home Prices Taking Hit As Lawns Turn Brown During Drought

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California drought is hitting home prices as a growing number of brown lawns are making properties less attractive.

A broker told CBS13 it can cost around $200 a month to keep even a small yard green during the drought. As a result, he's seeing more sellers give up on watering, causing them to take a hit on the sale price.

The front yards of some homes waiting for buyers in Sacramento look like they haven't seen water in months.

"When the house was listed, it was a beautiful green lawn, and this is what's happened because they can't afford to water," said Shaun Alston with Eagle Realty. "Previously we would talk about staging and painting and all of that. Now we are talking about the cost of watering lawns."

He says the seller either has to pay the higher than normal cost of irrigation, or lose money on the sale of the home.

"They are having to take a major reduction," he said. "This particular house behind me took a $9,000 reduction because it needs to have all new landscaping."

He says he's even had buyers back out completely.

"When we got in disclosures, the cost of what they were paying to irrigate, it became an issue for the buyer who actually cancelled the property and ended up buying a property with a drought-tolerant landscape," he said.

Even with a housing market on the rise, he says the drought is dropping prices, and he believes it will only get worse as we head deeper into the summer months.

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