When I show properties to clients throughout the Bay Area and come across a backyard or front yard that needs landscaping work, a lot of them mention the idea of Artificial Turf and if it is a good idea. A lot of our clients like the idea of turf due to the fact that it is easy to maintain, the turf looks great (when it is new), and that it will add value to the property. This is somewhat true, but we feel like the cons outweigh these positives.
For instance, artificial turf can obtain heat. When I was taking a GREEN class, one of the realtors in the had a property that he manages and in the front yard it had artificial turf. One day he was called and the person stated that his turf is on fire and had to go to the property immediately. Turns out the sun was reflecting off of the windows and onto the turf and eventually it caught on fire.
Another reason why we do prefer turf is that eventually the turf will fade away and deteriorate. Once it does so, it will just be another item that will be dumped into the landfill.
As far as turf adding value by boosting the sale of your home, or the fact that you do not have to pay maintenance cost if you were to have grass, we feel like there are better alternatives. For example, a drought tolerant landscape that consists of mulch. Mulch absorbs water very efficiently and you can plant fruit trees or flowers into the mulch bed and have a drip irrigation system to save costs on watering them. With the flowers you have a wide variety of color choices that can really bring out your front or backyard. The trees or fruit trees also look very appealing and they can provide shade or fruits for you and your neighbors to enjoy.
In conclusion, I would take these thoughts into consideration when tackling on your next project on how you want to upgrade your land. A yard with pavers and mulch with lots of colorful flowers, trees, and fruit trees is a very attractive alternative to turf. It will not waste as much water compared to grass and it gives you a return with colorful flowers or saves you a few trips to the grocery store.