For many home owners across the country, the garden is either their sanctuary or an afterthought. Either way, what many don’t realise is that a garden can add anywhere between 5-20% to the value of a property. Over the last few years, as house prices have rocketed, property seekers appetite for well-maintained gardens has surged. With many wanting an outdoor space which they can effectively utilise for various personal preferences such as relaxation, landscaping and storage.
With existing research showing that 37% of British people are spending more time in the garden than they did five years ago, Sellhousefast.uk decided to consult experts for their opinion on how homeowners can make the most of their outdoor space to maximise the value of their property.
Sarah Paterson an Estate Agent from London commented: “In the past, gardens where really undervalued by homeowners and property seekers alike. Now, more than ever, there is a real emphasis on them from both sides. Instead of neglecting them, homeowners are beginning to take real pride in the layout and presentation of their gardens. Property seekers are also putting the same emphasis on the garden as they do with other rooms. The garden is becoming an integral consideration and one that will continue to grow in prominence”.
Neil Walter an Estate Agent from Bristol commented: “Over the last three years, I would say prospective tenants and buyers have become really fascinated with gardens. Often when we conduct viewings, I find them wanting to visualise themselves in the garden and carefully thinking about how they would harness the environment around them. I would say it has become an extension of a living space, as many have varying aspirations as to how they would like to use the garden space. For homeowners looking to sell or rent, I always recommend keeping their garden renovations and refurbishments at a moderate level as potential buyers/renters always have their own vision as to how they want things to look”.
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Chris Francis a Freelance Garden Designer from London commented: “If you’re making changes to your garden for the purpose of adding value to the property price, then my opinion would be to not go overboard. Have some grass and a sufficient amount of plants for it to provide a natural feel. Also, include some lighting to provide visibility at night. Additionally, make sure any wonky or damaged tiles are replaced to provide a safe walking surface. If you have a shed, then make sure it’s clean and not damaged from the inside as well as outside. Such subtle checks and changes will go a long way towards creating a welcoming outdoor environment for all occasions”.
Lauren Pascal a Garden Designer from Leeds commented: “When homeowners hire me to improve the appearance of their garden with the intention of boosting the value of their property, I always ask them what they ideally want. More often, than not, it includes fancy water features and a sea of extravagant flowers. Whilst understandable, the expense required to have such things exceeds their willingness to spend. My recommendation to them is to be cost-effect by making some light rather than drastic changes, depending on the current state of their garden. Spending tons to have a lavish garden does not always correlate to an increase in property value. If a garden is scattered to the point where most of the space is occupied, then it makes it very difficult for potential occupiers to envision themselves there enjoying the outdoors. It might not be an obvious realisation but small changes can have a more significant impact than major transformations”.
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Nina Hayward a Property Expert and Investor from London commented: “Instead of splashing out on flashy additions, think about what modern property seekers really want from an adequate outdoor space. They crave privacy and safety, so invest in sturdy fences. Additionally, extra storage space is always helpful, so a shed can be an understated asset to any garden. Paving would also be ideal, if the intended target for the property is families, as it would provide the perfect platform for outdoor furniture and fixtures. Make sure any changes or additions to the garden are modest, as anything that requires a lot of maintenance could hinder potential occupiers and more detrimentally, the valuation price.”
Neil Agarwal a Property Consultant from Manchester commented: “It doesn’t have to be a complex process, strive for a tidy garden. I believe presentation is the underrated key. Get rid of litter, remove dead plants, cut unappealing shrubs, mow overgrown grass, add colourful plants, replace damaged fences, get comfortable garden furniture and refurbish an ageing shed. Small actions such as these can have the same meaningful impact towards a property’s value as a dozen large-scale changes”.
The underlying message from all the respective professionals and experts we contacted for this research seem to unilaterally agree that ‘less is more’ when it comes to having a garden makeover. The majority believe that you don’t to break the bank to rejuvenate a garden. Instead, sensible adjustments and thought-out additions can add a great deal of value to a property.
Robby Du Toit, Managing Director of Sellhousefast.uk commented: “This research is certainly fascinating. With so much focus on perfecting the interior of properties, what many forgot to consider is the outside. A poorly kept and unmaintained garden can negatively affect a buyer/renter’s perception of a property and in the process, decreases its actual value. The fantastic takeaway from the consulted professionals and experts in this research is that massive injections of money are not always required to rectify the condition and appearance of a garden”.