Gardens, however large or small, are definitely an asset that will add value to your property, so it’s well worth making an improvement project of your garden or terrace area.
As well as providing a fine setting to enjoy your leisure time this summer, your garden area offers a valuable asset for property owners, and is certainly something to bear in mind if you are likely to put your property on the market. Outdoor space is often a key consideration for many potential buyers on the hunt for the perfect property and a good looking garden or terrace may be just the thing to swing a buyers’ decision in favour of your property.
The seller’s guide
Summer is one of the optimum times for property viewing, so if your house is on the market then it’s wise to ensure your garden looks at its best for any potential buyers.
‘Improving a key asset like a garden or patio makes a lot of sense to me. In cramped urban areas, gardens are cherished,’ explains Phil.
‘As a property finder, I know that potential buyers are rarely keen to go back for a second viewing to a place with a neglected garden—unless it goes with a house that is a bit of a ruin and they think they can make money upgrading both.’
So it’s important to think carefully and realistically about how to plan your garden space, whether you’re selling your home or planning to stay there for another five years.
Here are a few points to consider when planning your new and improved garden:
• Family homes benefit from a lawn where children can play. ‘My confession is that I have fake grass in our garden,’ says Phil. ‘It looks good, is easy to look after and the kids play happily on it.’
• Furniture and accessories are a key consideration in any garden, particularly in the city. Look out for hard-wearing furniture that will stand up to the elements, as well as pieces that will maximise the space you have to work with.
• Infuse your garden with personality and colour by introducing a selection of seasonal plants so there is some colour all year round. ‘A quick and easy-on-the-pocket fix are window boxes and hanging baskets with a selection of bright annuals and trailing plants,’ says Phil.
The buyer’s guide
For many buyers, particularly those with young children, finding a property that includes an enclosed garden or outdoor space is high on the priority list. When you’re viewing properties, it’s worth bearing in mind that a garden facing north, north-west or north-east will catch little sunlight. Likewise, be aware that small backyards may often fall into the shadow of the property itself. Instead, be on the lookout for properties with south, south-west or south-east facing gardens.
Another consideration is the time of day you want to catch the sun in your garden—do you enjoy al fresco breakfasts at the weekend, or would you rather have a glass of wine in a sunny garden when you return home from work?
In prime city locations, a garden becomes a more significant asset. When viewing properties, remember that size is more important than the current condition of the garden—so don’t let a messy garden put you off. It will be easy to clear overgrown weeds once you move in, and landscaping can be relatively inexpensive.
If putting in an offer, check your boundary rights and responsibilities, which are not always as clear-cut as you might expect. It’s also important to remember that if you want to increase the privacy of your garden by planting trees or erecting a higher fence, you’re advised to discuss first with your neighbours.