The Importance of the Garden
The addition of a garden to your property will not only cause its value to substantially increase; it’ll also make living in it a great deal more pleasant. Even during winter, it’s nice to be able to look out of the window at that little patch of earth you call your own. But during spring and summer, this is especially so – as all of the flowers will begin to bloom, and the trees begin to fill with leaves.
It’s just about approaching the time of year where we’ll see the best from the garden – however humble or showy it may be. If you haven’t already this year, you’ll soon be able to venture outside, spark up the barbeque, and enjoy soaking in the sunshine while surrounded by your own little patch of green and pleasant land.
Let’s take a look at the role a garden might play in securing the best possible price for your property, and how we can ensure its positive influence is maximised.
First Impressions Matter
The majority of those looking for a house take a matter of seconds to decide whether or not they like a house. And it’s entirely probable that the remainder do the same thing, but are embarrassed to admit it. If there’s a pub next door, and it’s visible in the photo you’re using to draw buyers in, then it’s likely that demand for your property will suffer. The same goes if there’s a pest control van parked nearby.
Depending on which research you believe, buyers might knock around a quarter off their offer if they think that the exterior of the property looks dirty. And naturally, the front garden has a large part to play in forming this impression. If it looks a state, then you can expect the offers you receive to be accordingly measly. In some cases, this can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of pounds. It’s therefore well worth spending an afternoon or two ensuring that your garden looks as good as it can.
What About the Driveway?
Being part of your front garden, your driveway will also contribute to the selling potential of the house. Its mere existence will count for something, but if you can get it to look good, you’ll be able to maximise its contribution to your property’s valuable.
In the case of most concrete driveways, there will be little you can do other than making sure it’s clean. But the vehicle you’ve parked on top of it will have a bigger impact than you might think. Something compact, like a mini, tends to work best – presumably because it makes the drive look bigger. By contrast, larger saloons tend to be the least favourably viewed. It probably isn’t worth swapping out your car entirely for the purposes of boosting your property’s value – as the science behind how you’d do so is, to put it mildly, imprecise. But if your car is a real eyesore, it might be worth removing it to somewhere out-of-the-way before your would-be buyers come around for a viewing.
Where Shall I Start With Improvements?
If you’re going to be making changes to your garden prior to selling your home, then you’ll want to obviously concentrate your efforts where they’ll yield the best possible results. This means paying attention to what other people find most appealing rather than just following your own personal tastes.
Flowers tend to work excellently. Get some potted plants and arrange them tastefully around the path leading up to your front door. Hanging baskets are another quick way to inject some aesthetic oomph into your exterior.
But the one thing that’s crucial to securing that sale at the right price is the lawn. A well-kept law will create a good impression for your home; an untidy, weed-infested one will do the opposite. Mow the lawn and keep on top of it. Remove weeds, either with a chemical weed killer like roundup or with your bare hands. If the weed is in the centre of the lawn, it’s almost always better to pull it up yourself. Don’t let the grass shavings pile up on your lawn, as they’ll prevent the sunlight from reaching the grass underneath. Overgrown grass looks unsightly, but dying, brown grass looks hideous. Be sure to remove your grass cuttings to your back garden – you can leave it on the compost heap, where it’ll be able to provide your garden with much-needed nutrition in the future.
Aside from the actual plants that grow in your garden, you’ll also want to make sure the furniture surrounding it is up to scratch. If you’ve got any broken or chipped plant pots, or the path is filthy, cracked and has moss sprouting from the centre, then be sure to address it. Likewise, if your front door has seen better days, you might consider giving it a new coat of paint.
If you’ve got small children in the house, you’ll also want to be sure that they haven’t left any toys or other pieces of rubbish on the lawn. If your house leads directly onto the street, you’ll also want to take a moment to inspect the front of your garden for litter. Do the same thing for the pavement immediately in front of your house, too.
Making improvements to your garden can often prove an excellent way of boosting the value of your property. But as with any form of home improvement, you’ll want to balance the work you’ll need to put in against any benefit. Mowing the lawn is easily done, and will often yield a great return. Re-installing the garden path might require considerably more work. It’s worth performing a miniature risk assessment, acting as a would-be buyer as you enter the property for the first time. Take note of any obvious problems you have with the garden, and list them according to the work that’ll be needed to correct them. Tackle the problems at the top of the list while ignoring those nearer the bottom, and you’ll be able to spend your efforts where they’ll really count.