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Can improving your garden increase your house price?

Due to the property market being quieter than usual in recent years and an increase in spending more time at home, a lot of people are putting more effort onto improving their gardens to impress their guests with luxury features such as hot tubs, top of the range in-built barbecues and imposing patios. Research has shown though that not only does this make your home more attractive to your guests, but also to prospective buyers.

Vendors are seeking to draw out the maximum value possible for their property by marketing their garden in tip top condition, fully maintained and filled with expensive items. The extra value added to a property with a garden in an excellent condition is estimated to be up to £10,000. Compare this to the value a loft extension can add to a property, which is generally around £25,000, the same amount it would cost to install one.

It is estimated that around 10% of Britons own a hot tubs, and more than 22% have a trampoline. According to statistics, the top priority of two fifths of home seekers is an appropriately sized garden for their needs, and wouldn’t even consider a home with a too small garden.

An estate agent from Knight Frank, Damian Gray, explained that aesthetically pleasing homes and gardens always sell well: “The pretty house with a decent south-facing garden is always in great demand. Whether it’s a cottage or a country house, buyers will always ask about the garden. It’s always near the top of their list.”

So what can you do to get the best of out of your garden? If you don’t want to go splashing the cash on big investments such as hot tubs, just keep the basics in order: pruning overgrown foliage, keeping the space wide, open and free of weeds, and making the appearance of patios and seating areas comfortable. Folding doors opening onto a patio are sought after features, as are barbecues and interesting layouts and features that are well maintained. If you’ve got more to spend, add a small water feature such as a cascading waterfall rather than a plain pond. But do beware though as there are a few warnings; Philip Mount, from Churchill Estates, says: “The secret is to get potential homeowners to imagine themselves enjoying the extra room. Big investments such as swimming pools may put people off because of maintenance costs.”

This is one final warning too: beware of the shady house sellers who strip their gardens bare when they move out. It might have been your dream home with the perfect garden filled with carefully maintained and nurtured plants before, but it may be empty beds when you move in. Many gardeners will feel sentimental about the plants and the hard work they’ve put in and will not want to leave them behind.

Image courtesy of Alexander van Loon.

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