The Independent reported earlier this week that having a garden increases the value of a property by 10%, which is definitely worth having.
Apparently the UK’s housing shortage, the lack of new homes with gardens and the popularity of home entertaining – probably driven by people’s need to save money – are to blame. As a result there’s increasingly “intense competition” for houses with usable outdoor space.
In the example the newspaper cited, a Crouch End one bedroom garden flat valued at £360,000 had eight offers and sold for £50,000 over the guide price.
If you’re fortune enough to have a garden and are thinking about moving, how can you make the most of the opportunity and maximise its financial impact?
How to make your garden look great… and sell your home for more
You might not be very good at gardening, or just hate it. Here are some simple ways to make it look its best and generate the most £££££££ from your home.
- Let someone who loves gardening loose on it, a friend or family member. Pay them a reasonable amount and, if they’re anything like me, they’ll have the time of their lives getting it into shape.
- Hire a garden expert. There are loads in our area, we see their vans all the time. Mostly self-employed or small businesses, they’ll take your outdoor space by storm and make it look as good as it can ready for viewings. Taking the Independent’s article into account, the cost will probably be more than compensated for by the increase in your home’s value.
- Broke? You might be able to negotiate a deal where you pay the gardening firm once you’ve sold your house. Why not ask? They can only say no.
- Tidy up. You don’t need to be a gardening genius. But everyone can get their tidying up act together. Mow the lawn and trim the edge so it’s neat and tidy. Dig the beds over. Get rid of any dead stuff, junk and old toys. Paint the shed a bright colour. Sweep up dead leaves. You get the picture.
- Garden furniture? It looks great, and because it implies you spend lots of lovely leisurely time chilling in your garden, it’ll catch people’s imagination. Get some free second hand garden furniture from somewhere like the Freecycle website. Paint, varnish or stain it so it looks smart.
- Tatty wooden fences? Get a DIYer to fix them then you can either stain or paint them so they look as good as they possibly can. Tip: a coloured exterior stain or paint, for example aubergine or a deep purple, contrasts beautifully with the green and looks bang on-trend. And ‘heritage’ colours are also very popular right now, especially sludgy greens, greys and browns. Another tip: you can also paint brick walls with exterior emulsion. It looks fantastic.
- Plant a few good things. And make them evergreen so they look good at any time of year. You don’t need to plant the whole garden to perfection. Just add a handful of big, cheap evergreen plants to give a splash of green and liven the place up, highlighting the potential of your garden to buyers.
- Use tubs and planters. You can fill them with flowers to make your garden look fresh and colourful, and take them with you when you move. Get containers free via somewhere like Freecycle, or ask friends and family. You can even use old tyres, boxes and boots, the innards of tumble driers… we’ve talked about how to make garden planters before in this blog – here’s a link.
- Leave the weeds if they’re pretty. There’s actually no such thing as a weed. A weed is simply a non-cultivated plant, something we haven’t messed with, and local wildlife need weeds. Green gardening is a growing trend so if they’re pretty, leave your weeds. Contain them, maybe keeping them in neat patches instead of everywhere, and voila, a wildlife-friendly garden.
- If it’s rendered and tatty, paint the back of your house… at least to head height, so it complements the lovely, neat, tidy, green, colourful space you’ve created.