How improving your garden can improve your property value
Potential home buyers make their first impression on your property from the ‘curb appeal’.
When it comes time to put your home on the market to benefit from the high Auckland house prices, you probably think you need to spend money on the kitchen and bathroom. While there’s no denying that those areas could benefit from love and attention, have you thought about your front and back yards?
The garden area of properties is often the most overlooked when people begin preparing their home for sale. Considering Auckland house prices are on the rise, it’s worth doing everything you can to bring your property up to spec.
In the Husqvarna Global Garden Report 2011, around 5,000 homeowners, valuers and real estate agents from nine different countries discussed how a good garden can dramatically increase house values and sale time.
Tidy and well-planned gardens help to speed up the sale process, but they can also add an unexpected 16 percent increase in value. Director of Napier valuation firm My Valuer, Andrew White mentioned: “Properties often sell within the first ten seconds of viewing, so first impressions are what count.”
“I valued a property in Hawke’s Bay where the owners were hoping to achieve a $250,000 sale price. They were offered $220,000 but declined, instead opting to invest a further $500 into planting and making the outside more attractive. Within a week they sold their home for $255,000.”
While, of course, you’re going to take care of lawn mowing, gardening, getting rid of weeds and planting some instant colour, but you may also like to consider a few beneficial changes. Gardening expert Lee Ann Bramwell knows all about how to put your property in a league of its own. She has shared some helpful tips below.
- Line your driveway with trees for immediate feelings of wealth and status.
- Create an entertainment space. In it, include outdoor furniture, shrubbery, patio pavers, and of course, a barbecue. New Zealanders love entertaining so a pre-made area can tick all the boxes for a prospective purchaser.
- For feelings of safety and intimacy, consider a walled garden. Rather than use blocks and bricks, however, you can get your gardening gloves on and utilise hedges, shrubs, fences, and even pot plants.
- It can be challenging for some homeowners to create vegetable and fruit gardens. But, if you take care of this before you put your home on the market, you may find you have one very relieved and keen owner. If all the hard work is complete, you’ve essentially filled the new owner’s fridge.
Because the Global Garden Report estimates that the average return from your garden investment is 3.1 times the amount of money invested, there’s every reason to consider putting your gardening gloves on and thinking outside the square. We’ve included a few more “out of the box” money-makers below. The sooner you make a change, the sooner you can benefit from those high Auckland house prices.
Painting the Fence
Believe it or not, nothing says “unloved” with as much gusto as a fence that’s peeling, faded, and looking a little sad. Given that your fence is the first thing prospective purchasers will see, it’s not out of the question to make it a priority. While you’re outside gardening, give your fence a clean, let it dry in the sun, then take to it with a paintbrush. The newfound street appeal may just surprise you. Just be careful with your timing of taking care of lawn mowing. The last thing you want is fresh lawn clippings all over your freshly painted fence.
Be an Outsider
For some reason, we can ignore niggly little problems our properties have because we’re so used to them being there. To an outsider, however, that problem may just be a deal-breaker. While you’re gardening, cleaning up, lawn mowing, and getting everything picture-perfect, take a minute to walk around your property as an observer. Would that muddy trail to the clothesline be better as a paved path? Is that pile of bricks from your last DIY project interrupting the flow?
When a buyer spots anything negative about your property, they keep it in the back of their mind. Take the time to put yourself in their shoes and highlight and rectify the problems before your open home. The last thing you want is for muddy grass to stop you getting the Auckland house prices you desire.
Lighting can turn an already serene backyard into a magical, bright, and beautiful entertainment area. By adding solar lights to your garden beds, fairy lights in your social garden, and hanging lights around meeting areas, you will find you will have added a substantial amount of value. Lighting can also turn a “day” garden into one you can use at night. What’s more, it has the added benefit of being a deterrent to thieves. When you highlight those darkened areas of your yard, you are deterring would-be thieves from thinking they can enter your yard unnoticed.
The time of the year that you choose to put your house on the market can make a difference to its overall appeal. In the summer months, you can be out gardening, lawn mowing, painting fences, and keeping on top of general maintenance. In the colder months, however, your gardens can lay dormant and can, unfortunately, appear rather dismal. However, even when the colder weather hits, the Auckland house prices don’t let up. It doesn’t matter when you list; you are bound to find an interested buyer.
However, it does make you think about the changes you can make. If you are planting new shrubs and plants in winter, be careful with the variety you select. Some do not like the cold or frost, which means they can be mid-death as your prospective purchasers arrive for a visit. There are several guides online that can help you to determine what is safe to plant in winter and what you’re best to leave out.
Crewcut understands the value of gardens which is why we spend so much time in them. If you need help getting your garden spick and span, give us a call. We do lawns, hedges, trees, water-blasting, and section tidies. You never know how much money we could make you in the long run!