Gardens may be changing in both size and shape but they are still major assets when it comes to buying and selling property.
Senior property figures say properties with an attractive green bent have a competitive pricing edge over those which don’t – regardless of dimensions.
They add that well-maintained gardens have a feel-good factor that appeal to homebuyers.
Even an apartment with a balcony / terrace and accompanying potted plants or “vertical garden” will be more attractive to potential purchasers than one without those assets.
Jellis Craig director Richard Earle says the humble or not so humble garden is assuming a “greater significance” for many buyers as pressure mounts for major city dwellers in live in higher density accommodation.
“Because of this push (for smaller residences) the private outdoor spaces become even more important and valuable as lifestyle options,” Mr Earle says.
“With a well-maintained garden (in an existing property), it is probably worth more than the cost of getting it commercially done because people buy the perception of lifestyle that the garden offers.”
He adds that gardens perform the same function as they have in the past as places where people can relax in and retreat from the hurly burly of daily life.
“An apartment with a balcony that has a barbecue and a place to grow some herbs or install a vertical garden and potted fruit trees helps to form an outdoor living and entertaining area,” Mr Earle says.
“Without that balcony you don’t have that facility. The same thing applies to a stand-alone home. You have the chance to create a garden which forms part of the indoor-outdoor environment. Here you can entertain friends at home as opposed to going to a park or a venue which may cost a lot of money.”
PRDnationwide Newcastle director Mark Kentwell believes gardens can have “a massive impact on the appeal to a buyer” if you are selling a property.
“They can provide a huge lift to street appeal, which is a key value driver for property alone,” Mr Kentwell says.
“And the right gardens can complement the architecture, enhance the desirable attributes of the location it’s in and even help overcome shortfalls the property has.”
The agent says he recommends that home sellers seek the input of a landscape architect as far out from sale as possible, so that the right planning and planting can be done.
“If a seller doesn’t have that kind of time, I still recommend getting the professionals in,” he says.
“Just like home staging, they can transform a property and provide great return on investment, with the bonus that the effects are lasting on the property and can get better with age.”
Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe says while people “still love their gardens’’ they don’t have the space for them they once did.
Mr Costelloe, whose company constructs residential estates in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, says property owners are choosing different types of garden arrangements as block sizes shrink.
Over the last decade the average lot in outer suburban Melbourne has been trimmed from 600sqm to 448sqm. “Gardens have become more compact, often pot-plant based rather than garden-bed based,” he says.
Some inner city apartment blocks even offer rooftop gardens which are a popular shared space.
Mr Earle describes these city gardens as “a spectacular space in which to entertain in style.”
“And buyers are happy to pay a premium so they can enjoy these spaces,” he says.
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