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Does a garden really add value to a home?

Tuesday 21st May 2013

Homebuyers may appreciate well-maintained or mature landscaping, but those who do not expect the home's value to increase because of it, may wish to think again.

As Summer fast approaches and the prospect of the 100th Chelsea Flower Show just around the corner, attention is swiftly turning to the attraction of a London garden.

According to Marsh & Parsons research, two comparable properties in the same area could vary greatly in price due to the impact of a garden or an outside terrace. A well situated, sunny facing garden can significantly boost the price of a London property, compared to one without, by as much as 20% or more. As the weather improves the importance of a garden or alfresco space such as roof terraces, balconies and gardens becomes an essential “must-have” for buyers.

The company placed Notting Hill under the microscope, and found that striking discrepancies exist between property types, specifically those which feature attractive outdoor space.

For instance, the estate agency found a two-bedroom property with an outdoor patio garden is £30,000 more expensive than another comparable two bedroom property in the same building. That represents a premium of around 5% for a property of relatively the same size, on the same floor and in the same building and primarily due to one having a private balcony.

Marsh & Parsons' research suggests that outside space can boost the value of a property by as much as 10%, especially in affluent areas, such as Chelsea where residential property prices are enjoying the effects of a buoyant market. 

In other popular areas of London, gardens and roof terraces can even add a 30% premium. In Fulham for example, two properties in the exact same neighbourhood (both by Lillie road) see a vast difference in pricing.

The company compared a two-bedroom property costing £470,000to the same sized property with a roof terrace, the price soars up to £650,000. That equates to a substantial 38% premium for the property which includes a roof terrace.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: “Gardens and roof terraces can instantly add value to a property. It is more difficult to sell a house without a garden, especially in the middle of a pleasant summer. As the sun beams across London, and people warm to the prospect of BBQs and outdoor socialising, people treat a garden as an essential part of a Londoners lifestyle.”

The TrustMark’s Top 10 Tips to creating a dream garden:

1. Ask around and get recommendations from friends, neighbours, colleagues or family. This is often the easiest and safest way to find a good landscaper.

2. Always get written quotes – and if you cannot find a recommended landscaper then it would be advisable to get two or more quotes.

3. When comparing the written quotes, make sure that you are comparing like for like and ask for a break down to ensure that everything you want is covered.

4. Always use a written contract for your project as it offers you protection if anything does go wrong and always agree in writing any changes to the original cost that occurs during the work.

5. Ask the landscaper for an example of a recent local job and go and have a look at it before making a decision. Don’t just look at the quality of the work, have a chat with the homeowners and see whether the job was done within budget.

6. Make sure the landscaper has adequate public liability insurance to protect your property in case of damage (all APL members must have this as a condition of membership).

7. Check out who will actually be doing the work, does the landscaper sub contract?

8. Before the work starts, make sure you have read and understood their terms and conditions and ensure that the job has a time schedule so that you know when it will start and when you can expect it to be finished.9

9. Make sure that the landscaper is either working to an agreed design or that you have supplied him with sufficient images of what you want, so that you know what the end result will look like.

10. Consider using an APL member or TrustMark registered landscaper. Registered members of the APL comply with the government endorsed TrustMark scheme and must meet eleven strict quality standards before membership is granted, details can be found at www.landscaper.org.uk, which has a search facility to find a landscaper in your area.

              

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