Make Your Garden Work For Your Home
It is often said that spending a lot of money on a garden can over capitalise a home and that money is better spent indoors than out. Is this the case?
It is true that many home owners get carried away with garden fever and don’t ask themselves if the money spent on landscaping will be realised down the track when they come to sell. The amount allocated to landscape design and planting must be in proportion to the overall value of the home or it can easily add cost that doesn’t add enough re-sale value. Home owners need to be aware of the percentage cost of the overall value of the home that landscaping represents; obviously there is a big difference in the amount that should be allocated to landscaping in a house worth $300,000 and a house worth $3,000,000!
Astute home owners soon work out that a drab and unimaginative garden will detract from the value of a home because it will not give buyers the feeling they want to live there. Even buyers who don’t think they care about gardens and gardening are attracted to the overall picture of a property where house and garden complement each other so that the whole is more harmonious.
Driving around any town or city, it’s not hard to come across square front gardens with rectangular lawns, borders and straight driveways leading to a garage. Naturally the houses wrapped by such gardens look equally ordinary and uninteresting. Unimaginative landscaping such as this still costs money but rarely adds that ‘wow’ factor when buyers start coming through.
What is often lacking in such gardens is a sense of mystery - one of the main elements of good design that makes even a small garden more appealing to buyers. It’s not a good idea to design the garden yourself – unless you have appropriate skills. A keen gardener with a green thumb is not the same as someone who understands how to use plants in an architectural way to design and furnish a space with a sense of harmony and mystery.
If you are already lucky enough to have a beautifully designed garden, the thing to remember when presenting it for sale, is to make it look as if it requires no effort. Paradoxically, this effect is often achieved with a considerable amount of effort. Unkempt and weed-filled gardens draw attention to how much work may be involved in looking after them and therefore look the opposite of low maintenance. After all, if a garden is too hard for the current owner to present well at an important time like when it is being marketed then buyers will concentrate on how much work is involved and perhaps move on to a property that looks easy just because the work has already been done and the seams are not showing.