Occasional gardener: ‘The garden fails’ will reduce the value of your property

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ALTHOUGH recent news reports indicate property prices in the South Down are on the rise, I fear falling into negative equity – even when the mortgage is paid off. The bad news came via email last week, a press release coinciding with the vernal equinox, warning me of dark days ahead. Titled “Garden Failures That Can Knock THOUSANDS of Value From Your Home,” it lists garden features that will put buyers off, as well as those that will seemingly make them stare at their own grandma.

The experts calling the so-called garden errors had no obvious horticultural association and were in fact employed by the building and renovation materials company Roofing Megastore, which struck me as akin to a chiropractor offering advice on dental care. Nevertheless, I was intrigued and compelled to continue reading.

The press release revealed the 15 ‘garden failures’ which could collectively reduce the value of your home by around £84,000 – many of which can be fixed for free or for very little investment. The results are taken from Roofing Megastore’s Garden Trends Report, a research based on responses from over 2,000 potential buyers, who were asked which garden trends and features they value most, and which that would encourage them to reduce their offer on a potential property.

According to the report, structural elements like a damaged garden wall could see offers slashed by up to £6,000, while broken fences could slash a home’s resale value by £5,400. Others were just as obvious, such as a damaged terrace (-£5,615), litter or debris in the garden (-£5,580) and a cracked or damaged patio (-£5,808).

Interestingly, the negative effect on house prices of each of these poorly maintained features outweighed the negative impact of having a north-facing garden (-£5,323), something that no building work would remedy – unless you choose to build a garden yourself. roof garden.

What has troubled me the most, however, is that there are a number of things in my own garden that I’m completely happy with that could cause my property value to plummet. It looks like my beloved pond – five years in the making and arguably the centerpiece of the garden – would slash the price of the house by over £5,000. Meanwhile, my hedgehog-friendly log pile and dead plant matter left over winter to provide food for birds and shelter for hibernating insects could erase around £6,000 from the value of the property. Likewise, no lawn – a growing trend reflected regularly in this column – would see offers slashed by up to £7,000. Cumulatively, it looks like you could pay a heavy price by encouraging biodiversity and making nature happy in your garden.

At the other end of the scale, the research also looked at the garden additions most valued by potential buyers.

‘Flexible living and socializing at home’ tops the 10 most popular garden upgrades, with a conservatory – +£9,550 – being the most desirable, alongside a garden room that can be used as an office, which can increase the value of your home by around £8,000. With the notable exception of an orangery (+£7k), all of the favorite outdoor features, from a hot tub to an outdoor bar, had little to do with gardening and plants, and more to do with living. hard landscaping. Even astroturfing, considered a mortal sin by many green-fingered enthusiasts, apparently increases the value of your home by over £5,000.

It would seem that softness and barren landscaping are what buyers are looking for rather than biodiversity and greenery. But luckily, I love my nature-themed garden so much that I don’t plan on moving.

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