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Can a garden increase property value?

Over the last decade there seems to have been a real enthusiasm for backyard makeovers, boosted perhaps by TV lifestyle programs that inspire and encourage homeowners to give it a go. Is there evidence, however, to show that a garden itself can lift a property’s value?

A new garden can be quite expensive. It’s easy to spend up to $10,000 and beyond on paving, landscaping, planting and reticulating a typical home. This work can result in a greater resale value of the home, but this can vary significantly.

Buyer research has shown that the value of a home is determined in order of importance, by the location; the selling price of neighbouring homes; the age of the home; the number of liveable rooms; the quality of its construction and then any additional lifestyle attributes such as a pool, work shed or perhaps the garden. So, gardens are not high on this list.

Any significant investment in a home renovation or designer garden therefore needs to be carefully planned to maximise the dollar return on your efforts. A garden, for example, should have two objectives. It should make the home more enjoyable for the residents and it should make it more appealing to a potential buyer.

Remember, many buyers make up their minds about a new home when they first see the property from the street. An appealing front garden, where possible, can boost the selling potential of dwellings which allow for this. Although a garden itself will not necessarily add to the value of a property unless it contributes to liveability. For example a home that might have a garden ideal for children could be marketed as a family home, whereas a low maintenance courtyard might be more desirable to retired couples or busy professionals.

On acreage locations the priority for gardens is privacy and street appeal. Often residents in these areas place a high value on private hedges and courtyards where they can entertain, pursue a hobby or relax in the sunshine.

Of course another important consideration is the time you expect to live in a home after the makeover is completed. You may have little regard for the resale value of home at the moment, however it makes sound financial sense to keep this in mind if you are about to embark on a gardening project for your home.

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