Gardens Devaluing Your Property: Garden Projects or Features that May Devalue Your Property!

devaluing gardens

There are many factors that can affect the value of a property, but do you know the garden projects or features that could be devaluing your home and deterring buyers? As we move closer to the summer months and eventually warmer evenings many home owners take advantage of their outside space and consider possible improvements they could make!

From garden fences to outdated decor, the elements of our outdoor spaces can easily put off prospective buyers, and according to previous research, house hunters take just 10 seconds to decide if they like a property, so your curb side appeal and garden design could make or break your house sale.

1. Artificial Grass

Artificial grass may be a low-maintenance option, but it can also be off-putting to potential buyers – especially to those with young children or pets. Not all artificial grasses are created equally either and vary enormously in quality, durability and feel.

Replacing it with natural grass turf can cost around £150 per square metre, so many buyers prefer to avoid it. Depending upon the size of your garden and lawns this can be a significant cost to any potential buyer.

2. Water Features

Large water features could also be negatively affecting your property value in some cases by thousands of pounds. While they are great for attracting bees, butterflies and birds, some buyers see water features as more work to maintain.

They can also take up a significant area in a garden, require on going maintenance leading to on going costs, and for most families they are seen as a safety issue especially for those with young children.

3. Broken Fence Panels or Damaged, Cracked Perimeter Walls

Fencing doesn’t come cheap, which is why most house-hunters look for a property with one that has well maintained fences around the property. With the increasing costs associated to timber replacing or even just repairing a stretch of fencing can easily eat into a maintenance and repair budget when you move in. Even other plastic or recycled materials are expensive with supply issues sometimes leading to delays as well as budget challenges.

Fences or walls add a sense of privacy to the home, keeping children safe and wild animals in or out. Without them, your garden doesn’t feel like the place of seclusion it should be.

4. Swimming Pools or Hot Tubs

While these are favoured by many in the summer months, not everyone loves them.  They can take up valuable size, need regular care and can lead to expensive repair costs.  Some buyers are often reluctant to purchase a property with a swimming pool as they can cost an estimated £2,737 to maintain every year. It can also be off-putting for those with young children as they feel it can be unsafe for little ones running around.

5. Poor Garden Design and Choice of Planting

Deciding upon the layout of your garden, the planting scheme and management of your garden will be led by a number of factors: low maintenance, high impact or family friendly. Some plants however are often seen as problem causers and although initially can look attractive can lead to huge issues further down the road.

  • Privet – It will grow rapidly (up to 20 ft tall) and crowds out a garden fast. This plant then prevents sunlight to enter the space as well as the garden floor.
  • Rhododendrons – When they’re in bloom in springtime, these shrubs often look amazing, and rhododendrons are one of the best shrubs for privacy. However, as soon as the flowers start to fall, the leaves add little to most gardens. And some species, including rhododendron and mountain laurel, can be very invasive if not pruned properly, and even cause structural damage and infestation.
  • Ivy – Climbing Ivy can appear attractive especially with its variegated leaves, however it can cause damage to fencing, other plants and even brickwork! If you already have climbing plants in your garden regular maintenance is essential to keep on top of them and prevent potentially expensive damage that will then eat into the value of your property.
  • Japanese Knotweed – Although hopefully not a planting choice this invasive plant can cause serious damage to your property and cost you thousands of pounds to effectively clear from your grounds safely. In some cases if detected in a survey or valuation many mortgage providers will not lend on the property either!

6. Too Many Trees

Though the idea of living among big, beautiful trees can seem idyllic, a forest-like landscape might actually detract from your home’s value.

Too many trees close to the footprint of the house put you at risk for storm damage, while a lack of open space is a drawback for families with young children. Other things to avoid are dead or dying trees and poorly placed ones, either too close to the home or to other trees, shrubbery, or fences.

As trees grow both their roots and their trunks can cause significate damage to foundations and even push over fences or walls.

7. Rotting or Failing Decking or Patio

A nice decking area or patio can certainly can add to the value of your home and create an ideal outdoors entertainment area, but it can easily go the other way if regularly well maintained.

Rotting or broken wood on a deck can make it unattractive and unsafe. Improper sealing and waterproofing can result in rot, which might later cause mould and pose issues during an inspection.

A cracked patio slab also can be an eyesore, especially if weeds start sprouting through the openings, and uneven surfaces can be a tripping hazard.

Ensuring that these areas are regularly cleaned as well as maintained is also a good idea and can be a quick win for an instant visual affect!

8. Big Budget Custom Features

Large custom-built projects like a pizza oven or built-in fire pit, though maybe enticing, can cost a lot and will probably not give you a healthy return on your investment.

Spending a large percentage of your make over budget on one specific feature can also leave you with an incomplete landscaping project. Plus, the more niche your project is, the less universal appeal it will have to buyers at a later date.

9. Poor Drainage

Any garden can look a bit swampy after heavy rains, but if you notice standing water on a regular basis, it might be time to consider drainage solutions.

Another thing to watch for is if downspouts on the house discharge too close to the foundation (less than 10 feet). This water can travel along the foundation of the house, get trapped, and then when the freeze/thaw cycle happens lead to structural cracks in the foundation wall.

10. Outbuildings in Need of TLC

From garages to sheds or old out of use greenhouses if in the wrong position, the wrong size or in poor condition they can instantly create an impression for all the wrong reasons. Cracked glass, rotting wood or flat roofs can all lead to problems and look unsightly.

If you are thinking about permanent buildings carefully consider their future use should you move. Could they be converted into a summer house or a home office? Or will they be an eye sore, taking up space and requiring maintenance or removal for a new home owner?

Conclusion: Devaluing Gardens

Your home is your castle as they say and that includes your garden, outside space and lawns. Careful thought and planning should always be given to large, expensive, or niche garden features and projects. Consider if you were to wish to move and sell your home would a feature owner appreciate them as much as you do?

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