Well your property we mean!
Dave Limburg is a professional landscape designer and owner of Online Garden Design offering custom landscape design packages and DIY guides online. He is often asked how to add value to a property and improve the saleability when renovating a garden in preparation for a sale. Here are a few landscape design secrets that are very effective and simple to implement to ensure that your garden look a million dollars come sale time.
The number one tip to an effective and profitable garden design is to ensure that you create a garden that is low maintenance and well presented. Nowadays people don’t want to be mowing a huge lawn, or pruning a hedge on the weekend. They want to visualise themselves enjoying their garden space, not mowing lawns. The key to a great result with your outside space is the same as inside; tick the emotional boxes.
Michelle Galletti, of Cunninghams Property suggests that a well designed garden not only adds value to the property, but also makes the property more saleable. “Everyone wants to enjoy their outdoor space these days, creating an appealing garden makes buyers imagine living in that garden space, it adds to the emotional pull”.
As with any renovation you need to start at the end, that is work out your target market that is most likely to purchase your house. Your target market and your property value will mostly determine your budget, what elements you add to your garden and how much you spend on each element. Your typical target market for a house on the Northern Beaches Sydney will be a family with two kids. As a rough rule of thumb every dollar spent on the garden should add three dollars of value. So a $10,000 budget should add $30,000 to the value of the house.
A family with two kids will have certain needs and wants – An outdoor area for the kids to play, tough attractive low maintenance plants and a seating area to enjoy outdoor meals and entertain. Appearance is obviously important, but so is low maintenance. Tick these boxes and you will add instant buyer appeal.
While the garden needs to look good, it also needs to be functional. The overall layout of the garden is important, ensure that utilities are taken into account, an area to dry clothes, store the garbage bins and perhaps an outdoor shower. The practical elements are essential to most gardens, however they need not be ugly. If possible hide your garbage bins down the side of the house, or otherwise create a low screen to hide the bins from obvious lines of sight.
Here is a list of some effective value adding elements for landscaping on a budget;
• Paving – An outside seating area is a necessity for a garden in Sydney. People love to use the outdoor space as much as possible including dinning and entertaining. Recycled pavers are a cheap and effective way of creating an appealing outdoor seating area without overspending. Your paved area only needs to be large enough for a table and chairs – 15m2 should do. Pavers for this size area can be purchased for under $300.
• Shade – Ideally a shade sail over the paved area will make the space both more visually appeal, but also more functional. A shade sail is a simple DIY job, it simply involves installing three timber posts and a shade sail kit can be purchased from most hardware stores and installed for around $500.
• Turf – Turf is relatively inexpensive. Couch grass roll can be purchased for about $6 per m2 from most landscaping yards. A small lawn area is almost a necessity for kids, it is certainly a garden element that families will be looking for when assessing a property to purchase – 30m2 would be plenty of lawn to roll around on, set up some outdoor games, or have a splash under a sprinkler.
• Screening plants around the perimeter of the garden are a great way of softening an outdoor space and making the garden look bigger. Tropical plants certainly feel appropriate on the northern beaches and help add to a luxurious, beachy, resort style feel. The follow plants will grow in Sydney’s conditions, require minimial care and pruning, grow to roughly fence height and look great year round; Murraya paninculata (Orange jessamine), Acmena smithii (Lilly Pilly) and Viburnum odoratissimum (Sweet viburnum). These plants can be purchased from your local nursery for approximately $20 each in 200mm pots, this pot size should be approximately one and half metres high plants.
• Garden plants to fill the garden beds should be selected to look great, hardy and of course low maintenance. The follow achieve all of these requirements; Phormium tenax (Flax), Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star jasmine), Ophiopogon japonicus (Giant mondo grass), Liriope muscari (Varigated Liriopes) and Cordyline varieties
• If you are planning to sell in the very near term consider going to your nursery and selecting some shrubs and annuals that are flowering and looking good now, or ideally flowering with scented flowers, these little touches can help boost the overall look of the garden and add to the appeal.
• Mulch – Garden beds always look a lot tidier and more presentable with a layer of mulch on top. Pine bark, or Eucalyptus mulch can be readily obtained for free from local tree removal companies.
So for a little effort and some creative sourcing of materials you can add plenty of value to your property and increase the saleability without breaking the bank. Ensure that you don’t overcapitalise, and you design and build a garden that is both aesthetically pleasing, and low maintenance.