Will spending money on your garden increase the value and desirability of your property? London estate agents have the following to say:
‘Outside space certainly makes a difference… especially if the garden, terrace or balcony looks inviting’ says Tom Joyce of Cluttons. ‘First impressions go a long way and it’s worth making the extra effort to improve the look of any outside space if it needs it’. He is marketing a five bedroom period house in Hamilton Terrace NW8 which has been refurbished including the garden. ‘The garden is being totally landscaped with a York stone patio and a woodland effect at the end of the garden,’ he says.
‘Yes definately,’ says Sophie Woolfenden of Knight Frank’s Notting Hill office. ‘We had a couple of rental properties with bare terraces and advised the landlord to deck them, put out a couple of chairs and plant pots – it made all the difference.’ Kinght Frank’s St John’s Wood office is marketing a four-bedroom house in Chamberlain Street NW3, which recently sold to an investor. ‘It used to have a boring paved garden,’ says Clare Lynch. ‘The new landlord has now turfed it, painted the back wall white and put in some plants. He’s made it look so much more attractive’.
‘With the market as it is at the moment, with a fair amount of stock, anything that landlords can do to stand out is worthwhile and I would recommend they go that extra mile,’ says Daniel Parker of Savills’ Islington office. ‘We recently let a one-bedroom lower ground maisonette in Packington Street N1, with a very scrubby garden. The landlord re-turfed it and really smartened it up. It was originally on the market for £340 per week, now it’s let for £400 per week.’
‘As spring draws closer, properties with a patio, terrace, city garden or simply a balcony with French doors can command a premium of 10%’ says Federico Young, lettings manager of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s St John’s Wood office. ‘Landlords must ensure that the outside space is superbly maintained: grass should be mown often, pot plants should be kept simple and most of all, outside space should be low maintenance. We recently let a two-bedroom flat in Maida Vale with a small garden. The landlord got a gardener in for a day and within just 5 days the flat was let for £400 per week’.
[Source: Fabric Magazine, May 2008]