When you’re renovating a property, it’s easy to pay attention to the bathroom and kitchen – but the gardens are often a missed opportunity. Think about it – you’re a potential buyer driving up to a property which has been advertised as being renovated, but you see a house bordered by a garden that obviously needs some care and attention. I will always keep driving. It’s like displaying the most beautiful roses in a vase along with a bouquet of thistles – the effect is lost.
Whether you’re a professional real estate investor flipping houses for profits, or doing up an old property for re-sale as a kind of hobby, ignore the garden at your peril. The old adage around first impressions leave a lasting impression is true – especially for real estate. If first impressions don’t impress at all, then buyers and prospective tenants alike will keep on walking and take their money with them.
Simple, cheap and quick ways to do up a garden
Like a good real estate enthusiast and home owner (combined) you will want to add as much value as possible to the property while spending as little money as possible. Traditionally, we’ve been willing to spend money on new furnishings inside our homes, like upgrading kitchens and bathrooms – and we’ve even come to realise that even minor, more cosmetic changes make a huge difference.
Things like painting the walls, adding a little colour, changing light fittings and door handles all have a definite effect on improving the impression that the property makes. In the past, home makeovers have really started at the front door. We’d like to extend that starting point a little further to the property’s perimeter – the garden.
Firstly – get the lawn and weeds under control. This may involve ripping up ordinary grass and replacing it with a nice, healthy lawn with colour and vitality. If you have time, then sowing grass seeds are cheaper, but require a fair amount of care and time. Alternatively, you can roll out some turf and water it in for instant wow factor. Pull weeds out of garden beds and prune trees and shrubs to finish off this task. Now step back and admire the immediate improvement to the property.
Second – take a good long hard look at the boundaries of the property. Is there any fencing – and if so, what condition is it in? Most fencing could do with replacing – or at the very least, some patching up or painting, depending on the style of fencing. If you have a wooden fence, a coat of paint will do wonders. Before you get all enthusiastic and tear down fencing between properties – it’s best to check with both local authorities and neighbours to make sure that you don’t do anything drastic.
Third – lighting and paving are in the accessories department of garden makeovers. While not every part of the garden will need lighting (the front will not necessarily need any, but it can be nice in the back) – some paving is always a nice feature in a garden. Whether as a paved section of the garden, or as a a walkway with paving stones, they can really add a nice touch to a re-done garden.
These garden ideas will not cost the earth to implement, but they will add value to your property, and draw in prospective buyers or tenants. Your investment property is not just the house, it includes the area of land on which the building stands. If you can do a few simple things to improve the first impression of the front yard, then you will also draw in more prospective buyers so you can impress them with your interior makeover.
Don’t be one of those real estate investors that owns a beautiful rose surrounded by a field of thistles – it doesn’t make any sense!