The value of a garden for house buyers

The Managing Director of Nicholsons, Liz Nicholson on what to look for in a garden when buying a home.

Liz Nicholson

In her article Liz Nicholson describes her frustration at how details of the all important garden in property descriptions remain neglected. Especially so, as a 2020 study from Rightmove revealed that homes advertised as having highly coveted south-facing gardens had asking prices £22,695 higher on average than those without. Moreover, according to the AA homes carry 16% more value by having a garden.

“When viewing a new house, time should be taken to really consider the opportunities that the garden may offer you and your family”, writes Nicholson.

However, not all gardens are created equal. For buyers embarking a property search, Nicholson provides a few recommendations to consider in terms of valuable garden features.

  • Size: accessing the requirements of the space, storage, log stores or for larger gardens – the locations of a swimming pool, (natural swimming) pond. Nicholson adds that maintenance of larger gardens often catches buyers out and requires serious consideration.
  • Aspect: Whilst south-facing gardens are more popular, east-facing gardens are cooler and enjoy early morning light or for keen sundowners, a west-facing garden might be more appropriate.
  • Access: Nicholson advises to look at how “the family flow around the space” and use the garden. Challenging level changes can add difficulties and consider security for the family and pets.
  • Privacy: How to ensure privacy within urban, village of rural constraints. Where space allows added privacy can come from the planting hedges and trees – valuable for added biodiversity, cooling and shade in hot spring and summers.
  • Garden Room: Consider if there is a space for a garden room which compared to an extension is often a cheaper option for use as extended living space or office.
  • Water: Water features such as ponds, rills can enhance all gardens and provide vital habitat for the full range of biodiversity.
  • Food Production: Consider if there is space (and skill) to grow food to supplement dietary needs.