How landscaping could add $ to the value of your home

We are often asked how to add value to properties when renovating on a budget, as well as increase your potential rental returns.

The first key to an effective and profitable garden design is to ensure that you create a garden that is low maintenance and well presented. Today people don’t want to be mowing a huge lawn, or pruning a hedge on the weekend. They want to enjoy their garden space, but not be a slave to it.

Getting started

As with any renovation, you need to start at the end. Work out your target market that is most likely to purchase your house. Your target market and your property value will mostly determine what elements you add to your garden and how much you spend on it. For the purpose of this article I will assume a median valued house in your average Australian city. Your typical target market for this sort of property will be a family with two kids.

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. There should be an area to dry clothes, store the garbage bins and park the car. The practical elements are essential to most gardens, but they don’t need to be ugly. Retractable clothes lines are a great idea that is practical, cheap, easy to install and don’t intrude on the visual appearance of your garden. 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;

1. Use recycled paving – buying products such as pavers or bricks from ebay and gumtree is a great way to save some money on materials. Often contractors have left overs from jobs, so you can in fact source new pavers online. Otherwise you can find pavers in good condition from people simply changing their existing pavers. Just 10m2 is enough for an outdoor setting. Ideally a shade sail over the paved area will make the space both more visually appeal, but also more functional.

2. 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.

3. 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. Even a small area of say 15m2 will be large enough to roll around on, set up some outdoor games, or have a splash under a sprinkler.

4. Screening plants are a great way of softening an outdoor space and making the garden look bigger. Choose hardy plants that don’t require too much pruning. Depending on where you live in Australia will determine the species but the follow will grow in most Australian conditions and require minimial care, pruning, grow to roughly fence height and look great year round; Murraya paninculata (Orange jessamine), Photinia robusta (Photinia) Acmena smithii (Lilly Pilly) and Viburnum odoratissimum (Sweet viburnum).

5. Garden plants to fill the garden beds should be selected to look great, hardy and of course low maintenance. The follow achieve of these requirements; Phormium tenax (Flax), Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star jasmine), Ophiopogon japonicus (Giant mondo grass), Buxus japonica (Box) and Cordyline varieties

6. 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.

More tips

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to adding value to your property through your garden, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on current trends in your local area to see what’s selling best.

There are, however, a few general tips that might help you plan your garden renovation:

  • Once you know what sells well in your area, make a list of what your property is missing
  • Have a goal in mind for what you want to achieve – for example, a cleverly designed garden can make a property appear larger than it is
  • Come up with a realistic budget for your modifications, and stick to it
  • Keep things in moderation – extravagant features could make your property too niche, as well as adding needless cost

So now we know, investing in your garden can contribute significantly to the value of your property. If this article has got your green fingers itching, or if you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to us.