When considering selling your property with the intention of adding some low cost garden renovations before placing it on the market, the classic line of ‘first impressions are everything’, will never ring so true. Mark Brombal shares his top reno tricks for a fast but effective outdoor makeover
There is nothing more appealing than entering a property’s frontor rear yard that contains purpose in its layout. With the Australianlifestyle increasingly encouraging asense of outdoor living, giving consideration to renovating youroutdoor space is just as important as the priority you give to anindoor makeover.
So just as you would plan aheadfor an advertising campaign before placing your property on the market, careful planning of some basic garden renovation will contribute enormously to creating that important first impression, while attracting a wider interest of potential buyers.
Have you considered any of the following as part of your checklist?
1. Low voltage garden lighting
What a whole new world this idea can create. If your property contains an entry path leading to your front door that is either lit up by a down light or security light attached to some part of the house, why not consider adding some low voltage lighting spaced intermittently along the length of the entry pathway.
As well as effectively highlighting your pathway a little more safely for friends or guests entering or leaving your property, by getting the lighting down closer to the entry pathway, this idea completely transforms the appearance of any plants at night time by highlighting textures and colours of their foliage. The movement of shadows at night time can be a wonderful feature of any garden.
2. Up-lighting of a large tree
Within their boundaries, many properties contain large trees. If your property contains a large tree that you often admire during the day, why not create the opportunity to enjoy the same characteristics of that tree at night by installing some up-lighting at its base. Quite often, it’s the mottled coloursor texture characteristics of the barkthat are often admired. Consider the dramatic difference some up-lightingof a tree would add to a garden at night time. Maybe you have an entertainment area close to that tree where you sit outside to eat. Imagine including some night shots of that scene in your advertising or marketing material for selling the property.
3. Garden edging
A defining factor of a well structured front or rear yard is garden edging. Quite often, an unmanaged lawn will infiltrate garden beds, look unsightly and ultimately, contribute to the decline of the plants that occupy those garden beds.
By installing garden edging, a distinct boundary is created while providing a purposeful edge that will make lawn maintenance a lot easier.
Some examples include bricks laid on their side on a concrete base with the joins mortared, or treated pine logs that can be screwed to pegs that are secured into the ground. Be sure that the timber being used is suitable to be placed in contact with the ground.
4. Extend or retract a paving area
Maybe your paved area isn’t quite large enough to accommodate a setting of a table and chairs to enjoy lunchtime outdoors or alfresco dining that you hear so many people speak about. The lifestyle of a potential buyer may well be suited to the outdoor way of living, so extending the paving a little further into the yard may be what they are looking for. On the other hand, if you wanted to reduce the size of the paving try cutting back 500mm to accommodate a garden bed. More often than not, paving surfaces appear hard and an easy way to overcome that is to soften the area with some plantings.
5. Games court
This doesn’t have to be huge. Consider an ugly wall in the yard that is just too expensive to cover over that may have some lawn edging up to its base. Why not dig out four to five square metres of that lawn and lay down some decomposed granite that is considered a hard surface and place a dart board on the wall? Suddenly you have created a small games court, which could be seen as a bonus.
6. Privacy screen
Not every neighbouring property will be at the same level as yours. Quite commonly, neighbours may build a deck that is raised above ground, situated close to your fence line. Suddenly, you have to deal with your neighbours being able to lookinto your property. Your privacy is taken away. Consider what potential buyers will think if they notice the neighbours staring over during an open for inspection. Why not build a privacy screen from natural timber that not only will look aesthetically pleasing but will prevent those prying eyes.
7. Six months’ worth of lawn and garden maintenance
As part of your advertising and marketing material, you may want to include that, upon purchase, the maintenance of the lawns and gardens will be provided for, for the next six months. Possibly even look at considering paying for a landscape concept plan for any future landscaping that a potential buyer may consider. You could expect to pay $1,500–$2,000 for this service.
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