Five ways that gardening could devalue your home

Posted on Monday, February 28, 2022

As we head to the summer, homeowners across the country will be preparing their gardens for the warmer months. Investing in garden furniture, painting old sheds, and planting new garden shop purchases.

However, while the pandemic caused a spike in homeowners developing a green finger, new research shows certain garden changes can land sellers in tricky negotiations if their actions have devalued their homes.

Water features, Japanese knotweed, artificial grass, and seasonal plants are some of the features that can knock up to £23,500 off a house’s value if they aren’t to the taste of the general public. With many looking to spruce up their gardens this summer, Samantha Richards from Gazeboshop gives some tips on how to avoid devaluing your home this summer:

1. Growing Japanese knotweed

Plants like Japanese knotweed, Rhododendron Ponitcum, and Green Alkanet grow at a rapid pace, meaning they can be difficult to get rid of later down the line and potentially cause structural damage if planted near your home or a wall.

With removal costing up to £5,000, this can be a costly addition to your garden.

2. Installing a large outdoor water feature

While water features can add aesthetic appeal, the primary reason for a homeowner to install a large water feature is for their personal enjoyment. For buyers, a feature such as a Koi pond has significant ongoing costs including water, chemicals, electric, and fish food.

Depending on their size, it is estimated that water features can knock up to £8,000 off an asking price.

3. Laying artificial grass 

Families with younger children or pets may find artificial grass useful, but for others, it is seen as a nuisance which they would rather have removed. Removing this grass can be costly, with the labour costs alone estimated to be £300 to £500 per day.

4. Investing in garden furniture which is outdated

Although buyers should see the “potential” when viewing a property, many want to purchase a property without having to do much to the outside. Staging the garden correctly is crucial if sellers want to get as close as possible to their asking price, therefore upcycling old garden furniture or investing in timeless garden sets is key before placing it on the market.

5. Choosing seasonal plants

A sparse garden can knock money off an asking price as potential buyers look for well-kept gardens as part of an overall package. Opting for plants that bloom at different times of the year will ensure the garden looks fruitful no matter which season it is on the market.

Samantha Richards at Gazeboshop, commented: “Garden owners should consider the plants they choose wisely. Selecting plants that all centre around one season can be damaging if the homeowner tries to shift their house on the market at a different time of the year. Instead, having a mixture of shrubs and trees, with perennials that respond well to deadheading will ensure months of colour.

“Despite being easier to maintain, many buyers are not keen on artificial grass for their gardens. For family homes where young children or dogs are often in the garden, artificial grass can be a preference, but for others, it can cost thousands to remove or reduce the sale value of the home if buyers are not willing to absorb the cost.”

A garden makeover can cost up to £10,000, which could be taken off the selling price, making it worthwhile investing in decor and plants which will last the test of time.

Samantha adds: “Be careful about what you plant and know what is growing in your garden. Invasive and quick-growing species of plants and shrubs may be difficult to get rid of and can be costly. Japanese Knotweed is an obvious one, but other species such as Rhododendron Ponticum and Green Alkanet can also devalue a home.

“Also planting young trees near your house or a wall could cause structural problems later on. Installing large features that require a lot of maintenance such as ponds with electric pumps or are difficult to remove such as hard paving, may also devalue them.”

Via @PropertyReporter