By Charlie Graham, Partner at Rural View
Very often, in our rounds of property market appraisals, we come across something that can truly be described as a ‘gardener’s garden’.
Quite simply, it’s a stunning garden, beautifully-designed and full of variety and colour which will transform and evolve as the growing season progresses.
Many people are passionate about their gardens, to the extent it becomes more than just a hobby; it becomes an addictive way of life where the pleasure of witnessing your own living creation is all-engrossing.
But what happens when you move house? The dream would be to pass it on to someone as passionate as you: but that’s not a given, as you can’t necessarily dictate who will buy your house. It isn’t quite the done thing to start digging up your favourite shrubs and perennials either, although it does happen.
The value of a wonderful garden is more to some buyers than to others. A fantastic garden may add some value to a property, but it can only be measured in terms of the balanced package, the confines of the beds, the usability of the whole area and the ‘kick about’ space.
The quality of the garden should certainly not be used as the raison d’etre for an inflated asking price.
As an agent, it is tempting to get carried away when appraising a house with such a garden, but we do have to temper our enthusiasm. Of course, an external space, well looked after and attractive, is much more appealing to buyers than an abandoned wasteland, but some people would be terrified of taking on a garden that has been honed and loved for many years, plagued by a fear of letting it go to ruin.
The answer is that an owner of a self-created garden essentially has to be pragmatic when selling: release it with a brave heart and hope a buyer will understand its value. It may not be easy, but the wrench can be softened with the thought that the challenge of the next project is just around the corner and you may even be lucky enough to find a blank canvas with which to continue the fun.