Rental searches for homes with gardens recently hit a record high for the year, according to data from Rightmove. Lockdown, coupled with the lovely weather we’ve been having means those of us with a garden are appreciating it more than ever, and those without are desperate to have one!
If you’re currently searching for a home with a garden, here are seven things to look for (and look out for), in your hunt:
- Which direction is the garden facing? As you might have guessed, south-facing gardens tend to be warmer and get more sunlight – important if you’re a keen gardener, as north-facing gardens may not have the right level of sunlight for some of the plants you wish to grow. West-facing gardens are ideal for those who enjoy a bit of evening sun, whilst east-facing gardens are perfect for breakfast outside at the weekend.
- What’s overlooking the garden? If you go to the trouble of finding a south-facing garden, but it’s in the shadow of your neighbour’s house, you’ll be disappointed, so be sure to check in advance. If you’re someone who values their privacy, think about how sheltered your garden is from neighbours or public walkways.
- Is it secure? Similarly, if there are pathways or fields that run alongside your garden, you’ll need to think about how secure it is against outsiders.
- What access is there? Even with a semi-detached house, you may find that if there’s an extension or adjoining garage, that the only way through to the garden is through the house. Not necessarily a problem, but if you’re considering getting work done on the back of the house, you might want to consider it.
- Are there any large trees close to the house? Large trees close to the property can sometimes signal structural damage, damage to the drainage system, as well as to the property itself. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for Japanese knotweed which can cause similar problems (and is notoriously difficult to remove!)
- What maintenance does it need? Just like with a house itself, it’s important to remember that you can change a garden, if it’s not designed to your tastes. However, it is worth looking at what condition it’s currently in and factoring in the time (and money) it would take to get it to how you’d like it to be. You should also consider how much ongoing upkeep it will need – this is likely to depend on size, features and what plants there are.
- Check the soil type. If you’re particularly green-fingered, you’ll definitely want to make a note of what soil type the garden has, as this will heavily dictate what kind of plants you can grow. It doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker though – it’s worth remembering that you can also make use of planters and hanging baskets.
As well as providing you with your own little slice of heaven, having a garden also adds value to your property if you ever decide to sell (in fact between 5%-20% on a sales price). If you need help with your search, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.