The final decision to purchase a home for yourself or your family is inevitably swung by emotion, with responses such as, “I just fell in love with the place” often sealing the deal. Would-be property sellers can tap into this phenomenon in a number of ways – from a cosmetic lick of paint, to more fundamental remedies necessitating blood, sweat and renovations, but in the currently heavily stocked buyer’s market, your property has to shout that much louder than the others if it wants to be noticed.
According to Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, an Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estates, first impressions are vital and gardens can make or break a deal. “Your property begins at your front gate, and an appealing garden is often your ticket to getting a potential buyer through the front door,” says Greeff.
“Gardens are so often an afterthought, and many people don’t budget for them,” adds Greeff. Others run out of time and just throw money at the problem, according to Gwen Gower, Managing Director and owner of EarthWorx Garden World in Hout Bay. Gower adds that while a beautiful garden requires an investment, blowing a fortune at the nursery on plants does not guarantee an Eden. “People get carried away and buy like crazy when they love how a plant looks in the nursery – they forget that it’s growing under ideal conditions, then they rush home and plant it without any forethought or planning as to position, the soil in their own garden and general maintenance. Disappointment invariably follows,” says Gower.
A consultation in your garden with an experienced landscaper prior to the big garden shopping spree enables you to select what’s likely to flourish under your garden’s unique conditions. “A well-researched and thoughtfully landscaped garden will mean a significant saving in money and time in the long run,” adds Gower.
“While it’s difficult to quantify how much value in Rand terms a beautiful garden adds to a property, well kept, landscaped grounds do attract far more offers,” says Bishopscourt agent for Greeff Properties, Debbie Woods, adding that neglected gardens undoubtedly detract from property values.