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Britons have spent more time at home this year, which has led to a flurry of home and garden DIY. Potted plants, new patios, tiles and borders full of flowers are just some of the changes Britons can make to spruce up their gardens. While a garden may not seem as important as the interior of a property, outdoor space can make a huge difference to the value of a home.
In fact, more potential buyers are looking for outdoor space and gardens this year compared to previous years.
A survey of more than 4,000 movers by Rightmove revealed that more people are looking for a garden or outdoor space with their home.
In May, searches by buyers looking for homes with gardens were up 42 percent compared to May 2019.
Nationwide’s recent house price index also revealed a shift towards gardens.
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Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “In recent months we have highlighted how housing preferences have been shifting as a result of the pandemic.
“Our market research suggested that nearly 30 percent of those considering a move were doing so to access a garden or outdoor space more easily, with 25 percent looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.”
Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to The Property Twins, Tonya Barnard and Rea Hill from Chelmsford, Essex.
The sisters are experts when it comes to all things property and garden.
Rea works alongside her husband designing gardens for their company Rose Hill Design & Build Ltd.
Meanwhile, Tonya works as head of lettings at an established estate agents in Chelmsford called Adrians.
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Together, they are The Property Twins – an unstoppable duo with a huge passion for property design, interiors and gardens.
The sisters spoke to Express.co.uk exclusively about how a garden can add value to your home.
“I think you can add value quite easily to your property by doing the basic landscaping,” explained Rea.
“That would be a clean and modern patio area which provides entertaining space, a fresh lawn and then all the other stuff is an extra bonus.
“To get your property sold for a good amount of money it’s the basics.
“What’s off-putting is when you go to a property to purchase and you go into the garden and sometimes it looks derelict.”
Old tiles, cracked patios, a patchy lawn and broken fences are just some of the ways gardens can be off-putting to potential buyers.
“It’s really expensive to do things outside – far more expensive outside than inside – because the materials you use obviously have to be able to withstand the elements.
“If somebody comes to your property, goes into your garden and you’ve got no patio and your fencing is falling down – these are things that are going to add up in their mind and know that they’re going to have to sort out if they do buy your property.”
A messy garden can be used as a bargaining tool by potential buyers in justifying making an offer below the asking price.
A few small changes could make all the difference in ensuring your home is sold for the right price.
“We always say, just keep it tidy,” Rea added.
Rea said that if homeowners wanted to save money, they could do all the work themselves but it could be more difficult than they realise.
Laying down a patio doesn’t seem difficult in theory, however, ensuring it’s safe and can stand the elements, even in the winter, can be tricky.
“For me, I would always pay a professional to do it always.”
Those with a smaller garden can spruce up their outdoor space with pot plants.
Rea said contemporary pots and plants can give a garden an “instant boost”.
Ornamental grasses, perennials and evergreens along with other greenery “doesn’t cost the world” and can boost a garden so that it looks “amazing”.
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