An English country garden
5 May 2015
Spiritually at least I think we are a nation of gardeners. The idea of them brings a sense of contentment and tranquillity, something comforting to come home to and unwind in at the end of a busy day. Leaving the fast pace of the world behind, gardens can allow us to take time out and observe nature either by getting our hands dirty or just by watching. Not something that in our increasingly busy times it is easy to find the time to do.
Not surprisingly, buyers in my experience fall into two camps; those that want a decent garden and those that, whilst they might aspire to having one, simply don't have the time or the inclination to look after one.
For this latter category the garden is simply a space for recreation for them and their children and these are the ones who shy away from a house which has large complex gardens - they are happy to visit someone else's but are not willing to spend either the time or the money looking after it themselves.
The other camp positively want the challenge of a large and interesting outdoor space. Often, although not exclusively, retired they are either willing to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in or have the finances to pay others to do so. Statistically there is a preference to have a gardener over a housekeeper to maintain order in a world that can so quickly become unruly. For many in this category, a garden serves a greater purpose of protection, providing a property with a boundary from noise and the outside world.
Obviously I see lots of properties with large complex gardens, sometimes 'listed' and sometimes open to the public but often just a private space looked after by at least one and often several gardeners. Clearly a buyer considering one of these options not only has to be willing to take on the responsibility but also the cost.
As a buyer's agent part of my role is to work out the financial commitment of not just the property but also the outside space. The upkeep of a garden can be significant - I have had examples where annual running costs were in six figures – but as long as the prospective buyer has no hidden surprises and can fully enjoy their investment the rewards can quite literally be bountiful.