Practical tips to finding the garden that’s right for you.

When you are inspecting a home to buy, it is important to consider if the garden of your favourite property is right for you?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself and some tips :

1. How much work does the garden require to get it up to the standard that you will like?
Lots of outdoor spaces have potential and a full makeover may be needed to get the most out of the space. Try to think about the cost of landscaping like the cost of any building-just because its outside, it doesn’t mean it’s cheaper. In fact, it often makes it more expensive as all materials, fixings and fabrics need to stand up to the elements.

2. How much should I allow for landscaping?
Buying any property is expensive and costs of garden renovations need to be considered in your house budget. As a rule of thumb, for a house costing under $1 Million a full garden makeover might cost 5% of the market price whereas properties over $1 Million will require a spend of 7- 10% to get a quality finish to match the house.

3. Does the garden suit my lifestyle? If the garden is in top condition you need to ask.
A trendy modern garden may look nice during open inspections, but will it still have the wow factor, once you have moved in. You may have play equipment, barbecue equipment, a hammock, all other extras that go with life in the modern world.

If you are a big entertainer and there is no space for outdoor dining, then you will have to budget for the installation of an area that suits. Being practical may take the excitement out of buying a house, but it is a lot easier to live with a practical area than a fancy one. You may consider installing a Veranda or Pergola. Do you need a council approval?
Large gardens have a real attraction as there is room for the children to play, areas for adults to entertain, and if there is a dog, a dog friendly area.

4. Can you handle the maintenance?
Most large gardens need between 8-16 hours of work a week, and if you can’t or aren’t interested in maintaining the garden yourself you will need to consider paying someone to do it.

Gardens can easily be the best room in the house, just make sure they suit you and your lifestyle.