What makes one house a head turner and another not noticeable? Studies report that the magic word is “green” and it might just do the trick to get that offer signed.
Spend enough time looking and you’ll see that all the best homes have things in common, like a fine front door, a pleasing colour scheme, and landscaping that softens the hard edges. Then there’s the subtle details like the right roof, windows that work with the house’s style or the way the walkway welcomes you. Together these features can make a home stand out on the street, giving you a sense of pride, whether you decide to showcase your home or call it your own.
“Budget-conscious and low maintenance enhancements in the garden have the added benefit of increasing your property value,” says Craig Hutchison, chief executive of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
Top of the list could be to install a borehole for water supply to make sure there are no extra costs added to the household water bills every month, or a steel front gate with a vintage rustic finish that will never need repainting. Even with adding the right elements to a property with no garden could add value and make it so much more appealing than the place next door.
Hutchison says the latest trend for small properties is vertical gardens, which cover vertical surfaces, making use of previously unsightly or unused space. They have a positive environmental impact and are useful as architectural pieces. Vertical gardens are great for small patios, sun rooms and can even increase the flow of fresh air.
“The latest product on the shelves from Modiwall creates an easy to use vertical garden system that scales easily to any size. Panels slot together to form a 1m² unit that is easily fastened to any wall or hung from beams. This system comes with self-irrigating pots that clip onto the front panels. Creativity has no limit, since panels have a swivel action that allows for curved gardens. Water supply is by means of a capillary system that minimises waste and maintenance. These panels are made with durable recycled UV-resistant plastic, with a long lifespan,” says Paul Smit, one of the founders of Modiwall.
“This vertical garden system has proven popular with homeowners who have limited space available but want to green their everyday living space. Modiwall is easily installed, low maintenance and brings green closer to home.”
Quality upgrades continue to add value. Home prices may vary and never stay stagnant, but the return on remodelling investments remains strong. According to Hutchison, depending on the upgrade, you can achieve significant returns on the investment.
“There’s never a wrong time to make your home more of a haven. We have some tips when considering renovations:
Be a tree hugger: If an old yellow wood is obscuring the front of your home, don’t cut it down. Hire an arborist to trim it instead – 83 percent of property specialists say that mature trees enhance the value of a home.
Plant for all seasons: Your landscape should be eye-catching year-round, even in the dead of winter. So choose a mix of plants to provide four seasons of interest – spring and summer flowers, bright fall foliage, and colourful berries or shades of bark in winter.
Do sweat the small stuff: Potted plants are inexpensive and go a long way toward dressing up an entry.
You can never be green enough: Plants do play a major part in any property. Nature is your most important and inexpensive marketing tool. Ensure that you make the property a retreat for the next owner.
Remove the rubbish: From that old garden tool you keep meaning to throw out to those items that are being kept for a rainy day, homeowners who are serious about selling need to get rid of any rubbish from their garden. If you leave rubble lying around it will make your garden look sloppy and create an unkempt first impression. So if you’re looking for a sale, keep the rubbish out of sight.