This summer millions of home owners across the country will be looking to make it big on the rejuvenated British housing market. From converted garages and attics through to new wallpaper and the smell of home cooked bread, home owners will try every trick in the book to squeeze the maximum value from their house. However many will overlook their house’s most critical asset, the garden.

Many housing experts swear that a well presented garden will add between 5 and 10% to the overall value of a house. To put that in terms of cold hard cash, the average home owner in England and Wales could be sitting on whopping £20,000 extra in revenue, not a bad return from a little landscaping! Investing in your garden is therefore a relatively low risk path to maximizing the value of your property. Here we explore how even modest investments can yield serious gains on the housing market.

How to get more for less

According to Lloyds TSB the average British garden has an insurance value of around £2,000. When you consider this could add 10 times that value to the overall property, a couple of grand might seem like a reasonable investment!

For those with that kind of excess capital, consider large changes to the garden’s landscape and ‘infrastructure’. If you have the space, carve it up into different sections. For instance, a decked platform with a table instantly becomes an al fresco dining area, a custom built brick BBQ an outdoor kitchen. Or how about in place of a shed invest in a stylish summer house? Watch big kids’ eyes light up as they contemplate having their very own games room at the bottom of the garden. Or, why not join over 10% of all families in Britain and install your very own hot-tub? A sunken Jacuzzi will make your garden look more luxurious, and after all you can always take it with you when you leave!

For those who can’t afford or do not want to make massive changes to the landscape, the value of a garden can still be raised with low cost, traditional methods. Maintaining trees and hedges and planting blooming flowers will help to foster a natural and welcoming atmosphere. A well-kept patch filled with seasonal vegetables will tug on your buyer’s nostalgia for a more rustic life, even in people with no intention of self-sufficiency. Better yet nothing makes a garden look more pristine than topiary art which, when chosen carefully, adds an effortless class to your lawn that is sure to get buyers’ aspirational senses tingling.

Much more than a garden

Remember, your prospective buyer is seeing so much more than trees and grass. They are seeing a place for their children to play and grow, somewhere they will spend long summer evenings or host barbeques and garden parties with loved ones. With a bit of thought, anyone can turn their garden from a patch of grass into a real money spinning opportunity.


Tips for moving to a smaller home


The thought of moving to a smaller home may seem quite daunting, but it can be done. If you’re moving to a smaller property for whatever reason, you may have to decide between what you want to take with you, and what you’re going to leave behind.

Here are some tips that could help you to downsize without too much fuss:

1 Start as soon as you can

One of the best things you can do is to start downsizing as soon as you can. Don’t leave things to the last minute as you may become overwhelmed. Start today, and you’ll soon find that the process is so much easier. My parents are moving home in a few months’ time, they have already started downsizing, so their new live in their new home is less cluttered. You should ideally finish sorting through things a few weeks before you move so you can start packing your things into boxes.

2 Decide what you need to leave behind

Let’s face it, none of us particularly enjoy leaving things behind, but sometimes we just have to. Get some brightly colored labels and stick them on anything you plan to leave. Once you’re done, sell the items, donate them to charity, or ask a friend or family member if they want them.

3 Decide what you need to take with you

You probably have a lot of things that you want to take with you. My Tigerstrike taekwondo gear will definitely come with me when I move house, but my old bookcase that’s crammed with odds and ends won’t. it’s not always easy to decide what you’re going to take with you, especially if you’re not sure how much space you’ll actually have.

Try to think about what you need to use every day, and then think about what you like to use now and again. These are the items that you should take with you.

4 Get rid of those ‘Just in case’ things

Let’s face it, we all have those ‘just in case’ things, but it’s likely that we don’t use them, and we probably never will. You don’t have to get rid of every single ‘Just in case’ item, but you may want to cut down on them, and only keep the essentials. For example, do you really need that spare waterproof jacket just in case your other one gets torn?

5 Consider new storage options

When we move to a smaller property, we often imagine that our new home will be very full of all our things. The fact of the matter is that we don’t have to put up with having piles of things in the corner of a room, if we have the right kind of storage. Why not get a new bed that has storage space underneath it? Think about keeping things in the garage, shed or loft. If you under-use one of your cupboards, why not make sure you use the space to store something else?

As you can see, there are a good few ways that can help you to downsize and move into a smaller home. You will have to make some sacrifices, but if you plan ahead and decide what you need to take and what you don’t, chances are moving into a smaller home will be so much easier.