The garden is a top selling point for any home. It’s always smart to buy a home with a beautiful garden, even if you don’t plan on growing anything.
However, not all gardens are created equal. Be on the lookout for these things in the garden when house-hunting.
1: Take Note of Trees
Trees are a welcome addition to any garden. They provide shade on hot days. Some trees are even ideal to climb. However, you need to consider where these trees are growing.
Be wary of trees that are planted too close to the home or other structures. While they may look pretty, these trees could end up costing you a lot in repairs.
As trees grow taller, their roots branch out underneath the ground. If a tree is close to your home, the roots may damage the foundation. Some roots may break plumbing pipes. Even if the roots don’t cause any problems, branches can damage your roof, window, shutters, and walls.
If you fall in love with a home that has too many close trees, you need to make sure you can even chop them down. Some trees are protected. If there is a Tree Protection Order in place, you’ll have to file additional paperwork to work on the tree.
2: Look for Sunlight
Like humans need sunlight to survive, so do plants need sunlight to grow. If you plan on using your garden, you want to make sure it receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day.
Look for a garden that faces the south, as it will get lighter while the sun is up. North facing gardens often struggle to find enough sunlight, and your plants may struggle to grow.
Of course, even if the garden is facing south, take note of any structures that may block out the sun. Large buildings, trees, and walls may pose a problem. Visit the home in the middle of the day to make sure enough sunlight makes it to the garden.
3: Investigate Surrounding Plants
When you buy a home, you don’t have to keep the plants that are already in the garden. Feel free to dig up anything you don’t want and start fresh. However, you do need to take note of what is already growing there.
Some plants may diminish the value of a home. You don’t want to struggle to sell a home in the future because of a plant.
Japanese Knotweed is one of the most dreaded plants. This highly invasive species is known for taking over an entire yard. The vines grow through anything and take out whatever is blocking its path.
This plant may damage sidewalks, fencing, and even the home’s facade. It’s also highly difficult to eradicate. While this invasive plant can grow anywhere, it’s most commonly found around railways.
4: Look Beyond Curb Appeal
Homeowners will do anything to help sell their houses faster. This includes sprucing up the outside of their home to improve the curb appeal. However, just because the perimeter of the house looks great doesn’t mean the rest of the garden is in decent condition.
If part of the garden seems overgrown or in a state of disarray, you’ll end up spending money to repair it. While it may be affordable to make these renovations, you may end up shelling out more money than you have in your budget.
Look beyond what you can easily see from the house. Take the time to tour the entire garden space. Make sure the rest of the garden has been properly cared for. Check for water sources, like streams or creeks, as these may pose a flood risk. If there are sidewalks, fields, paths, or alleys nearby, make sure they are secure from outsiders.
5: Find Good Soil
Plants need good soil to survive. Have the soil around any prospective homes tested so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with. If you plan on growing a vegetable garden, for example, you need soil that has plenty of nutrients.
Avoid heavy clay soil, as this may restrict your crops. Make sure the soil type is consistent throughout the garden.
If you do find out the soil is less than ideal, you can still grow a garden. However, you’ll probably find that container planting and hanging plants are the better option. It’s important to remember that you may lose out on buyers if you ever decide to sell if the soil isn’t conducive to growing plants.
While you may be alright settling for a garden with bad soil, are you willing to lose money the next time you move?
Knowing what to look for in a garden will greatly help your house-hunting experience. Remember that you can fix anything, but you must be prepared to invest money to do that.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid gardener or not or a professional gardener, it’s always best to purchase a property that has a garden with a lot of potential and functionality.