Make the most of your outdoor space
Since the pandemic hit in 2020 and our lives changed, we’ve started to review our priorities when we look for a new home. Outside space is now close to the top of our wish lists.
According to a report by The Cumberland featured in Property Reporter, 85% of us now put access to outdoor space at the top of our property wish list, ahead of en-suites and kitchen diners.
This is not exactly new news. Back in in the summer of 2020 Rightmove reported that 63% of buyers and 59% of renters had put gardens and outdoor space at the top of their moving wish list as a result of the UK lockdowns.
So, over two years since Covid-19 hit our lives, we are still searching for a property with its own outdoor space or at the very least, access to some outdoor communal space for renters.
Wellbeing is now a top priority for home buyers
One of the most important things we’ve learnt about the effects of a pandemic is the impact on our wellbeing. For those with children, outdoor space became a necessity during school closures, providing a much-needed buffer for extended periods at home.
This major change affecting everyone placed a heightened emphasis on mental health concerns and personal wellbeing. Suddenly our homes became places to live, work and learn and the opportunities to get away were removed for most of us.
According to Sarah Rodgers, Professor of Health Informatics in the Department of Public Health, Policy, and Systems at the University of Liverpool, spending at least 2 hours a week outdoors has significant benefits to our mental health. She is leading a decade long study funded by the NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) Programme, that began in 2018, to find out why outdoor space has such a positive impact on us.
Your Outdoor Space Will Set You Apart
With demand for homes increasing, sellers and landlords should pay particular attention to the outdoor space.
Whether you have rolling acres, a small suburban garden, a terrace, courtyard space or balcony. The same rule applies. Your outside space should help to sell your property as much as your gorgeous new kitchen/diner or your wet rooms and multiple bathrooms.
Neglecting your outdoor space could have an impact on your property value so make the most of it. Here are our ten tips to getting all ‘ship shape and Bristol fashion.’
- Mow your lawn – keep things tidy and neat. Remove weeds and ensure you cover bare patches. It doesn’t have to be cricket green quality, but it should look its best.
- Weed the borders – make sure the weeds don’t overtake the plants. Invest in some bark for your beds. It’s a quick and cheap way to set off your shrubs and flowers and helps to mulch the soil over the long term.
- Tidy paths and patios – If you can, it makes sense to jet wash the hard areas. It can completely transform an area and remove buyer doubts about having to replace paving.
- Fences – make repairs to older fences and perhaps use a coloured fence treatment to breathe new life into older panels.
- Remove the dead plants! As with all things, when its dead, its dead. So, replace lost shrubs and plants. Tidy flower beds can transform a space and some new colour especially in spring can make all the difference.
- Sell the outdoors lifestyle – Once things are tidy, why not ‘sell’ your extra ‘room’ by adding some inexpensive outdoor furniture. Shop around for a good deal and remember to get things early as places tend to sell out quickly as everyone else has the same idea.
- Access – Make sure your buyers or potential tenants can get outside easily. Ensuring doors open easily will give the appearance, that whatever the size of your outdoor space, its an integral part of the property.
- Outdoor lighting – Enhance outdoor spaces with some lighting. Later viewings can often result in the garden being a little overlooked. Some clever mains lighting or cheaper solar lights can add a certain sparkle.
- Storage – outside storage can be a real must for many people. A place for the lawn mower and bikes can be a real benefit. Make sure if you have a shed its in tip top condition.
- Keeping on top of things – We can all be a little time poor, but it is important to keep on top of your outside space. Keeping grass mown and plants watered will help to maximise the impact for every viewer.
The outdoor life
Rightmove asked people how they thought things had changed post pandemic. Better, stronger, and closer local communities and doing more outdoors as key ‘new life’ interests came out on top.
Rightmove’s respondents felt there was a heightened sense of community in their local area, somethings that is a good sales point for potential buyers. And their ‘new life’ interests that include gardening, exercising outdoors and reading would be continued after the pandemic and would affect their choice of new home.
At Parkgate we’ve been talking about the importance of outdoor space for many years. It’s now being seen in a new light and a renewed level of interest from buyers and renters means we need to make sure these vital assets are at their best.
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