Add a little green
Many homeowners dismiss the idea of trying to improve their homes because of their perceptions of high costs — but there is one way to bolster its value without taking out a second bond.

“A relatively inexpensive way to increase the value of your property is by creating a beautiful garden,” says Etrecia van Dyk, provincial manager at MortgageSA.

Could be inviting…

Van Dyk points out that the garden is the first thing that a potential buyer will notice when visiting a property — and an outdoor space that looks inviting could well be the decisive factor in the sale of a property.

“Even if you have no immediate plans to sell your property, it’s worth setting about creating a garden that will suit your home and your lifestyle. You’ll reap the benefit of its pleasures in it for years to come,” Van Dyk says.

The beauty of planting up a garden is that everything needs not necessarily to be done at once — the garden can be developed bit by bit — with new plants being added as and when you can afford it.

Space limitations?

“Another common misconception that it’s essential to own a big plot of land in order to create an attractive garden, but you can utilise whatever space is at your disposal,” relays Van Dyk.

“The tiniest garden or balcony can be turned into peaceful private retreat, even if the space doesn’t lend itself to outdoor entertaining.”

She adds that space limitations may even inspire new ideas and encourage homeowners to stretch their creativity, for example, by growing bonsai trees or focusing on hydroponics.

Why not gather free advice and gardening tips from nurseries and exhibitors at home improvement shows. And there is also a wealth of information to be found in books and magazines.

Adding that personal touch

In Van Dyk’s view, tending a garden goes far beyond watering a collection of plants.

“It allows for innovation and the personal touch that transforms a house into a home. You can tell a lot about a house by its garden.”

Plus, gardening efforts will extend beyond a property’s boundaries and contribute toward the greening of suburbs too.

“It might even inspire your neighbours to improve their own gardens, pushing up all property values in the area. Just avoid the temptation to put a gnome on your lawn.”

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