Small Garden Design: Enhance Property Value with Landscape Design
Updated: Nov 8
When it comes to increasing the value of your property, many homeowners immediately think of interior renovations and updates. However, landscaping is an often overlooked and immensely beneficial aspect of home improvement. The exterior of your home is the first thing people see, which plays a significant role in shaping their initial impressions. A well-designed and maintained landscape enhances your property's curb appeal and can substantially increase its value.
According to the 2011 Husqvarna Global Garden Report, a well-maintained garden can increase your property's value by an average of 16%. The survey involved 5,000 properties from nine countries to estimate a garden's effect on property prices. After including the costs of plants, maintenance, and makeover, the average payback was estimated at 3.1 times the investment. Similarly, the survey found that a neglected garden lowers property value by 5 – 15%. Among real estate agents, 69% believed the garden was either very important or important in terms of a property's value and selling speed, and 55% believed it shortened the selling time by a week or more.
While it is hard to quantify precisely how much increase in value your landscaping might bring you, international research indicates around 10%. According to Armin Morrison, renovation expert and founder of Property Bootcamp and My Properties, good outdoor living spaces are a big hit with all buyers. You can transform a small home into something that appears big with good flow and outdoor living if you get the scale and balance right.
In this blog post, we'll explore how landscaping your small garden or balcony can positively impact your property's worth, and we’ll include a few of our gardens that have recently gone to market.
Stand Out from the Crowd
If you live in a recently developed subdivision, you're probably familiar with the cookie-cutter houses, concrete patios and rectangles of patchy grass; there is little difference from one property to the next. So when it comes time to move on, if you want to optimise time on the market and maximise returns, it makes sense to be the house that stands out in the crowd. Thoughtful landscaping can effectively add a new "room" to the house and create a point of difference, illustrated wonderfully in the below birds-eye view of one of our landscapes recently on the market.
Curb Appeal Matters
First impressions matter; your home's exterior is the first thing potential buyers or appraisers see. An attractive landscape instantly grabs their attention and sets a positive tone for the rest of the property. Beautifully manicured lawns, colourful flower beds, and well-maintained trees and shrubs create an inviting ambience to make your property stand out in a crowded real estate market.
The below street-facing garden has been designed to provide year-round interest from all street angles.
Enhanced Property Aesthetics
Professional landscaping can transform your property into a work of art. Thoughtfully designed gardens, stone pathways, outdoor living spaces, and well-placed lighting can significantly boost the overall aesthetic appeal of your property. Potential buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home that offers both indoor and outdoor beauty.
Right: A sculptural firepit and outdoor lighting look beautiful and make the garden more functional in the evenings.
Increased Usable Space
Landscaping isn't just about pretty flowers and well-kept lawns; it's also about creating functional outdoor spaces. Features such as patios, decks, gazebos, and fire pits increase your property's value and make it more enjoyable for you and your family. The extra living space can be a strong selling point when marketing your home.
Privacy and Security
High-density living and lack of privacy tend to go hand in hand, with this being the number one problem cited by the clients that we work with. Strategically placed hedges, fencing, and other landscaping elements can enhance privacy and security. This can particularly appeal to families with children or individuals looking for a safe and secluded property. A sense of security and privacy often translates to a higher property value.
Right: We often build raised garden beds around the perimeter of a property to allow for the additional soil required for planting tall privacy trees like these Portuguese Laurel.
Low Maintenance Landscaping
While a beautiful landscape can add value to your property, from our experience, installing a low-maintenance garden tends to be higher on the list of priorities. Drought-tolerant plants and grasses, like Nepeta and Lomandra (left) and sustainable landscaping designs, can reduce the time and money required for upkeep. Potential buyers appreciate not having to invest heavily in maintaining the exterior of their new home.
While a tidy, well-maintained lawn is highly regarded, it’s important to remember that the maintenance required for its upkeep is considerably more than contained garden beds.
This Hobsonville house was on the market for just a few weeks before it was eagerly snapped up.
"One of the reasons the buyers loved it was the outdoor space."
Oftentimes, the nature of our terraced housing developments means we are presented with some rather awkward-shaped outdoor spaces. This space presented us with a tricky, narrow triangular area off of the main living room. To maximise the function of the space, we built the deck level with the living rooms and continued it out to the fence. To improve privacy, planter boxes were added to allow enough depth of soil to plant tall privacy trees, and we built additional seating for summer entertaining.
Landscaping is an investment that pays off in numerous ways. Not only does it enhance the visual appeal of your property, but it can also increase its value significantly. When you decide to sell your home, the positive impressions created by a well-maintained and thoughtfully designed landscape can make your property more attractive to potential buyers and lead to a higher sale price. So, whether you're a homeowner looking to improve your living environment or an investor hoping to boost the value of your property, landscaping is a smart choice with lasting benefits.