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Garden Improvements 'Can Increase Property Value'

Aug 29, 2007
With the summer finally showing signs of brightening, many homeowners are likely to be venturing outside into their gardens, where homeowner loans might help them to make the most of the space available.

And new research from one personal finance commentator has set out what features consumers should plump for if they are looking to sell their home. According to Halifax Estate Agents, mature shrubs and trees, set aside a paved area such as a patio, are sought after garden features which could increase the value of a home when it goes to market. While established trees might rely largely on time to add their finishing touches to a garden, a secured loan could be used to make a wide variety of improvements to outside space.

The firm states that, while flagged patios were one of the top must-haves in a prospective buyer's garden, with 58 per cent identifying them as an attractive feature, almost as many (57 per cent) believe that a garden shed or greenhouse has its own appeal. Meanwhile, decking was considered a plus by 37 per cent - especially among the younger market, with 54 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds choosing the feature.

While such luxuries might be considered a bonus, potential sellers should also consider the negatives highlighted in the survey. While general litter and mess left by cats and dogs, which topped the list of turn-offs, can be addressed with a little hard work, a lack of privacy might take some investment in good quality fencing or hedging - potentially making the property a viable prospect for the 43 per cent who said being overlooked would put them off.

Colin Kemp, managing director at Halifax Estate Agents, comments: "Homeowners should treat their garden as they would any other room in their home. Ensuring it is tidy and well kept can dramatically enhance the appeal of a property. Our research showed that traditional favourites such as a patio area and greenery are still fashionable and that general rubbish is a big turn-off."

Anyone choosing home improvement loans in order to spruce up their spruces will not be alone - according to recent research carried out by insurer esure, property owners up and down the country are set to spend 56 million pounds this year on their gardens. Not only those looking to sell but also those intending to make the most of the space available to them have been heading for the garden centre, with the top buy once again being plants and shrubs. These are followed in popularity by garden furniture, tools and patios or decking. The insurance company stressed that with the sums people spend on developing their outside space it is sensible to review home insurance to make sure it has appropriate cover.

Earlier this week, chartered surveyor firm Cluttons added its voice to those calling for homeowners to make the most of their gardens. Alasdair Mackenzie, a partner at the company, suggested that people are "always quite keen on how their house looks from the outside", while extending a theme present on the interior outside can help to create that all-important feeling of space. One suggestion he made was to have similar flooring in a room facing on to the garden continued in the outside space - once again returning to the possibility of attractive decking.

But those without much or any outside space can also increase the value of their property using a home improvement loan by developing the interior. Recent research commissioned by Nationwide found that do-it-yourself work to tidy up a property could significantly increase its value - with those choosing to improve insulation or undertake other environmentally-friendly improvements likely to see the biggest increase in sale price.
About the Author
Tom Dawson writes for Essentially Home Loans where visitors can apply for secured loans online, we also specialise in bad credit loans for UK residents. Visit Today: http://news.essentiallyhomeloans.co.uk
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