How to add value to your house

You just need to wake up in some parts of New Zealand for your house to go up in value. But if you’re outside of Auckland and Christchurch and once the abnormal house market reverts to the norm, adding value to your home requires some work.

Garden renovation projects are one way to do that. They add a spark to the property and very often that means achieving a higher sale price.

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Create shaded outdoor living

Does your patio or deck have cover? No protection from the elements can be a turnoff for buyers.  Installing a shade sail is an easy way to add value. Even better is an awning or canopy.  And if you install clear PVC screens you create an outside room that can be used through autumn and spring as well as summer.

Build off street parking

A carport helps sell your property. If you can’t afford to do that or the council won’t allow you, consider putting down grass pavers on some of the front lawn.  They are practical, and look green.

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Erect a fence

Fences and hedges make your garden more useable by giving privacy.  Some people won’t buy a property that doesn’t have a front fence. So increase the competition for your property by building one.

Replace past-their-use-by-date plants

Those plants you planted 20 years ago may have grown and matured. But plants date and they may be horribly out of fashion.  Sometimes we have to take a deep breath and start afresh.  Get advice from the garden centre about what varieties of plants are popular. If you can’t stand killing plants, then put them on Trade Me for $1 or Freecycle for free. The “buyer” digs them out, which saves you some work.

Go paint crazy

Decks, fences, wooden steps, and plant beds can all benefit from a lick of paint, stain or oil, every few years. Old 1980s or 1990s wooden structures can be made look modern with a lick of stain. But do check what the latest colour trend is before spending money.

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Add stepping stones

Stepping stones are easy to lay and give all weather access to the depths of your garden. They can also add interest to an otherwise boring lawn.

Build a small raised vegetable garden

Kiwis love veggie gardening.  Raised beds appeal to the green fingered brigade. Plant herbs if you can’t be doing with seasonal vegetables.

Add lighting

Tasteful lighting makes your home look modern.  It has practical advantages as well by making the property less appealing to burglars. Lighting also protects against falls.

Finally, beware of adding a pool, or very complex landscaping and gardens. Anything that looks like it requires work can put some buyers off, defeating the purpose of your project.

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