With spring now in full swing, online estate agency Tepilo takes a look at some of the key features homeowners would like in their dream gardens.
Garden space often plays a key part in a property sale. We recently wrote about why sellers need to show off their gardens to buyers and the small things that can be done to improve a garden’s appeal.
But what are the key dream features that people would want adorning their gardens, if money was no object? Garden specialist Oeco Garden Rooms put this question to 1,234 homeowners, who were given six luxury items to choose from. Those surveyed could also go off-piste and write down their own answers if their dream feature was not included.
A personal swimming pool topped the list, with 59% opting for this as their number one item. This was closely followed by a garden room/office (52%), while 50% said they would like a hot tub.
An outdoor kitchen/pizza oven, which has become particularly trendy and desirable in recent years as a foodie revolution has swept across Britain, was in third place, while a water feature/fountain was the ideal item for 41% of participants.
A sauna, something that is especially popular in Northern European countries where temperatures plunge during winter, completed the top 6, with 32% of the vote.
Of the off-piste, written down answers, the most popular responses were ‘hiring a full-time gardener’ to keep a garden in tip-top condition, ‘building a home gym’ and having ‘tennis courts’ or ‘football pitches’.
While some of the dream features are beyond the wishes of most people – only a relatively small number of homes in the UK have a swimming pool or personal football pitch, for example - some are slightly more realistic.
A water feature/fountain, for example, wouldn't necessarily cost the world to install, and wouldn't need to be ridiculously extravagant, luxurious or expensive. A fountain would be likely to cost more, but a water feature could be purchased for reasonable prices if you made sure to shop around.
What's more, while building a home gym would be costly, a makeshift one – in your garage/shed – would be far more affordable. Gym equipment can be purchased for reasonable prices second hand, dumbbells don't tend to cost much, and gym mats and exercise balls won't blow a hole in your pocket, either.
Pizza ovens, meanwhile, are probably a more realistic option than a whole new outdoor kitchen. They can range from £200 to £900, depending on the size, make and quality of the oven. Not cheap, then, but nowhere near as expensive as a swimming pool, a tennis court or a hot tub. Wood-fired pizzas are all the rage at the moment – as trendy as courgette spaghetti and butternut squash pasta – so if you are eager to add value to your home and increase your chances of selling in the future, an outdoor pizza oven would be a wise move.
In this country, the months in which you can use an outdoor oven are, of course, more limited thanks to our famously unpredictable weather. That said, they come into their own in the spring, summer and sometimes even autumn months. In addition, they will have appeal to hip young professionals and those who fancy themselves as the next Jamie Oliver or Tom Kerridge.
More than anything, your garden needs to be bright, attractive, well-maintained, tasteful and colourful. If you ever come to sell your home, your garden will be a key selling point – so it needs to look the part. Most buyers won't be expecting any of the dream feature set out above, but if you happen to have a pizza oven, a home gym, a spectacular water feature or a garden room/office, make this a central part of your sales strategy. It could just make all the difference.
Gardens have to be versatile places – a place for entertainment, a place to unwind and a place to hold BBQs, dinner parties and family gatherings. That, on the whole, is more important than dream features. But, if you possess dream features, all the better. And don't be afraid to shout out about them.