An untidy garden will knock £5,000 off the price of a house

Two third of Brits are put off buying a house if the garden is unattractive, according to a new study.

Terraced gardens. Image: Haymarket, Bryan Johnston
Terraced gardens. Image: Haymarket, Bryan Johnston

Millions of homeowners are failing to tend their garden - potentially wiping thousands of pounds off the value of their properties, researchers say.

Two fifths of us - 41% - do absolutely no gardening at all while 71% do no weeding.

Yet nearly half - 45% - of those surveyed in a study by QVC said they would expect at least £5,000 knocked off the asking price for an untidy garden.

And 48% of prospective tenants would want to negotiate at least a £600-a-year reduction in rent.
 
First impressions of the garden are clearly crucial when trying to sell or let a property.

Over half - 55% - of prospective home buyers rated the state of the garden as important as the inside of the house.

The top turn-off for buyers is junk such as old fridges, mattresses and toys littering the garden - cited by 71%.

Other off-putting gardening gripes are dog mess, cited by 63%, overflowing rubbish bins (54%), plants intruding into the walls of the house (53%) and dilapidated sheds (52%) or decking (50%).

Sellers should also take care to avoid too many weeds (47%), uneven or grubby patios (46%), overgrown lawns (42%) and untrimmed trees (41%).

Privacy is the main thing home buyers look for in a garden - cited by 61%. After that, a patio (54%) and lawn (50%) top their wish lists.

But millions of homeowners are failing to tend their gardens regularly and 45% do not grow any plants or flowers.

Men are more green-fingered than women with 35% saying they enjoy gardening compared to 27%.

As a result, they spent more time tending their plots with 42% doing at least an hour's work there a week compared to 29% of women.

Two thirds - 65% - of households own a lawnmower but many never use it with a quarter of women and 13% of men admitting they do not even know how it works.

East Anglian homeowners are closest to the soil with 70% describing themselves as "keen gardeners".

Residents of the South East are at the opposite extreme with just 15% "keen" - and are the most likely to hire a gardener.

The survey of over 2,000 British homeowners on the state of their gardens was commissioned by multimedia retailer QVC.

QVC gardening presenter Richard Jackson said: "There's no excuse for allowing your garden to become unruly, especially when it comes to selling your home. 

"Simple and inexpensive maintenance and weeding plus the addition of a few colourful plants and flowers make all the difference and could save you thousands of pounds.

"The bank holiday is the perfect time to be getting out in the garden and if you start now, your garden will be ready to enjoy in time for BBQ season."


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