Garden size and property desirability

Can a garden be too big? And when is a garden too small?

As professional property finders, Stacks often hear that ‘the garden is not the right size’, which may well be true for the individual buyer, but we do believe that there is a general expectation that the ‘garden is the right size for the house’ which will determine whether a buyer is disappointed or not upon viewing a property.

So how big should a garden be? Stacks Property Search has established some rules about the minimum expectations when buying a property:

  • Urban flats and apartments don’t need a garden, but their value will be enhanced if they have some outside space in the form of a balcony, roof terrace, or communal garden.
  • The less rural a property is, the less garden it needs. So a townhouse garden can be substantially smaller than the garden that goes with a rural property of the same square footage.
  • The closer to the centre of a village, town or city, the smaller the garden can be.
  • Houses in prime central London (e.g. Mayfair, Knightsbridge) don’t need a garden, but outside space will add value.
  • Houses in prime non-central London (e.g. Fulham, Clapham), town centre or village centre properties need a minimum of a small patch, enough space for outside entertaining, or a small dog to do the odd circuit. Think of it as an outdoors room.
  • Houses in prime outer London (e.g. Wimbledon), edge of town and edge of village houses should ideally have a garden that is at least the same size as the square footage of the property.

Rural properties, outside town or village boundaries, need a great deal more space. A six bedroom rural house should have an acre of garden, five bedroom house should have ¾ acre, and a four bedroom house should have ½ acre. It’s important not to get ‘garden’ confused with ‘land’. Any land should be in addition to garden space.

Gardens in new developments started to feel uncomfortably small in the late ’90s and have become increasingly inadequate.  A garden that is smaller than the footprint of its house for a rural or edge-of-village new development is not big enough. Yet this is what many new developers provide.  Developers who follow the above expectations will find that they can get top-dollar for their high-spec property, but not if they think it’s alright to squeeze it into a tiny overlooked plot.

Can a garden be too big?

In Stacks’ opinion, a garden can’t be too big. If it’s too much for the owner to maintain, it’s an easy task to rearrange the space so that the excess is permitted to go wild. There will be some related expenses, but we would rarely suggest that a too large garden is a reason not to buy a property – unless ease of maintenance was the reason for the move in the first instance!

While size matters, it’s not everything. Shape and access are also important. Small gardens will, ideally, be equally wide as the property itself, and will be accessed from the rear of the property. Front garden space is good if it’s in addition to rear garden, but compromises a property if it’s the only garden it has. The best gardens wrap around the property on three or four sides.

Other issues that play an important part are aspect and gradient, whether a garden is overlooked, and how it integrates with the property. 

A good communal garden can make amends for a compromised private garden. One of the most attractive arrangements is a small patch of private garden opening directly onto communal gardens. The advantage is your own perfectly small patch, and wonderful views of green space maintained by somebody else! But check rules and regulations relating to communal gardens – some don’t allow dogs, barbecues, music, and all sorts of the kind of things that most people want to do in gardens! Sara Ransom from our London office has some interesting opinions on London gardens here.

So how much outside space should you buy ?

Rules, of course, are made to be broken, and this is not to say that your ideal garden size is the norm. But buyers of property who are prepared to accept less rather than more should be prepared to also accept that they are compromising, that the value will be affected, and resale may be more difficult when the next buyer’s expectations are not met.

Each individual property will have its own set of compromises to make of course, For example, we often help clients determine whether ‘the view’  – what you are looking at – or ‘the vista’  – the length of view  – is more important to them, the second being potentially harder to control over the years. For more on how we help clients navigate a property search, please see out Property Finder Service.

Buyers looking for land or small-holdings have a different set of concerns, and we have advice for you here and here.

Buyers basing their out-of-London buying decisions on their young children’s requirement for large quantities of outside space should remember that they will soon be teenagers and will prefer to spend their leisure time a little further from home, returning only to be fed or driven somewhere more interesting.  There is lots of advice for family househunting in our Families section.

Downsizers who are keen on gardening often over-estimate the size of garden that will ‘be enough’ going forward – focus on the quality of the garden : accessibility, the view, privacy, practicality and maintenance potential – rather than the sheer quantity.  There is more help with many other Downsizing Dilemmas here.

 

Stacks Property Search helps clients analyse every aspect of a house purchase, including the appropriate garden size and its impact on house value. For more on how Stacks can help, contact us

 

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2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
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"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
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2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
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2020-02-27T09:49:08+00:00
"Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
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2018-11-21T12:33:22+00:00
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
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2018-11-21T13:16:29+00:00
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
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2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
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2018-11-21T13:12:46+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
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2018-11-21T13:22:31+00:00
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"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
"I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.

It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.

Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before"
2020-01-13T11:51:03+00:00
"I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future. It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting. Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before"
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"

Sunday Telegraph

2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

Sunday Telegraph

"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
"carried out with discretion"
2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
"carried out with discretion"
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2018-11-21T12:48:37+00:00
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
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2018-11-21T12:35:46+00:00
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2020-02-27T09:48:25+00:00
"Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification."
"You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
2019-05-02T11:00:08+00:00
"You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
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"We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
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2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
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2018-11-21T13:14:45+00:00
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:46:40+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:22:38+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
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“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
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2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
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2020-01-13T11:50:30+00:00
"Many thanks for your hard work and patience in assisting in buying our property. You made the whole process infinitely less stressful than it might have been"
"You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
2020-01-13T11:52:01+00:00
"You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
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2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
2019-06-19T13:54:55+00:00
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
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2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
2018-11-21T12:53:20+00:00
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
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2020-01-13T11:52:49+00:00
"I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
"Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
2020-01-13T11:52:24+00:00
"Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
2018-11-21T13:10:27+00:00
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
2018-11-21T12:37:14+00:00
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
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2018-11-21T12:58:19+00:00
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
"...negotiate on anything"

Financial Times

2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

"...negotiate on anything"
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
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2018-11-21T12:55:52+00:00
"The best decision we could have made!"
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2018-11-21T12:19:57+00:00
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
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2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
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2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
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2018-11-21T13:17:15+00:00
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
"utterly tenacious..."
2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
"utterly tenacious..."
“Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.
2019-12-06T09:48:50+00:00
“Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.”
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2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."

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