Too Big? Too Small? How does your garden grow?

Too Big? Too Small? How does your garden grow?
While size matters, it's not everything. Shape and access are also important

We often hear that 'a garden should be the right size for the house, so Stacks Property Search decided to establish exactly what that means.

Rachel Johnston of Stacks says: “When it comes to gardens, size is very important. A good starting point is to establish a stand-out example of what isn't big enough. 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.

It's incredible that a developer who goes to enormous lengths to provide every high-spec finish in a property will think it's alright to squeeze it into a tiny overlooked plot. Gardens in new developments started to feel uncomfortably small in the late '90s and have become increasingly inadequate."

So how big should a garden be? Stacks Property Search has established some rules about the minimum requirements:

1: 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.

2: 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.

3: The closer to the centre of a village, town or city, the smaller the garden can be.

4: Houses in prime central London (e.g. Mayfair, Knightsbridge) don't need a garden, but outside space will add value.

5: 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.

6: 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.

Rachel had this to say: “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.

Rules of course are made to be broken. 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.


Can a garden be too big?

According to Rachel  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 I would rarely suggest that a too large garden is a reason not to buy a property.

Rachel added: “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. One of the most vital aspects of any rear garden, regardless of size, is that it can be accessed without having to go through the house.

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!

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.”

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Latest Comments

Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

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Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

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jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

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