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News: The most important extra room in the house

Whether you desire a quiet house in the country or hectic city living, there can be no doubt that owning a little patch of garden is a very attractive feature for any aspiring homeowner.

And for many, it seems that a garden is more important then an extra room in the house. A hefty 61% of us would choose to live without a utility room and over half of respondents would also forgo a second bathroom or even an extra bedroom to ensure their access to outdoor space.

But new research by Halifax Estate Agents reveals that two out of five people found it difficult to find properties for sale or to rent with a suitable garden or outside space.

So if you are selling - pay some attention to the garden, advise the agents.

Whilst both sexes agreed that a flagged patio area is the most attractive feature when looking for a garden, women were equally attracted to established shrubs and trees whereas men still look for that old time favourite bolt hole the shed or greenhouse!

Water features and decking are also popular elements along with the idea of a vegetable patch which 32% thought appealing.

Less desirable garden features included general rubbish and being overlooked by the neighbours.

Colin Kemp, managing director of Halifax Estate Agents, commented: "Buyers are increasingly attracted to homes offering the possibility for outdoor living. With today's hectic lifestyles, people are looking for an alternative place to relax in their spare time."

"Our survey shows that having a garden is a distinct advantage when selling a property. With a little maintenance, this area can prove extremely appealing to prospective buyers and can even be the determining factor in a sale."

Here are a few garden tips to help sell your property:

  • Treat your garden as you would any other room in the house and keep it tidy.
  • Ensure shrubs and hedges are kept in trim and weed any flowerbeds regularly.
  • Avoid letting the grass grow to an unruly length.
  • Try using a pressure washer to clean any patio areas. You will be surprised how much this brightens the area.
  • Try planting a few pots or tubs as a little splash of colour can have a dramatic affect and these can even be taken with you when you move.

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