The Honest Broker: Outdoor Spaces
After being cooped up indoors due to shelter-in-place orders, buyers are reemerging and making outdoor space a priority in order to flex their green thumb. The pandemic is shaping people’s lives in new ways and causing some to reevaluate what features they want in a home. Now more than ever, potential home buyers are prioritizing outdoor areas, including gardens. According to a May 3–4 Economic Pulse Flash Survey of about 2,500 members of the National Association of REALTORS®, one in eight said their buyer clients have changed at least one home feature that’s important to them since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The most common features identified are home offices, yard space for exercising or growing food, and more space to accommodate their family.
Gardening offers many benefits: fresh air, exercise, and food for the table. It can be a shared or solitary activity in virtually any part of the country and any housing type. Inspire your clients by sharing these five types of garden types, which they can consider in their current or future home. Here are a few examples of gardens that can be created.
Also called war gardens because they were planted during World War II. They supplemented food rations, victory gardens are again being planted for food and to boost spirit.
Like many families across the U.S. prior to the pandemic, each person was busy with work, school, or other activities, and they rarely had dinner together. Creation of a victory garden gives something to focus on together.
More clients are asking for container gardens because they’re easy to water, feed, weed, and tend than in-ground gardens.
For containers; limestone can be used, though it can be expensive and heavy, especially once planted. Resin is a less costly and more colorful alternative that can be moved around a garden easily. While some may want a single container at a doorway or two flanking an entry, a grouping in different sizes can create a focal point to dress up a deck or fire pit area or conceal an eyesore like an air conditioning unit.
Containers are a good place to plant vegetables and herbs, too. The biggest mistakes homeowners make are using pots without holes at the base for drainage and not adding a layer of rocks before the soil to help water drain well.
A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment designed to encourage interaction with nature’s healing elements. The possibilities for these gardens vary widely, but they often feature sensory-oriented materials that involve sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Herbs are an easy way to start because they offer advantages.
These days, many homeowners are creating meditation gardens, locating it away from the house and street. Good elements to include are plants that attract birds, butterflies, and bees; a water feature to distract from street noise (be sure the water recirculates to avoid mosquitoes); a wind chime; and a comfortable place to sit.
Balcony or Rooftop Gardens
Any outdoor area can be transformed into a lush garden, even when not at ground level.
The biggest challenge for a balcony garden is that it may not get enough rain or sun due to a neighbor’s balcony above. Therefore, it’s important for the homeowner to hand water their plants or install drip irrigation. They should choose plants according to the amount of sun or shade and placing any bird feeders off the ground, so they don’t attract rodents. If the garden is small, limit the palette to three or four compatible choices.
Stay well and healthy
Diane Lott, Broker
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
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