Spring has sprung and with that South Africans will once again be heading outdoors as much as possible. We are known for our sunshine and braais, and this is often a key consideration when buyers and tenants look for properties according to the Seeff Property Group.

While the accommodation, features and finishes of the property play a key role in the buyer’s decision to put in an offer, the garden and braai facilities are almost universally a decider. A nice garden and outdoor or under roof braai facilities is a strong selling point and adds value and desirability.

The pandemic has driven more people back to outdoor spaces and we have seen this in the exodus to houses with more garden space where they can enjoy a lifestyle in a secure setting. It is also one of the reasons for the growth in estates with open spaces.

The garden is usually the first thing that potential home buyers see when they visit a property. An attractive garden immediately sets the tone for the buyer. The garden should be impeccably neat and well maintained.

Buyers do not want to have the hassle of having to clean up the yard and garden when they move in. Therefore when evaluating two similar homes, the one with a nice garden will inevitably win the day.

An established and neat garden makes your property more attractive, but it does not have to be landscape. While landscaping is usually a feature of high value homes, it is not a prerequisite. Today’s garden centres provide so much assistance for novice gardeners.

A recent study done in the UK study (sellhousefast.uk) incorporating responses from property professionals and landscapers shows that in addition to a well-kept garden adds value some 76% of respondents noted that a good quality patio was also a big selling point.

In the South African context, we know that a braai patio is an important feature that many look for. It is not unusual to find that some new apartment developments now have the option of a built-in braai on the patios or communal braai facilities.


The UK research though found that artificial grass or lawn can be off-putting. While this was a trend during the Cape Town drought, buyers often still prefer real grass, unless they are specifically looking for a low-maintenance garden according to Seeff’s agents.


Even in a small complex or apartment, you can still add some gardening to your life. Indoor and container gardening has made a huge comeback. If you do not have floor space for pots, you can always hang them, or consider a vertical garden, another major housing trend.


Bear in mind that different plants thrive in different environments. Consult your local garden centre for what will be suitable to grow in your area. According to Keith Kirsten, South Africa’s favourite gardener who also designed late President Nelson Mandela’s garden, planting indigenous ensures sustainability, even during a drier season.

Lastly, Seeff’s rental agents recommend that if you are investing in a rental or want to rent out your own property and there is a landscaped or nice garden, you retain a garden service and include the cost in the rental to ensure it is well-maintained and preserved.


Get your wood patio furniture ready for spring