So, you have now acquired your French holiday home let in La Charente. But, it requires a list of internal and external building works as well as modernisation and painting and decorating before you can bring your property to the French holiday let market. So, what to do first? What is the main priority in your lengthy ‘To Do’ list of work? The ‘Garden.
The garden is an important marketing feature, especially for guests looking to eat ‘Al Fresco’ in a well-maintained garden whilst drinking fine French wine beside a crystal-clear water swimming pool. But, unlike building works and painting and decorating, which can be rapid to carry out and complete, a garden takes time to plant, mature and to establish in order to portray that homely welcoming quality to appeal to guests. Indeed, some old English and heavily scented Damask roses – a favourite amongst English holiday guests – may take two years to flower, if bought cost-effectively as bare root in Autumn. Trees and shrubs also may take two to three years before making an impact on the landscape so as to reveal their true colours and glory. Nature may be a difficult business partner to rush in your buy-to-let investment.
You may take the approach to ‘buy-in’ mature plants and trees to speed up the process in bringing your gîte to the holiday let market. Although this may appear to be advantageous, there are several disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the effect the approach will have on your property’s yield and your return on investment. Paying more for less may reduce your holiday let yield. Although an attractive garden is an important feature in enticing prospective guests, it may not substantially increase the property’s return or capital gain. Further, there is the consideration of loss and waste. Buying young plants or bare root roses may minimalise loss as the plants will become accustomed to their new environment. In turn, waste is avoided and the likelihood of reaching a mature garden cost-effectively is increased. The financial loss of garden plants can be considerable if careful planning and preparation is not carried out. Moreover, it may be a hidden loss as the gradual disappearance of plants may be unnoticeable. The replacement of plants will reduce your return and property yield. Therefore, factor in the replacement of plants in your property maintenance services to help assess an accurate return on your holiday let investment.
Remember . . .
Stay on top of the garden, particularly during the growing months. Nature is always waiting to reclaim her space!