While due diligence is often carried out while checking the building of a house you want to buy, the garden and the problems that can lie outside are often neglected. Taking the time to check the backyard for immediate signs of inconvenience or danger can save you money and heartache down the line.
If you want to use your garden to entertain others or to grow plants or veggies, the direction it faces is important. North and north-east facing gardens are generally the most desirable as they’ll give you the most sun (especially during the winter). East facing gardens will enjoy morning sun while west facing gardens will get evening light but also the hot afternoon sun.
It’s important to check that the size of the property you’re looking at matches the dimensions that appear on the title. You may find that fences have been built in the wrong place and dealing with this problem up front will solve bigger problems later on.
Even though the garden is facing a desirable direction, large trees can block a lot of the light that you want. If they’re on your property then it could be possible to remove them (depending on Council Regulations), but if they’re in a neighbour’s garden or on council property it may be a different issue.
While it’s not unusual to see insects in a garden, there was some you’d rather not have near your home. The most important thing to look for is a termite infestation as this can be a costly problem to repair. There are a number of signs that termites are nearby, and if you suspect that they are present it can be worthwhile bringing in a pest control expert to evaluate the damage.
Trees on neighbouring properties can cause a number of problems. As well as blocking valuable light, you should also look to see if overhanging branches are going to cause problems on your side of the fence.
Other things to watch out for are water-hungry trees (especially if you want to grow a garden or have a pool in your yard) and roots encroaching on your land as these can cause problems with plumbing and foundations.
As we saw in the storms of 2015, trees can and do cause a lot of damage. While small leaning trees can be fixed relatively easily, bigger trees that lean towards your house or have signs of infection may be likely to fall in strong winds.
If you’re in advanced negotiations for a home and want a professional quote on the health of its trees, please call Able Tree Services on 0403 221 044.