Even though some employees are starting to resume commutes to their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic, others have realised the potential benefits of a home office. And that includes people who were expected to return to a workplace but now want to continue doing their job from home. What this means for homeowners looking to sell soon is that there’s never been a better time to find a buyer if you’ve got an office space at your property.
And in particular, many people looking to buy a house are on the search for a property that also includes a garden office — and having such a feature could boost the value of your home, which in turn might help to increase the total profit you can expect to make when selling. That’s because a garden office is seen by many prospective buyers to be something that is useful, and which they might want but otherwise don’t have the energy or funds to create on their own.
For most homeowners, maximising their profit from selling their property is the main target, as they will be using the sale proceeds to help pay for their next dream property, or to achieve whatever other aim they have from selling. Some of the many reasons why people want to find a buyer for their property include needing to halt repossession, dealing with a change in their personal situation such as a divorce or illness, wanting to move overseas or elsewhere in the UK, a desire to sell an inherited but unwanted house or flat, and a number of other reasons.
But if you’re thinking that a garden office might be the key to boosting your sale profit, there are some potential drawbacks and limitations to such a choice, and that’s why it’s crucial to understand what’s involved with adding this feature to your property. Consider all of the information carefully before making a final decision on whether it’s right for your home.
Why could a garden office help with the sale of my home?
Let’s start by explaining the importance difference between a garden office and the more conventional home office, as explained by the experts at Auction Link, a property auction specialist based in London.
A traditional home office is a dedicated space within your home that you’ve converted into an area to do your day job. This could be as large-scale as emptying out a spare bedroom or even building an extension on to your home to create a unique spot, often with a door, where you can place a desk, chair, computer and any other items you might need for your work.
A garden office, by contrast, is a workspace that would be located in your garden and not attached to the house itself. This standalone building could be a shed, a brick structure, or any other type of unique enclosed area where you’d be able to do your work remotely. It needs to be able to withstand the elements, so it must have a roof, windows and a door.
Garden offices are considered favourable for buyers that want the convenience of having a home office but don’t want to take up any room inside their property to achieve the goal. Instead, by placing the office in an outbuilding such as a high-quality shed, homeowners can completely avoid having to take up valuable space within their properties to use as an office. That fact can also potentially make it easier to sell the house in the future, because it will maximise the number of bedrooms and other rooms for your property’s listing.
And as highlighted above, garden offices soared in popularity during the pandemic and that ongoing interest in having a specific home working space is likely to continue. Indeed, there are companies in the UK that focus only on building first class garden offices of many different shapes and sizes, using top of the range construction materials and featuring insulation.
Garden offices can be useful – but not necessarily for everyone
Despite their name, garden offices also don’t need to be used exclusively for doing your day job. Some homeowners like to have such spaces away from their homes in order to do their hobbies, for example using a garden office as a gym where they can do their workouts. Other people have created home bars with fun themes. The possibilities are almost endless.
And a major perk of a garden office is that it typically won’t need planning permission from the local authority, which can be a very lengthy and complicated process. Instead, such structures are commonly known as outbuildings that you may be allowed to construct without obtaining such approval, under the Permitted Development rules. This means that you can often fairly quickly erect a garden office once you’ve decided on the shape, size and type of material that you would like to use for such a building.
Home offices, in comparison, can sometimes require planning permission, particularly if you need to extend the size of your property to build a dedicated room for the office. For those homeowners looking to sell as quickly as possible, building a home office is at odds with that goal, but adding a garden office is something that usually be done at a fairly quick pace. This is especially true if you’re buying a pre-built shed or other structure than can easily be placed.
But whether you are considering a home office or a garden office, another important factor to consider is the cost of the project. Even if you decide to build a shed on your own for a garden office, you’ll have to pay for the materials and also commit the time to constructing it. And if you pay someone else to construct and install the garden office, that’s more time and money that some homeowners might not be able to spare. Never put yourself in debt taking steps to improve your house or flat before selling it unless you can truly afford to do so.
To guard against such an outcome, you should create an honest budget for your house sale, including the net profit that you expect to make, to see whether adding a garden office makes sense. If the cost and time it will take to add this feature means a potential large rise in your home’s sale price and sale profit, you should consider going ahead with that plan. But if it will cost you funds that you can’t really spare and will have minimal impact on the value and asking price for your property, you might want to drop consideration of a garden office.
Take time to consider whether a garden office is right for your home sale
Unfortunately, if you live in a flat then it’s highly unlikely that you have any garden space, or that the amount of greenery available to you will not be large enough to place a garden office. If that’s your living situation then you might still want to consider identifying a room or area within your home that you could consider converting into a home office before you try to sell it. Many buyers will still see this as an attractive feature that helps the overall appeal of your property.
Each home is unique, and whether or not a garden office is the right choice for your house will depend on many factors including the speed at which you want to sell, the potential increase in value that you think a garden office might create, and many other considerations.
If you do decide to invest in a garden office, make sure that you include this feature in the listing for your property whether you’re selling it via an estate agent or an auctioneer, because it’s incredibly unlikely that most buyers will see it as anything but an advantage. Similarly, if you decide to sell your home to a fast property buyer then you should also alert them to the fact you have a garden office, because it could increase the quote that they give you to buy the home.
Take your time to carefully think about the pros and cons of a garden office as it applies to your home, but know that there are many homeowners who have gone through with the idea of building a garden office and found that it did help them when selling their properties.