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We usually think that things like kitchen additions, off-street parking, and curb appeal can affect the overall value of our home. It’s important not to overlook the garden, however, as it might be hiding some common plants that experts say could devalue your property.
We’re not talking about the stylish garden ideas you’ve implemented, like the roses in your back garden or the neatly planted hydrangeas next to your driveway. Stokemont.com surveyors have discovered that there are a handful of certain garden plants that can have an insidious effect on your home, potentially reducing the value of your property by up to 15%.
Plants that reduce the value of real estate
So which plants could ruin the value of your home? You have to pay attention to these if you want to sell your house – in the order of possible damage.
1. Japanese Knotweed
First up is the Japanese knotweed. A notorious weed among people looking to buy and sell a home, it could seriously damage the foundations of your property.
Aaditya Bhatta, editor and founder of Plantscraze, explains that left to its own devices, “The Japanese knotweed’s massive root system exploits weaknesses in building foundations and connecting drainage systems, causing gradual damage, resulting in a faulty structure over a period of time leads time span.’
“Japanese knotweed poses a high risk to foundations, walkways and gardens because its fast-growing root system can cause costly damage,” she continues. Understandably, this can be an extremely unattractive prospect for potential buyers.
Unfortunately, it is also quite difficult to remove. Experts suggest you’re infinitely better off calling the experts — before people come to visit.
2. Giant Bear Claw
Although this one looks like a bouquet of beautiful white flowers, it’s deceptive – it’s actually as bad for your home as its rather frightening name might suggest.
The giant hogweed spreads quickly but will not cause any structural damage to your home. In fact, it can cause serious skin irritation instead. It is also difficult to remove and therefore expensive to remove (calling in the professionals can cost up to £15,000).
Claudia de Yong, landscape and garden consultant, explains: “You cannot eradicate it simply by deforestation. It is a very hardy plant and must be dug up with the roots attached, leaving no part of the plant in the ground.’
This and its danger to your skin can absolutely put off potential buyers who may be less inclined to buy your property until it’s gone so they don’t have to pay for the removal themselves.
Large trees such as poplars (and willows or oaks) in close proximity to your home can also be detrimental to the sale. Because their roots can spread up to 40 meters and disturb the building structure.
De Yong explained, “Some tree roots may get under the foundations and lift pavement, block drains and cause serious settlement or structural cracking. Not all mature trees cause structural damage when planted near buildings, but it can happen.”
Bradley McKenzie, a Stokemont surveyor, clarified, “Your age, soil type, location and depth all play a role in determining if your tree poses a problem. If so, it could cost £5,000 to £25,000 to repair.’
So it’s no wonder they could risk the overall value of your home.
4. Himalayan Balm
Himalayan balm can look pretty with showy purple flowers. But if you find this plant in your yard, it’s probably best to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Its potential damage to nearby ecosystems makes it risky to have around. “Himalayan balsam is another non-native species that competes aggressively, finding its way into gardens and shading our native plants,” De Yong said.
“It’s illegal to plant it and let it grow wild. Although its nectar-rich flowers will attract pollinating insects, this will distract them from visiting native species. Due to its rapid growth, it can also block waterways and increase flood risk.’
McKenzie states, “Its significant environmental impact on nature and associated laws are not favored by buyers. Therefore, it is recommended to control or eradicate this plant.’
Luckily, however, it’s easier to remove than the aforementioned plants, with De Yong suggesting that hand-pulling and trimming the plant before it sets seed is a good first step.
Yes – this vine might look picture perfect, especially when perched on top of an old English country house. But if you have the wrong type, ivy could cause cracks in your structure, allowing moisture to seep through.
“While ivy can enhance a home’s appearance, its strong attachment to walls can cause some homeowners concern because it can damage wall surfaces or clog drains and gutters,” says Bhatta. “In order to avoid structural damage to the house, large ivy plants on the walls must be removed.”
She suggests using mowers to trim ivy on the ground first. “If you have ivy on your walls, they will dry out if cut from below. To properly clean up the leftover vines, remove them after they have dried up.’