Did you just stumble across the perfect new home with a wonderfully landscaped yard and garden, incredible back patio and deck, complete with a luxurious pergola or gazebo to add that finishing touch?
Congratulations! You’ve found a rare gem!
But before you get too excited about purchasing your new home, it’s important to take a step back and consider some of the realistic issues that come into play when purchasing the house.
A Garden Is Like Furniture
Yes, you read that right. The best analogy for how to approach the garden is the same way you approach furniture on display when you tour the house.
That means that one of several possibilities could exist. Firstly, it could be the result of years of the current owners sweat and something they’re unwilling to part with. I’ve sold many houses that had DIY pergolas that the owner, for sentimental reasons, did not want to give up. See Pergola Plans for more info on the topic.
The point here is that, unless specifically specified, the owner has a right to remove any garden fixtures or even plants after the sale of the home.
Not only that, but the garden could be a rental. Just as many homeowners are encouraged to stage their house using rental furniture, carpets, and artwork, they might also stage their garden, renting for a weekend the look and feel of a luxurious backyard haven.
That means that the wonderful stone walkway and patio pergola might not be there when it comes time to move in.
To get a better idea of types of things a seller might stage in the backyard, see the video below:
When In Doubt, Clarify!
The result is that whenever part of the backyard is a big selling point for you, make it known in the contract that the owner is not allowed to remove the objects of your affection.
They may balk at some large fixtures, like a pergola or portable patio table, whcih they might consider furniture. The good news is that you can use this as a negotiating point to effectively increase the value of your home (many garden units can cost thousands of dollars to replace), and the fact that many units are not easily portable may encourage the owner to pass them on to you at bargain prices.
The point is simply to be clear and have an open discussion, that you capture in writing, abotu the units. In general, the best practice is to discuss these smaller elements after having agreed on the main points of a sale for the property. This gives you a little added leverage, since the owner knows you’re seriously interested in the property, and ceding one or two aspects of the garden may be just what it takes to close the sale.