Henley Property Blog – Game, Set and Match – Tennis Courts Add Financial Value

tennis-courtWith Wimbledon fast approaching at the end of the month, it’s that time of year when thoughts may well turn to tennis courts.

Apart from the luxury of the court to pack children down to, invite friends over for tournaments, or relax with a glass of Pimms watching a neighbourly match, tennis courts can also add financial value and desirability to a property.

Whilst expensive to build, a tennis court can generally increase a property’s value and certainly helps with the ‘wow factor’ for buyers looking for a house with fantastic grounds. Along with swimming pools, media rooms and stables and paddocks, a tennis court is often on the checklist of the wealthy buyer looking for the perfect country house.

If you are planning on adding a court to your property there are few elements to be aware of. Firstly, make sure that your plot is large enough; any house on less than an acre and a half can easily be dominated by a court which can look rather unattractive especially during the winter months. Ideally, it should be tucked away behind trees and hedging or in a walled area, not within direct view of the house, and if you are a fan of entertaining add a pavilion. Think about the time you have to spend on the court: if you can have someone to maintain it, grass courts are often more attractive to look at but they can be very time-consuming. Alternatively, all-weather surfaces are less effort, but beware of overhanging branches which can drop leaves onto the court in the autumn months. Another recommendation would be to always opt for the black netting, the most commonly made mistake is that people assume that green netting will fade into the surrounds more naturally than black but this is just not the case. You will also need to contact your local planning authority as there are rules on change of land use, drainage and fence height which will need to be agreed as planning permission is inevitably required.

As the All England Club opens its doors to the TV crews, stocks up on its strawberries and all eyes are switched to Centre Court I expect to have a number of requests from buyers asking me to find them their perfect house with a court on which to hone their serve. Many of the best properties in the Henley area with beautiful courts are only for sale privately, off-market, so I am expecting a number of calls when the tennis begins in a couple of weeks’ time.

Helen Rhodes
Partner of Heaton and Partners, a property search agency