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Q My back garden measures about 60ft by 20ft. There is a scraggy piece of lawn and some tired shrubs. I'd like to give it a makeover, getting rid of the lawn, laying shingle and paving stones and filling tubs with some decent plants. My partner says this would put people off buying the house in the future because most people like a lawn. Is she right?

Q My back garden measures about 60ft by 20ft. There is a scraggy piece of lawn and some tired shrubs. I'd like to give it a makeover, getting rid of the lawn, laying shingle and paving stones and filling tubs with some decent plants. My partner says this would put people off buying the house in the future because most people like a lawn. Is she right?

Pete P, by e-mail

A Gardens tend to evolve with their owners and it's very hard to judge what someone else will like or dislike. Certainly, families with young children may prefer a lawn but you should go ahead and plan your garden to suit you. A well-planned garden, which takes into account the sunny areas and makes the most of the space, will appeal to everyone. It's important to view it as an added living space with year-round appeal. As with internal decorations, if you don't intend to stay there forever, try to avoid outrageous features that may become dated or would be difficult to remove by a new owner.

Q I've been left some money and would like to buy a house with a self-contained flat that I could let. Will potential tenants be hesitant about living below their landlord and are there any pitfalls for me?

Mark T, by e-mail

A Some tenants may worry that you will be spying on their every move, but others may see it as a bonus if they have any problems. The tenant is more likely to look after the property and pay their rent on time if they know you are nearby. This could work well for both of you but keeping the tenant-landlord relationship neutral is probably best. Ultimately, it will be no easier for you living above your own tenant as opposed to someone else's.

Q My mother is intent on buying a bungalow situated a short walk from her local high street. The only problem is that it is opposite a rather ugly office block with a large car park in front and manned security gates. I think she will have a problem if she wants to sell at any time in the future. Am I right?

SW, by e-mail

A You mother is prepared to buy the property so perhaps someone else will too, although the price is always likely to be lower to a comparable property on a quiet street. She should visit at various times of the day to see how much disruption it may cause and ask the neighbours for their opinion. I would also make enquiries at the local authority planning office to see if there are any plans for the office block to be redeveloped, or ask your mother's solicitor to investigate this for you. You may find that any future development of the site could have a bearing on the bungalow.

If you would like a query answered, e-mail: propertyq&a@independent. co.uk. Only those questions featured will be answered. Any advice given will not be legally binding

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