5 Outdoor Upgrades That People Will Pay More For
Making improvements to your outdoor living space can increase your home’s value and help sell your home before the buyer steps through the door. Both the front and back yards reflect how you spend time outdoors and help potential buyers imagine how they will be spending time in your outdoor space. What outdoor improvements are the best investments to add value?
Every neighbourhood has a different price range so not all investments in your outdoor space will yield the best return. Before you race off to buy what looks good in the garden magazines, consider these steps:
- Consult a Realtor® to determine the maximum amount you could get for your home if outdoor improvements were made.
- Determine your budget.
- Assess if you can make these improvements on your own or if a contractor is required to achieve the best results for you.
Once you have identified your budget, you can choose the best improvements to enhance your home’s exterior, and make it a valued “room” throughout the seasons.
Here are the top five outdoor improvements potential buyers would be willing to pay more for:
#1 Create an Outdoor Room
Photo credit: flickr.com
The biggest impact you can have on your yard is by making all, or a part of it, into an outdoor room. A 2016 survey by Realtor.com showed that the outdoor living space of a home was the most attractive quality to buyers — more important than either an open floor plan or the curb appeal.
An outdoor room can be as simple as surrounding an elegant bench with peaceful landscaping, to creating a kitchen with a stone fireplace for cooking. While installing a pool and cabana will likely not provide you with the best return on investment if you’re renovating for the purposes of resale, making improvements to them if they are existing and neglected may be. An outdoor room should serve a purpose, and that can include dining, games, recreation, reading, and/or entertaining. Determine what provides the most value to your family to guide you in keeping wide open recreation spaces or visual walls for an intimate setting. Make your new space engaging by utilizing landscaping, water features, flooring, or a fireplace.
#2 Landscaping & Lighting
Photo credit: flickr.com
When we think of yards, the first thing that comes to mind is landscaping. Spring and summer bring a flood of landscaping promotions, offering everything from summer blooms to colourful shrubs and trees. Consider the long-term potential provided by trees that provide summer shade and privacy, fall colour, and added sunlight in the winter when the leaves have fallen.
Our area is fortunate to have an abundance of greenhouses with knowledgeable staff to help you choose ideal plants and accents to benefit your yard. If you are a low-maintenance kind of person, consider investing in stone features to create attractive terraces and rock gardens. Accent your garden with a water fountain and seasonal decor for a setting that puts you instantly at ease with no upkeep.
Once everything is in place, electric or solar powered spotlights will showcase key features, enhancing your picturesque yard into the evening.
#3 Curb Appeal
Many people often wait until they are listing their home to make it picture-perfect. A minimum of regular upkeep will keep your curb appeal fresh and inviting every day, which is critical to selling your home fast and for top dollar. If you’re interviewing Realtors®, ask them if staging services are included in their fee – this can be a big help in determining what enhancements can be made to boost your curb appeal.
A simple coat of paint or wood stain on the fence and porch railing will brighten your yard instantly, with only a few hours of time. Bare spots in the lawn benefit in minutes from a dose of fertilizer and seed. Larger, but lasting, projects include: repainting the home, paving or patching the driveway, and upgrading the doors for improved appearance, security, and energy-efficiency.
Consult with your Realtor to determine priorities in outdoor improvements. A good rule of thumb is to concentrate your time and budget on upkeep first.
An outdoor room is instantly created by building a deck, and is considered an improvement that will provide the highest return on your investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost Vs. Value” report. That can create a 78% value increase if using composite, and 87% for wood.
Go up another level, and add a cover to the deck, with either permanent roofing or a retractable awning to enjoy sunny days. If evening insects are a challenge, screening the deck may be a worthwhile investment to extend the hours you can spend outside.
Do-it-yourselfers can accomplish a nicely-sized deck for approximately $2,000 in materials. If hiring someone, plan to slightly more than double that cost.
Thinking of a patio? The return is harder to estimate, but it will allow you to add graceful terraces, if your space and terrain permit, for added visual impact.
If you are planning on selling, remember that 98% of both owners and buyers include either a deck or a patio on their wish list, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey.
#5 Firepits and Fireplaces
Unwinding beside a crackling fire is one of life’s little pleasures. Today, many homes have a gas hook-up to produce a glowing flame at the push of a button. Outdoor log fires have a rustic appeal, but check with your city or town regulations to make sure that is permitted in your location.
There are a wealth of fire pit options to choose from, with inexpensive yet beautiful metal bowls available in home stores from $100 and up, to massive stone or brick hearths for a lasting structure to carry you through the summer months.
A yard is not just a yard, but an extension of your home, adding significant value in the eyes of potential buyers, while creating a space to build lasting family memories. Dream big, and then achieve your vision on a budget by doing it in manageable steps.
Looking to buy a home that will give you added outdoor living space?
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