Just today, I met with the Appraiser at this house. As we were standing in the outstanding backyard space, he told me that he’s finding more and more value in homes that have a beautiful outdoor space. Even in the Pacific Northwest, buyers are gravitating toward a place to be happily and comfortably outdoors. They want to entertain, cook out, and have more options in their home. He’s seeing the investment owners put into the outdoor space come back in spades.
Outdoor spaces are highly desired by homebuyers young and old. Whether it is a condo with private or communal decks, a yard with a few square feet of grass, or an extensive garden with special fire pit, outdoor spaces have evolved from the sprawling lawns with fences that dominated the landscape not so many years ago. Today’s homeowners are creating rooms and spaces that encourage people to come out, relax, and bring a glass of lemonade.
According to American Institute of Architects Chief Economist Kermit Baker, “Outdoor living spaces have become the new ‘great room’ in terms of must-have items for home owners.” According to the Pulte Group Home Index Survey, 63% of young adults (age 18-34) say that outdoor living spaces and decks are “extremely important” or “very important” when choosing a home.
If you have been evaluating your home’s outdoor space potential and are ready to make some improvements, consider the following:
- The flow from the inside to the outside – Ideally you want this as seamless as possible so the outside beckons you to come on out! Glass folding door/walls are the newest rage, but if that is too costly, then looking at more ways to let in more light and the view by changing walls into windows is the way to go.
- Creating rooms – Through seating, places to put down drinks and books, plants, and even rugs to define spaces, create a sense of comfort by defining different spaces to relax. Put an occasional table next to a porch swing. Add additional places for people to perch next to a couch. Create spaces to socialize, entertain, and relax!
- Getting cozy – Remember when high outdoor furniture fashion was a metal fold-up chair or porch swing with a plastic cushion? Today’s outdoor furniture includes robust couches, coffee tables, and chairs with ample weather-resistant cushions.
- Checking out the lighting – Outdoor lighting can really set the mood for any occasion! Of course, hard-wired lights are more controllable and output consistently, but solar lights have come a long way and installation is a snap! Lighting in the garden, around seating areas, and highlighting certain garden features can have big impact!
- Power! – If you are going to be adding hardwired lighting, why not add some power outlets while you are at it? This allows you to do things like charge your phone and work on your computer while lounging.
- Music – Outdoor speakers that are hooked into a central sound system can also set the mood. Speakers may be hidden or in plain view, but disguised as rocks.
- The Fun! – Now for the extras! What kind of recreation do you want? A tree house? A fire pit? Horseshoes?
Of course, if you are just creating outdoor spaces to appeal to a wider range of homebuyers, you should make different choices than if you are actually planning on enjoying your space for several years to come. If you would like help with either, please give us a call at 206-762-0682.
- National Association of REALTORS 2016 Home Buyer Seller Profile