6 Outdoor Living Features That Can Add Value To Your Home

The U.S. real estate market has been on a roller coaster lately. Last year, median home sale prices peaked at a record high of $468,000, but they’ve gradually been coming down since. 

What’s going on? More buyers are unwilling to pay record-high home prices, and sellers are having to lower their asking prices as a result.

As a homeowner, you might be worried about the resale value of your home. Will you be able to sell it for a profit later down the road? There are many factors at play here, including the market, your location, and the condition of your home. But one way you can boost the value of your home is to add outdoor living features to it. 

So if you want to take some control over your home’s value in today’s volatile real estate market, here are six outdoor features you might consider investing in:

1. Patio

Patios are a popular outdoor feature that tend to maintain their value over time. In their 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, the National Association for Realtors (NAR) estimates the cost of a new patio to be around $7,200 and the amount you can recover at $5,000. That’s an ROI of 69%.

Some extra ways you can help ensure that a new patio addition delivers a strong ROI is by adding lighting and not letting it take up too much backyard space. After all, you and future buyers may still want a lawn for kids to run around and play in with less risk of getting hurt on a hard surface.

2. Outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are all the rage these days. They’re a great way to experience the fresh air and good weather while you eat without really leaving the house. Outdoor kitchens are especially appealing to luxury buyers. In fact, you can expect anywhere from 50% to 200% ROI on the original cost of your outdoor kitchen!

To get the most bang for your buck, make sure you design your outdoor kitchen around the grill and include plenty of counter space. Other features you might consider include a wood-burning oven, fridge, sink, island, and outdoor furniture. 

3. Deck

Decks are another great outdoor addition to your home. They can help increase your living space and enhance your home’s curb appeal. According to NAR, a new wood deck will put you back about $10,000, but you can recover $8,000 of that, which comes out to be an ROI of 80%.

If you choose to install a deck, make sure to seal the wood so that it lasts longer, and again, don’t let the deck overtake the rest of the backyard. You may still want space to lounge about on the grass and add other backyard features. 

4. Firepit

Fire pits are a relatively inexpensive addition to your home. You can opt for a wood-burning fire pit or a gas-powered one. Either way, it can create more opportunities to enjoy time together as a family by roasting marshmallows or hotdogs over the fire. NAR pegs the typical cost of a fire feature at $6,000, of which you can recover $4,000 for an ROI of 67%.

Before you commit to installing a fire pit, however, make sure to check any community restrictions against them.

5. Swimming pool

Want to immediately boost your home’s curb appeal? Try adding a swimming pool. Yes, it will require ongoing maintenance, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the warm weather more by taking a dip whenever it gets hot. According to NAR, the cost of installing a pool canbe $57,000. You’ll recover $25,000 of that for an ROI of 43%.

To add extra value to your outdoor swimming pool, consider installing underwater lighting. Also, be sure to address any cracks or filtration issues early. Not doing so could lead to bigger issues down the road and lower the pool’s value add. 

6. Extended roof overhang 

Lastly, if you want to create more shade for your patio or deck, consider building an extended roof overhang. This can help you stay cool during hot summer days out back. NAR doesn’t have an estimate for the cost of an extended roof overhang, but puts the cost between $3,000 and $10,000, of which you may recover a sizeable fraction.

If you choose to extend your roof, make sure to adhere to local building codes and use a large enough covering so that it shades the desired area (i.e. nobody gets sun in their eyes while sitting on the patio or deck).

Adding it all up

At the end of the day, there are many ways to add value to your home through outdoor projects. The key is to make sure they generate a high ROI by assessing the market and doing your due diligence. 

For any of the projects listed above, you’ll also want to check your local housing regulations (and HOA if you have one) before you get started. Doing your research is key to making your outdoor project a success that will generate value for years to come.

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