If your home offers outdoor entertainment options, chances are you will beat the competition when it comes to selling for top dollar in your local market. A new report from Zillow Research indicates homes with outdoor living additions may sell for double-digit premiums over comparable properties without those upgrades. For-sale listings boasting “outdoor kitchens” or “outdoor fireplaces” sold fore 20 percent or more than their competition, with the edge being particularly notable in markets like Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, California. Thinking of going slightly lower-key than a full kitchen or even a built-in outdoor fireplace? Remodeling Magazine’s “2018 Cost vs. Value Report” places both patio and deck additions among the highest-returning upgrades an investor can make on a home, with patios returning 47.6 percent upon completion and decks returning between 63 and 83 percent, depending on materials.

With springtime and the start of home-selling season now in full swing, outdoor amenities are should play a central role in your listing content and your home showings. Even with a constricted housing inventory in many markets, your for-sale properties can use every edge they can get when it comes to standing out from the competition. According to reports from Realtor.com, certain outdoor design trends stand out from the rest this year. While a good rule of thumb has always been to make adjustments to outdoor living space to enable it to function as much like indoor living space as possible, these three outdoor trends are particularly popular with spring and summer buyers:

  1. Vertical Gardens
    Conventional wisdom used to state gardens required too much upkeep and could alienate buyers lacking a green thumb. Vertical gardens are exempt from this rule, however, because they provide attractive landscaping, take up very little space, and can expand the feel of a small outdoor area like a patio. You can create a vertical garden by simply hanging planters on a whitewashed wall, which will allow a homeowner who does not wish to maintain the garden to remove it easily, or you can install vertical plant beds for a more permanent option.
  2. Light Up the Night (and the Evening as Well)
    Solar lighting is a low-maintenance way to add ambience to an outdoor living space without having to install additional electric lighting fixtures. Use the lights to mark the edges of an outdoor living “room” or enhance the usability of an outdoor area with a bright light and fan. For example, a picnic area becomes “outdoor dining” when the lights are brighter and a cool breeze is blowing from the top of the gazebo.
  3. Consider Concrete Options
    If you are installing a patio or other outdoor living space, then do not simply go with the patio stones that make the area “classic.” According to designers at Realtor.com, concrete is “cheap, durable, and easy to stain or stamp with funky colors or patterns” and “is having a major design moment.” It is also easier to clean than traditional patio stones and can help modernize an outdoor living area.
Categories | Article | Market & Trends
Tags | Home Sales
  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at SelfDirected.org or reach Carole directly by emailing Carole@selfdirected.org.

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