With so many potential buyers looking for outdoor amenities on the properties they are considering, think about how you can “take it outside” with your next renovation.

With the popularity of outdoor living spaces on the rise, it’s no wonder more buyers are looking for homes that provide outdoor amenities.

Patios that extend the indoor living spaces to the outside, outdoor cooking and food preparation areas, spaces designated just for dining, lounging and seating areas for socializing, entertainment areas, and even secluded areas to get away to read a book outdoors are all popular with buyers these days. As such, you should consider them when designing your next renovation. As with any living space, remember that lighting, heating, and cooling are all things to think about as you design your outdoor living areas.

Outdoor Cooking

Most outdoor kitchen spaces feature spacious grills, sinks, cabinets, small refrigerators, and stovetops. Some even include dishwashers. Everyone loves the idea of having a place to prepare food outside—it gives the sense of having two kitchens!

Outdoor kitchens aren’t just for mansions either. Simply staging a home with small square footage with a barbecue grill conveys to the buyers that the home would be perfect for entertaining and cooking outside. If your renovation is on the larger side and allows for an outdoor kitchen, keep in mind you’ll need some sort of roof or covering to protect appliances.

Outdoor Dining

If your outdoor space is adjacent to your indoor kitchen, you may want to turn the space into an outdoor dining area so you can enjoy dining any time without needing to carry tableware and food too far.

An outdoor spot for dining will show potential buyers the home’s ability to seat larger parties. Although most homes offer a dining room to seat party guests, an outside dining area shows that even a smaller home can seat large parties adequately by offering two places to dine.

Staging the outdoor dining area is one of the easiest ways to get the point across to a potential buyer that the home could be great for entertaining. Staging an outdoor table that holds an umbrella is always a good choice. Showing the outdoor dining to buyers with the patio umbrella open conveys to buyers they will be cool and comfortable while dining outside.

Outdoor Lounging

If you create an outdoor space complete with comfy couches, chairs, recliners, and side tables, you can create a wonderful place to lounge. This outdoor extension of your living room creates a great area for large groups of people to hang out as the party gets started. And it makes for a wonderful place for guests to lounge after dinner.

Staging lounging areas outside allows potential buyers to experience it, creating a lasting impression of the home. Showing an outdoor lounge area in your renovation project is just another great way to show how a home can be used to its full potential.

Outdoor Entertainment

Creating a home with an outdoor entertainment area may seem over-the-top for an average flip. But why not? For next to nothing, you can add an outdoor entertainment area. Adding an extra GFI plug to connect a television to an average outdoor covered patio area could create a real Wow! factor for your next renovation. Potential buyers will imagine themselves watching the big game outside with friends or picture themselves having a relaxing movie night alone outside. Televisions and sound systems are the perfect focal point for an outdoor space under a patio cover and can help to create more living space, especially for homes with less square footage.

Outdoor Quiet Spots

Locate your quiet outdoor spots away from the front of the house, away from streets, and near less high-traffic areas of the home. Adding French doors to the primary suite, leading to a secluded outdoor spot is always a great idea. It not only gives a smaller primary room a much larger feel, but also shows how the room can be used as a place to get away from the world to read a book or enjoy a cup of tea. Given the fast pace of life, having a quiet spot to go to at the end of a hard day seems to be high on every buyer’s list.

As with any living area, even outdoor living areas will need sufficient lighting for night use. String lighting is always a great idea for outdoor lighting. String lights can make a small area seem larger than it really is. It also has a way of making areas feel “dressed up,” adding an almost party feel.

String lighting can be applied in crisscross or in straight rows for a more formal feel. They can be a plug-in style, or you can purchase a solar style for use in areas where no electrical plug can be found. Also, with the availability of solar on just about every outdoor light you can buy today, good old landscape lights with small solar panels on them are a great way to illuminate an area for less than $20 a light. Adding a landscape light to smaller yards can help give the yard a more expansive feel if you place them at the far end of the yard. Consider that most buyers need to view homes after work, often when it’s already dark out. More outdoor lighting is the way to go to help show off any property better.

Heating the outdoor living area means extending the time someone will get to spend outdoors. The addition of a fire source gives buyers an opportunity to see the endless potential of having a home with outdoor living. From propane heat lamps to propane fire pits and full-blown custom built-in fireplaces, and even portable fireplaces, the ways to bring warmth to your outdoor living area are varied. If the weather permits, have your heat source up and running to give buyers the full effect. Nothing is more welcoming than having an outdoor fireplace going at an open house on a cool day.

For homes located in hotter parts of the county, creating outdoor living that provides a cool place to hang out during those hot summer months might be just what your next renovation needs. The cost of adding a cool outdoor living area is as little or as much as you want to spend on it.

Adding a covered porch or pergola will, of course, be at the top end of the cost. Still, the visual impression it will give buyers may help your investment pay off. Those kinds of additions will change the feel of the home not only from the outside but from the inside as well. It will help cool it down more from the inside by keeping the sun from shining into the home. Patio umbrellas, installing a misting system, or adding retractable screens are other ways to cool down outdoor living spaces without going over budget on your renovation. Once again, remember to show these off at open houses or showings.

Taking it outdoors will help your next investment project stand out. Upgrading your outdoor space is just one more way to show a potential buyer how livable the home really is. Adding outdoor spaces helps to make any home more memorable for buyers. Remember, too, that there’s no reason a home can’t have multiple outdoor living spaces.

Think of outdoor living as a way to take advantage of free added square footage. Outdoor spaces are almost like adding more rooms to the home. Any project, no matter how large or small, will benefit from adding outdoor spaces. The outdoor renovation you do on your next investment property could very well make it your best and most profitable investment.

  • Michele Van der Veen

    Michele Van Der Veen, host of Good Day segments including Flip It, Decorate Like A Designer and Stage To Sell, started her career in real estate investing over 30 years ago. A published author herself, she has also been recognized and featured in international magazines for her unique approach to interior design. Acquiring a formal education from the Interior Designers Institute of California, Michele’s experience stems from building custom homes to flipping over 100 homes and working in commercial real estate development alongside her father at a young age. Not afraid to push the limit on her own designs/investments, she will often be heard reassuring her team about her decisions by saying “Don’t worry we are the comps!” For more on Michele’s work or to contact her go to iHeartHomescorp.com.

Related Posts


Submit a Comment