Outdoor projects centering around fire, water and homemade pizza offer owners more fun at home and best ROI when selling.  You as an agent can share information about specific income generating upgrades with your clients.

Lines Now Completely Blurred between Outdoor and Indoor Living

The pandemic (re)focused homeowners’ and potential buyers’ appreciation for and prioritization of outdoor living spaces.  Not only did backyard spaces “save” many homeowners from feeling trapped during initial lockdowns and cancelled vacations last summer, the current collateral damage caused by the delta variant of COVID reminds us all that this pandemic isn’t over yet nor is it likely to be the one and only pandemic we’ll likely experience in the future.

Outdoor kitchens and pizza ovens make dining with family and friends more festive…they also can add +2.2% more to the sale price of a home compared with similar homes without such amenities when the existing homeowner decides to become a seller.

Consider More Permanent Upgrades to Backyard Spaces

Our transitory pandemic lockdown mentality is becoming more permanent the more we see delta variant-COVID infections and caseloads rise.

Freshly dug vegetable gardens may become specialty gardens.  For example, studies show that a Zen garden can increase a home’s value by +1.5%.  Inflatable pools for splashing around may become in-ground pools.  Custom swimming pools with add-ons such as a tanning shelf (a “shelf” that sits 9-12” deep in the water that provides a space for children to sit and play in the water or for lounge chairs) or a fountain will always appeal to certain buyers.  And, according to realtor.com, homes with these features have been selling 39% faster than homes without these features.

Homes with major outdoor cooking features such as a kitchen, smoker, patio bar and/or pizza oven automatically make properties more desirable.  A Zillow study of 1.4M homes in 2020 indicated that properties with any/all of these outdoor amenities can sell for +3.4% more than expected.  Realtor.com research confirmed such Zillow findings by indicated that the median listing price for properties with these outdoor amenities say an uptick of +14.9% y/y to $609,000 in 2021.

Fire features such as outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are also in high demand, according to a Remodeling Impact Outdoors study provided by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights with NAR, said that homeowners and potential buyers alike want fire features that are both easy to use and that feature automatic ignitions.

Not only do homes with fire features sell approximately three days faster than properties without them, they sell for +1.6% more than similar homes.

Small outdoor structures (pergolas, gazebos, canopies, pavilions) help properties sell faster and increase prices by +13.4% y/y, according to realtor.com.   And, of course, wooden decks typically offer homeowners an ROI of approximately 70%.

Which outdoor project to tackle first?  Claire Goldman, principal with R & R Landscaping and board member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, said, “The biggest overall trend is more of an emphasis on thoughtfulness and function.  Clients are looking for purpose in their outdoor space.”

Word to the Wise

Client demand is over the top for contractors.  Materials remain under-supplied and delayed.  You and/or your clients may want to wait, make a deposit and lock in a project for next spring.

In the meantime, enjoy any and all amenities you currently have in your outdoor space.

Thanks to the New York Times.


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