With the heat of summer slowly fading, the cooler temperatures of fall are the perfect time to begin outdoor improvements to your property. While enhancing your indoor spaces is important, outdoor improvements are an equally effective way to add value to your home. More importantly, outdoor improvements are more immediately visible to future buyers, making them a more visually powerful means of increasing and demonstrating your home’s market value.
Flora and Fauna
Nothing catches the eye like a well-groomed and maintained lawn. However, if you really want to add value and appeal to your home’s exterior, consider expanding your front and back yards’ flora by adding landscaped spaces and dedicated gardens. Creating these spaces can be labor-intensive, but if you focus on plants that can handle droughts and require little year-round maintenance, it will give your property a more sustainable yet equally value-increasing touch of natural beauty. Depending on where you plant your new foliage, you can even reduce your property’s energy usage for an added bonus. Trees or shrubs planted near windows and siding block direct contact from the sun’s rays, keeping the house cooler and thus lowering the dependence on air conditioning. Depending on the climate’s specific maintenance costs, you may want to ask a realtor like Re/Max River & Sea for advice on what vegetation is best to invest in if you’re trying to raise your home’s value.
Outdoor Fire Pits
While they’re only seasonally useful, an outdoor fire pit adds extra purpose to your property’s outdoor space, thereby increasing the home’s overall value. Fire pits make an excellent focal point for backyard entertaining through the summer months and even into early and mid-autumn. While a gas grill may be more practical, a fire pit is more versatile in that it can be used with both charcoal and nature firewood, which adds a touch of rustic charm that many prospective homeowners seek out. Timeless features like fire pits are immune to the trends and fads of modern home architecture and design, meaning your investment is more likely to retain its value.
Build a Deck
Adding a deck to your property is one of the most consistent ways to up the value of your home. While it’s more expensive than simple landscaping and other outdoor features, the initial cost is well justified. On average, a deck increases property value by about $7000, or nearly 75 percent of the cost, assuming you spend the average of $10,000. If you’re willing to put in some extra effort to find deals on materials and even carry out some of the installation yourself, the percent recouped can easily approach or surpass 100 percent of the initial cost. Decks are an excellent way to extend space for entertaining, hobbies, and other activities without doing a fully enclosed addition to your home, making them an excellent investment.
Install a Pergola
One difficult aspect of adding outdoor improvements is that their usefulness is often limited by the seasons. While you probably enjoy the occasional thunderstorm while reading a book from the comfort of your bedroom, a turn in the weather can leave outdoor improvements unused. A pergola is an excellent way to beat the elements and offers potential buyers the option of entertaining nearly year round.
While they differ in style, a pergola is basically a wood-crafted archway that protects outdoor dining and entertaining areas like your patio or deck. Not only do they keep these spaces dry, as they also provide shade and a convenient place to attach outdoor lighting, allowing for backyard entertainment long into the evening. The cost largely depends on the area you wish to cover, but since they dramatically increase the usability of outdoor spaces, they’ll more than prove their worth in upping your home’s value.
Add a Gazebo
Increasing your home’s value through improvements to the yard comes down to maximizing the time you or future owners can spend comfortably outdoors. For the ultimate enclosed outdoor space, nothing beats a gazebo. Unlike the pergola, which uses a slat roofed style unsuited to more aggressive weather, gazebos use shingled roofs not unlike your home’s. This is more effective at running off rain and insulating guests from the sun during peak summer months. If you really want to increase the space’s versatility, consider a gazebo with removable screen panels, as these can be reattached during seasons when mosquitoes and other insect pests are most prevalent.
The First Impression
While prospective homeowners are obviously concerned with bedroom count, the age of plumbing, and other indoor features, it’s the outdoor aspects of your home that ultimately make the first impression. Indoor improvements are important, but to neglect your front and backyard is to essentially skip an entire area of your property that’s ripe for value-increasing improvements. Focus on making changes that not only add aesthetic appeal, but also expand the functionality of your outdoor spaces, as this two-pronged approach will more effectively increase your home’s value.