Curb appeal is real, y’all. And it extends all around the outside of your home, not just the front. The outdoors plays an important role in how buyers see your home. That’s one of the key findings in a 2016 National Association of REALTORS® report. According to the report, outdoor remodeling projects add value to a home on resale, while also making homeowners who plan to stay in their homes happier.
And don’t worry if you don’t have a huge yard. It turns out that more buyers are looking for small gathering spaces with outdoor fireplaces or fire pits and comfortable seating rather than larger backyards.
Outdoor Home Improvement #1: Make Sure Your Outdoor Spaces Are Marketable
“Marketable” means “what will appeal to your market.” It’s important to know what the typical buyer in your area wants. And it’s not enough to know what appeals to Millennials vs. Baby Boomers, or people in Colorado vs. people in Massachusetts. The term “your area” could be *really* specific. For example, buyers in Wash Park probably want very different things in their outdoor spaces than buyers in the neighborhoods near the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. Before you build a pricy outdoor kitchen complete with a wood-burning pizza oven, check with a Realtor – me – to learn what will have the broadest appeal and best return on investment based on sales of comparable homes.
Outdoor Home Improvement #2: Bring the Outdoors Inside
Colorado weather is pleasant for most of the year. But when it’s not, we still like to enjoy the view from indoors. So how the inside of your home interacts with the outside matters. What do you see when you look out the windows and doors of your home? Are the views framed? Or blocked? Can you walk all the way around your house without running into an obstacle? If so, great! This allows more light inside. If not, can the obstacle blocking your path be removed? Look for ways to open space directly around the house. In general, you want to draw the eye outdoors with a great view. That may mean a larger window, or it may simply mean a change of window coverings.
Outdoor Home Improvement #3: Foster Year-round Outdoor Living
Coloradans love to be outside and entertain outside. In some neighborhoods, that means an outdoor kitchen or fireplace. But even in more modestly-priced areas, you can still get good use from outdoor spaces year-round if they’re covered. Depending on your homeowners’ association, you may be able to add a retractable awning or a full roof over your open deck. “Shade sails” may be another option and may be more acceptable to an HOA since they are not permanently attached.
Outdoor Home Improvement #4: Create a Private World
Outdoor areas are great for having fun and relaxing, but if neighbors are too close by, they can essentially become uninvited guests. If you’re standing on your deck at your house, can you see the neighbors? Are they off in the distance, or are you totally alone and can’t see anyone at all? If you need privacy, a well-placed tree or tall flowering bush can offer more visual appeal than a fence. This can also be a great solution when community covenants would prevent you from building a tall-enough fence. Arbor vitae or cypress are good choices for this purpose.
Call Me for Insight and Recommendations
I’m happy to share information about the types of outdoor home improvements that will give you the best bang for your buck in your specific neighborhood. And I can also pass along recommendations for trusted vendors in my network. Just give me a call at 303-204-6494. My experience and recommendations can save you time, money, and disappointment, and can help you get what you want from your home.