It’s a common statement that a home is the biggest investment most people make. Whether you’re already living in your “forever home” or still have more moves ahead, all of this will have impact on what types of improvements you make.
If it’s your “forever home,” you can confidently forge ahead to paint the living room walls orange, put in koi ponds and an indoor pool, and replace all semblance of landscaping with stones or shells. This is when you literally make it your own.
If you’re planning on moving in the not-too-distant future, you may be a bit more hesitant to make large capital expenditures like adding a guest wing or installing a backyard pool.
In other words, determine your goals before all else. If you’re somewhere in the middle, perhaps still raising your children and years away from downsizing, you may be in the market for some serious customization.
It is interesting that today, the modern homeowner gives as much (sometimes more!) consideration to elevating their backyard to a genuine living space than they do about their interior square footage.
Let’s take a look at some of the best decisions that will bring even more value to this precious asset.
Some Minor, Yet Great Updates
We’ll get to the bigger ticket items (that reap the biggest value-add) in a moment. For now, check out these minor updates that can not only increase curb and yard appeal but will be additions you will enjoy as well!
Backyard Boss opines, “Smaller upgrades and improvements like rose gardens and game zones won’t recoup as much as the big-ticket items. However, they usually increase resale value by a reasonable percentage of what you invest. They can also easily be that one thing that sets apart your home from another.”
That’s an interesting point. Future buyers may not remember what your living room looks like amongst the slew they saw, but they will remember the Zen space you created in a small backyard niche.
A bountiful rose garden will make a powerful visual impact that will bring years of aesthetic beauty for your family and for generations to come!
Another interesting idea that won’t necessarily break the bank is a backyard gym. According to BB, “You don’t have to have a gym membership to perform a great workout. Instead, consider adding a backyard gym to your outdoor living space. You can add climbing walls, battle ropes, bodyweight station, chin-up bars, and so much more for that full-body workout.”
This addition is not something you see every day, and it has myriad benefits including fitness and the opportunity to exercise in the fresh air.
Best Backyard Improvements for the Money
Backyard Boss also says, “The University of Michigan did a study on home value. They discovered that properties with landscaping increased resale value by 11.3% over homes with poorly landscaped homes. Adding features like a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, outbuildings like gazebos and sheds, and similar larger additions often see a return of investment of between 80% and 200%.”
Ranging from modest to magnificent, these additions are made to last… as in giving a lasting impression. The undisputed hearth of the modern home, these spaces make entertaining easier, deliver the “wow” factor, and make more of your backyard viable living space.
One caveat by the experts is that to truly make this a worthwhile investment, consult with your contractor about making your outdoor kitchen one that offers a multi-seasonal solution.
Patrick Garrett, a broker/owner in Birmingham, AL says, “A fabulous outdoor kitchen can really make a home stand out against its competition. To get the biggest ROI, you will want to ensure the outdoor kitchen space is truly functional, and one that can be used at least three out of four seasons.”
This means a ceiling fan to cool, a fireplace/fire pit to warm, and it probably doesn’t hurt to have a flatscreen for football season!
This may not sound like a super exciting option, but fences obviously boast multiple benefits. A privacy fence in particular (typically 6 to 8 feet in height) will offer the seclusion many seek. While some neighbors will mind their own business, you may not feel like having a discussion with others about the cost of gas or the upcoming PTA bake sale when you’re enjoying some hot tub time in the privacy of your yard.
The other plus about fencing in general is that it provides a safer haven for dogs and children. When you can watch them from the window and know they can only roam so far, it gives you peace of mind and gives them a little freedom.
3. Backyard Pools
The demand for backyard pools has reached historic heights. With the desire for safe spaces for families and the need of late to cancel traditional vacations in favor of staycations, homeowners are digging deep (into the earth!) and coming up with the perfect at-home solution.
The interesting thing is that if you’ve never had a pool, you have no idea how much you’ll appreciate and get use out of it once you do. Then there’s no going back and imagining how you ever lived without it. Pools are not only a practical place for exercise and relaxation, pools make a stunning statement as the centerpiece for your backyard – around which you can celebrate the best of life’s moments.
You may not get exactly a dollar-for-dollar ROI on a backyard pool, but a well-maintained one will attract the attention of your home’s future buyer more than a sad-looking yard whose purpose is undefined.
These multi-purpose structures have innumerable variations. They can be tiered, they can be butted up to your home, they can be standalone, they can surround an above ground pool; they can live anywhere.
With an incredible assortment of materials and countless ways to dress them, decks will give any yard the personality it seeks. A direct extension of your interior square footage, your outdoor deck will make your home larger.
5. Screened-In Porches
These too are a wonderful addition to your home and its value. A simple concrete slab can be converted (with the proper permits and contractor) into a year-round space complete with screens and slated, weatherproof blinds/windows to keep extreme heat and cold outside.
Porches can be more elaborate featuring a fireplace, a TV, and a wet bar or converted into a simple lanai that’s tiled for easy care and full of relaxing furniture.
Also, not to be discounted are pergolas/shade structures, herb gardens, and a stylish landscape design. These won’t break the bank, but they show attention to detail and bring unique aesthetics to your great outdoors!
Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves everything that enhances the outdoor experience. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your ideal backyard oasis.