Does an Outdoor Living Space Add Value to Your Home?

Does your outdoor living space add value when it’s time to sell your home? In many cases, yes. Here’s a look at the factors that can determine the value of your outdoor space.

Big Cities = Big Premiums

Supply and demand can make your outdoor space extremely valuable, especially in you live a big city such as New York, where private outdoor spaces are hard to find. New York City apartments with a deeded, usable outdoor space often sell for 20 to 50 percent more than the same apartment without the highly sought-after outdoor access. For example, the average luxury condo with a terrace in downtown Manhattan is $8.3 million, compared to $6 million for those without a terrace.

Accessibility

Often, the most valuable outdoor spaces are accessible directly from the best parts of the home, such as the kitchen/living area or the great room/media room. Having an outdoor space directly off a communal, desirable part of the house serves as an extension of that living area. And when designed correctly, it will give the inside living area the appearance of more square footage.

If your outdoor space is detached from the property, you should still point it out to potential buyers. Just understand that buyers aren’t likely to pay as much for your place as they might for a similarly configured property offering direct, easy outdoor access.

Views

Is there a beautiful city view from your outdoor space? Does the backyard overlook or even connect to a lake? If so, the space is likely to add considerable value to your property.

Condition

A beautifully maintained outdoor space can add value to your property, particularly among buyers who covet outdoor space. On the flip side, a weedy, unkempt backyard is a turn-off to just about everybody.

Trees

Depending upon where you live, trees may appeal to some buyers who like a lot of greenery and appreciate the shade the trees cast over the house (which can help reduce air-conditioning bills). Trees can also provide a certain measure of privacy.

Others may see the trees as potential hazards, especially in areas prone to high winds and ice storms. Does the neighbor’s tree tower over your house? This could be another turn-off. In this case, you might consider negotiating with the neighbor to have the tree trimmed or even removed.

Privacy

The more privacy the outdoor space affords, the more attractive it will be. In dense urban areas, you may be able to increase the outdoor space’s privacy and attractiveness by putting up a trellis and training vines to grow over it.

Amenities

Some homeowners have installed amenities such as an outdoor bar, a wood-fired oven, and such. Will these amenities add to the home’s resale value? It’s possible. But to be safe, you should consider them an investment in your enjoyment of the outdoor space.

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