How to Add Value to Your Home with Backyard Improvements

When you're a home owner, it is quite different from being a renter. In addition to doing things in your home to make it more comfortable for you, you also have to keep in mind how these changes might affect the resale value. We never had central air conditioning growing up, but my family had a planned move abroad at a certain time, and a few years before that my dad installed central air conditioning because he said the house would sell for more with central air, and we might as well be able to enjoy it. If you are thinking about making a change to your backyard as a home owner, it pays to factor in what will the return be on your investment, beyond your own enjoyment of the yard. Here's some good information on that aspect from a reader.

If there’s one thing we all hate, it’s apologizing for a neglected yard. Your backyard should be an asset, not a liability. If you’re ready to make improvements that offer a good ROI (return on investment), consider these possibilities.

Seed or Sod Your Lawn

Backyard lawns don’t fall into a bad state overnight, they evolve gradually. What starts out as a couple of minor bare spots eventually turns into an eyesore that makes you want to avoid the backyard altogether. If your lawn is mostly intact, but has patchy or thin spots, overseeding is an easy improvement. It takes some time to realize the results, but it’s inexpensive. If your lawn is beyond reseeding, or if you want instant results, installing sod provides an immediate and lush grassy carpet. Seeding 1000 square feet of lawn will cost you around $150, and could easily deliver an ROI of $500. Sodding a similar sized area will be higher - around $700, but you get instant gratification.

Improve Landscaping

If your lawn is nice enough, but the backyard is just “plain,” consider landscaping improvements. Creative landscaping can minimize or disguise flaws like unattractive cinder block walls or fences. A series of paving stones, a small water feature, and some splashes of flowering color can transform your backyard into a paradise. Consider planting trees, flowering shrubs, and perennials, and adding edging and rock accents. Attractive landscaping typically recovers all its investment amount.

Add a Gazebo

A gazebo says casual elegance. It can be a modest two-person hideaway or a large and inviting party location. As the centerpiece of your backyard, it can be commanding and opulent. There are many options available in construction materials, fabric and curtain treatments, seating, and accessories. There are higher end gazebo brands like Sojag where the quality is superior. A gazebo makes your house stand out from the crowd, and your ROI will depend on your geographic area and climate.

Put In a Patio Or Deck

Outdoor living starts with a patio or deck, and is a home base for grilling and party activity. Adding a wooden deck or patio will gain you around 110% ROI, and adds a lot of fun factor and backyard appeal.

Outdoor Kitchens

You can add an outdoor kitchen for a few thousand dollars, if you’re not opting for premium appliances or a luxury design. No matter what your design choices, expect an outdoor kitchen to yield an ROI of 100% to 200%. Even with more modest choices in appliances and design elements, an outdoor kitchen presents an image of elegance.

Should You Install A Pool?

A pool will add appeal for a home buyer who wants one and is aware of the upkeep and expense. But a $50,000 pool will only add about $25,000 to your home’s value. If you are in a neighborhood where a pool is desirable in order to keep up with the neighbors’ houses, it can make sense.

What about a Fire Pit Or Fireplace?

If a fire feature is something you would really enjoy, by all means add one. But remember, fire features do not usually recover their investment value. You’ll see about a 60% return on your investment, but this can be significantly higher for a portable fire pit.

Prioritize your backyard improvements, and start with the one that will bring you the most satisfaction. You’re just a few steps away from a more beautiful and more valuable home.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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